“I would die to be as thin as I was five years ago when I would have died to be thinner.” (And this is a picture of me when those words were true.) I will remember that statement, made by a workshop participant, always because it so perfectly expresses how I live, how, dare I say, we all live, when I am/we are believing our stories. I was thinking about this the other day when I was waxing rhapsodic about my body and my breasts before cancer.
This is what I was telling myself: I felt better then. I felt whole then. My breast wasn’t mutilated then. My whole left side wasn’t in constant pain. I wasn’t on these hormone inhibitors. I wasn’t bloated every day. I didn’t have the feeling that an alien was inhabiting my body. Life was better then. (And implicit in all this was: Poor Me. And: I have to find a way to get that back).
Then, I remember and I hear what I am saying. See what I am doing: Speaking to myself in words like mutilated. Alien inhabiting my body. The fantasy of life being better then. And the trance of believing those words. The utter fantasy that what is going on now is worse than what was going on then, and so if only I could recreate or somehow push what is going on now away, I’d be fine. Better. Happy. The truth is that if I looked as fiercely at the advantages of what’s happening now as I do at the drawbacks, I’d be soaring. Available. Present. Able to act on oh so many things (i.e., write more letters to senators, work more on behalf of trees, birds, butterflies, think about more than myself!)
I wish I could say that I have graduated earth school, that having seen (probably more than ten thousand times) that being at war with myself never works ends being at war with myself forever. But it doesn’t. And all I can do is love that which forgets. Be kind to forgetting. Not make more war. Instead, to remember. And remember. And remember. Because, in the end, the true war is not the resistance to what already is going on but the pattern of judging the resistance to what is already going on.
To read more in the Cancer Chronicles, click here.