Archive for May, 2012

When it comes to physical illness, I am a spiritual midget. I always think the worst. Any and all symptoms are seen by me as evidence of cancer or some other dreaded degenerative neurological disease. Tingling in my finger ? Must be multiple sclerosis. Rapid heartbeat for no reason? Congenital heart disease. Fatigue ? Must be cancer which has probably metastasized. Its ridiculous, I know, but that’s where my toxic thoughts go.

No matter how much I reason with myself, my body goes on a mission of its own when I have these scares. High pulse rate, dry mouth and if it is really bad, even a thick tongue.

Where does this come from ?

That’s easy. No question it’s the fearful associations that I made as a child between illness and death, when my father was ill. He had to have three open heart operations over the course of his lifetime and I have so many memories of him, collapsed with a cardiac arrest, in theatre having an operation, being resuscitated, fibrillating, weak or in pain. Deeply ingrained in my psyche as a child, I associated doctors with death. I associated hospitals with fear. Hospital smells alone are enough to trigger the memory of that fear.

We all deal with our childhood experiences differently. My sister dealt with it by becoming a radiologist. Wasn’t it Joan Baez who said that action is the antidote to despair ? I dealt with it by going into unreasonable fear and later by going in search of spiritual truths.

So for the past ten days, I have felt a discomfort in my left breast. Nothing drastic.. just not right. When I discussed this with my sister, who lives in Sydney, she said, bring forward your annual mammogram and have it checked out . ‘That’s not what’s going to get you in the end’ she assured me. ‘It doesn’t run in the family, but check it out for your peace of mind’. That did not comfort me. If she really wasn’t worried, she would have said, leave it . Wait till next wednesday when your annual mammogram is scheduled.

Literally with knees knocking and teeth chattering,I called yesterday and managed to get an appointment for 11.30 am. My heart was pounding, as I tried to access a place of trust and surrender. This is the work I do for goodness sake ! How can I be in my integrity coaching people to be courageous in their lives, to transcend their fears, when I had not transcended mine in this area of my life ? I can access courage, tremendous courage in so many areas of my life, but with this, I am a baby! And the odd thing is that I am not really afraid of death. I have read so extensively about it, that I really am not afraid. Well, at least not in theory. And yet, the fear was unbearable. I decided to do something I seldom do. I asked for a sign to show me that it is safe to trust.

I reached a measure of calm and decided at 10.30 to dash to Spar in Norwood, a shop across town that I seldom frequent, to buy some special tea that a relative was taking over to my sister in Australia in two days’ time. I found exactly what I wanted, paid for it, and as I picked up the package to leave the shop, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Standing right there was the relative to whom I had to hand the package. I laughed and handed it over. As I climbed into my car I realized that that was a powerful message of trust. How was it that out of all the hundreds of supermarkets I could have chosen, I had chosen this one and she was there, at the same time! And she appeared at the perfect moment, as I was about to go back home?

The Universe was sending me a very clear message. And the message is not trust everything will go exactly as you want it. I saw a deeper message. I saw trust that whatever the outcome there is a Divine plan. Things are organized on another level. I recalled Deepak Chopra’s brilliant book on Synchrodestiny, where he explained the source of ‘coincidences.’ Nothing happens by accident. So if you need to go through a cancer, trust that it’s a necessary part of your soul’s evolution. You will get what you need, if you need it and when you are ready for that experience. Not a moment earlier or later.I had just transformed shelf help into self help!!

I walked into the mammogram calmly. Even when they called me back for one more Xray of my left breast and then a sonar, I felt ‘I can handle this’. As it so happened, the radiologist gave me the all clear.

Cultivating that trust has to be the most important thing any of us can do in this lifetime. It makes the journey so much more joyful and light. But our trust muscle needs to be cultivated all the time. If not, it atrophies.

I would like to make the distinction between surrender, trust and taking responsibility. Whether or not I get a cancer is mostly beyond my control. Its really out of my hands. My responsibility is to make sure I have annual check ups, make sure I check out any changes in breast tissue in between, make sure I feed my body with healthy foods, not smoke and keep my emotional space clear. Beyond that, I am not in control and trying to control that which is beyond our control, that which as Byron Katie would say is ‘ God’s business’ or Reality, is simply going to cause me to suffer.

So, spiritual giant ? Not yet, but I may have grown a few inches…..

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