A year later.
A year ago today I was in the hospital having my uterus and one ovary removed from my body. I describe what lead up to that procedure in this BLOG POST, but today I want to revel in the process of healing and balance.
“Healing” is such a strange word, in the fact that there are so many feelings related to this process we call “healing”. In the last year I have had so many feelings, difficult and surprising feelings, that I could not ignore, but had to face and go through. I have felt an uncompromising anger in the last year, from my cells, that is only recently waning. I have felt feelings of apathy and distance from those closest to me. I felt the strange feeling that I had been “tricked” into complacency regarding the tumor that grew in my leg, which led to waves of feeling a lack of self confidence in me knowing myself. None of these are “pretty” feelings, and I rarely speak of these things that have floated through me, however, on this day, I share with you so that you know more parts of me.
I am now feeling a growing sense of being at home in my body. I am admitting to myself that a pattern of putting off eating (so many other things to do) helped contribute to my lack of ability to fight off cancer cells in my body. Regarding the hysterectomy, I am grateful that I did it. I do not miss the groggy feeling I had gotten used to, without knowing what it was (fibroids). I am grateful that my body has healed, and that I am now enjoying strengthening my core more each day. I look forward to this whole new life, on the other side of fertility.
The name given to me by my Spirit World is OOlah, meaning “One Who Balances”, and I am dancing with the feeling of balance every day. In this dance I feel a growing sense of the male spirit that resides within me, and “his” desires and wants. At this point I speak of “him” because I have lived over 40 years without even knowing “he” was there. I feel myself getting to know “him”, and making more room for him/me, allowing this version of me find a home in my body.
Here is an excerpt from the post I wrote last year, the day before the surgery:
The next personal test was that just before the surgery to remove the tumor, a ‘hot spot’ showed up in my ovary on a diagnostic test. It took a month to find out that it is not cancer, but painful uterine fibroids. A hysterectomy was scheduled. This brought up a whole other set of soul issues. Over the last few years I have come to realize that I am a blended spirited person. I have a male spirit in me and he is what he is, wants what he wants, and does what he does. He has lived behind the female me all my life and he is ready to come out into the open. I don’t want to change my physical form (as in sex change) because I understand the importance of me being female this lifetime. Yet my form is being changed in ways, because of these surgeries. Due to these changes, I am shifting from one stage of womanhood to another, and becoming more “in between”. In the last two years I have come to understand that this experience is very common for shamanic people, to be in between the worlds of masculine and feminine. It helps to explain the name that was given to me many years ago for what I am. I was told “You are Oolah, One who Balances.” I guess now I am finally stepping into the name.
When I thought I had ovarian cancer I could hear the masculine voice say he wanted more room for him (and thereby was not sad about having less female chemistry), and my feminine voice say that they (my eggs) had not fulfilled their purpose by having a baby. Neither was satisfied with me. I asked how we could all work together to come to consensus. They said there had to be a compromise. Then I learned that the pain I was feeling was because of my uterus, and it became clear that my uterus was the compromise, the sacrifice. All parties within agreed that this was acceptable. I did not need to become sick or die. We had found a win/win. Tomorrow, I will part ways with my uterus.
While this might seem strange to talk this way (the different parts of me), I have found that much sickness comes from parts of us feeling unloved, untended and unacknowledged. We can, and need to, find ways to come into consensus with our untended soul parts. If we do not, our own cells attack us. If we do not, these cells kill us, and then no one wins.
A few days ago I attended a memorial service for a woman who passed away at 88 years old. She was a self-actualized woman whom I respected. I hadn’t seen her in years, until the day last autumn that I went to pick up my results of my 6 month MRI of my leg. I had been told by an oncologist that the tumor “would definitely” grow back, and I was nervous. However, I went to get the results by myself for some reason. I walked in, and there she was, with her female partner, my guardian angels. I read the results with them, and they were good results and they were happy for me. Three weeks after that, the woman fell and never recovered. I felt it was a gift to cross paths again, one more time, in a meaningful way.
While listening to stories of her at her memorial, I realized that I have a whole other life waiting for me (I am 48 years old, she was 40 years older than me), and if the Godds want me to live long, I can create that life how I want it to be. I haven’t let myself think this way before, maybe because I have always wanted to be “ok” with leaving this world, even if it is when I am not yet old…however, today, I am open to having a whole other life, with many long phases and adventures, that I can create consciously. What a gift.
I am so grateful that my shamanic vocation knocked me in my head and brought me to it. It has saved me, and fills me with awe and joy so many times! Shamanically speaking, meaningful things have come from this initiation- The fear of dying pushed me to create an Animist Minister Ordainment program. It began last September with 9 beautiful souls participating in the year long program. I am starting my second session in the autumn of 2016. I also created a 7 week series called Weaving Well through Illness, for people to use shamanic techniques to address health issues. The first one is in session now. I also co-created Owl and Butterfly Health Support Services, to blend my worlds of Shamana and Physical Illness more deeply. Birthing these programs has provided me with a sense of relief, and satisfaction. I am grateful. I am grateful for my body, my partners and loved ones, all of you who care for me, for my Spirit Guides that always protect me, and for Life.