I am in between the worlds. The tumor in my body has been removed, and I have not yet heard it’s “diagnosis” i.e. which “grade” they say it is…? Each “grade” is a potential reality that holds a unique set of possible futures. Each reality is seemingly more or less pleasant in my mind. I remember when I was sitting in the waiting room for an ultrasound last week I thumbed through a Time magazine. My eyes dropped to a little story about Quantum Mechanics and something called Schrödinger’s cat.
My interpretation of the idea shared (very simply restated) was that at some points in the process, all possibilities are possible. After reading this I said to my mother waiting with me, “this is where we are now. All is possible. “ I have been thinking about this ever since. I thought about it during the long night alone in the hospital after surgery. I find out soon what the diagnosis is for “sure”, yet I have seen already that All is Possible, no matter what any “diagnosis” says. So today I hover between the worlds, attempting to move my reality into a more favorable position.
I feel called to share the story of my experience of the night in St Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, AZ.
During the night after my surgery, I was only able to sleep from midnight til 2am. I had so much on my mind and so many physical sensations from all that was hooked into me, I could only listen to my music, look up at the dark ceiling and think. After I slept a bit I began to give thanks for all the many things I have to be grateful for. I said thank you for all the people who care about me and who have helped me in so many ways, I gave thanks for my strong body, for the ease of surgery, for the surgeon that was assigned to me and how that connection occurred, for the spiritual lessons I was learning overall, and for all the kind health care professionals who surrounded me. Many more “thank yous” floated through me. As I lay there in the dark I began to feel what I began to identify as a “life force” stirring within me, My Life Force. I saw it in my mind as a bubbling spring. I felt that the sweet water was filling the huge empty space where the mass had dwelled for so long. It was a good feeling, however, I realized that I had gotten used to not feeling this Life Force for quite a while. It was a blessing to feel it coming from within me. The feeling brought me to tears of gratitude.
As I was crying, I felt a tall presence emerge beside my bed on the right. He was standing over me. I recognized his energy (felt like a “he”) as the one, or one of the ones, who came through the worlds for me 18 years ago to wake me up to my new life. I reached up to him in the dark. I felt his energy and I cried some more. It felt so good. (I am not going to explain now about the many visions, shamanic journeys and dreams that I have had in my adult life. They have always been benevolent and I have come to welcome them when they visit me. Each time, the message is gratefully accepted, even if the delivery might seem surreal. I immediately recognized the energy near my bed as an ally and was relieved that he came that night.)
All of a sudden, I remembered something very important. He said I needed to remember. Two weeks before that important event that called me to shamanize back then, I had a dream (for those of you who do not know the surreal story, you can read it here). When I woke up from that dream I knew it was time to practice being more open and loving towards people. I had felt closed and protected with people at that point in my life, and yet I knew I could be different if I chose to be. My shamanic life began two weeks later. He said that this current experience clears the path for me to come back to that feeling, to remember that very important thing and how essential it is to my overall health. He said “the last few years have clouded your ‘open and loving’ vibe in a number of ways. To open your new life phase, all of that clouded energy had to be removed. It all conveniently gathered in the mass that was just taken out of you. And so it is done.”
We are all a part of a fantastic web of sacred life. When we forget (which is a part of Life), we each have loving allies that can help us remember and strengthen our Life Force. Shamanic traditions say that “Soul Loss” or “Dis-Spiritedness” is the root of Illness. After feeling the return of my bubbling Life Force energy, I now understand that I had gone on too long with it being low, yet got used to it as “normal”, so my soul was depleted in a deeply personal way. This is one of the factors that allowed the imbalance within me to occur. No blame, no shame, no fault, only change.
I felt so incredibly grateful about being reminded. I had forgotten. Remembering is so important. As the feeling of my visiting friend faded, I felt open and connected to something much bigger than me and I knew I would not forget again. I stayed up the rest of the night to watch the sun rise over Tumamoc Hill, an ancient sacred place right outside my hospital window, to mark this new phase in my life.
When I got home from the hospital I began to read a book called “Peace with Cancer- Shamanism as a Spiritual Approach to Healing” by Myron Eshowsky. Two of my closest people got me this book and it is excellent. There are many helpful ideas to use and phrases to quote, but for now I would like to quote this statement… “…illnesses such as cancer can be the embodiment of our internal stories waiting to be healed. Until illness strikes, we may have felt these stories were resolved. In truth, we each embody a tapestry of stories and influences that come together in search of healing.” (Page 81)
Remembering what is Important