Fear is the mind killer………Frank Herbert
At this point in time (that first year), fear seemed as natural to me as breathing. It’s natural to fear what is and what may be coming, yet it isn’t healthy, living in fear. I remember searching the web trying to figure out how terrible the pain would be towards the end – an exercise in stupidity on my part since I knew already that fear alone can run down your immune system. But I couldn’t help it. If you’re in the same boat, welcome. It may seem like a superhuman effort not to go to this place of fear but it can be done; I found it doable, not easy, but doable. I just had to remember to breathe, focus on this moment of life that I have and understand that fear itself over a period of time is bad for me and will not help my healing. And with this illness, I wanted all my efforts everyday to go into the life column, not the death column.
Fear can cause us to do crazy things, things we would never normally do. Fear can make you angry. Being fearful is seen as weak in our culture and being angry often is seen as being powerful or courageous, so sometimes I think we go to anger by default. Fear, then anger have very profound, negative effects on the body’s physiology, emotional balance and spiritual outlook. I don’t think I need to cite references on this: I think we all know it already.
Desperation is a cousin of fear and just as debilitating. If someone is in fear and has to act, the choice made may likely be the result of desperation. It’s not a good place to begin anything. Desperation causes us to grab any likely rope or take whatever path seems open and away from what’s making us fearful. But there is no rational thought behind it, no waiting for Spirit to speak, no planning. It’s just swirling, like dry leaves blown up to the sky in fall; it’s what I felt like, swept up in a vortex not of my making. This is not a restful place or a healing place and it’s not where I wanted to be.
When I got my diagnosis, I knew from long experience with myself that I absolutely had to banish fear and desperation; I knew this in a deep and profound way. I knew that I could not chase a cure if I wanted to live. This was a strong, profound message from my intuition. Desperation, fear and anxiety do not equal healing. Another way to look at this is through the eyes of an energy healer. The very bedrock law of energy healing is the necessity for the healer to hold an image of the ill person as perfectly well and perfectly healthy. I knew deeply that if I chased healing, I would be acting every day on the presumption that I was flawed, out of balance, sick and dying. I needed to leave that behind and live my life as if: I was healthy, whole, happy, perfect (yes, that’s a stretch for me. Did a lot of stretching during this illness).
This was the beginning of the practice of detachment. I found to do this, all I needed was a willingness to let go of the outcome (yes, more easily said than done, I know). This is the place of surrender. This is where Jesus in the garden said “not my will but thine.” Surrendering to reality, letting go of the need for a specific outcome and accepting what will occur in your future, thy will not mine. It meant letting go of desperately wanting to live (as opposed to simply choosing life). No it’s not easy, nothing about this is easy. I wish I had a magic wand that could take it away. All I can do though is relate what worked for me. I absolutely had do this to be able to relax and do the work that I needed to do – maybe – to continue living my life. Father Richard Rohr (cac.org) says:
Surrendering to the divine Flow is not about giving up, giving in, capitulating, becoming a puppet, being naïve, being irresponsible, or stopping all planning and thinking. Surrender is about a peaceful inner opening that keeps the conduit of living water flowing. It is a quiet willingness to trust that you really are a beloved son or a beloved daughter, which allows God to be your Father and Mother. It really is that simple, which for the human ego is very hard.
Desperation, fear and anger don’t heal, they don’t help, they only drag a person down. I found meditation a life saver here, especially the guided meditations that I could simply listen to, breathe through and relax into. My circle of friends was my other life support. Instead of going to counseling, I relied on them to talk through my pain and my fears and my doubts. I still can’t thank them enough, don’t think I ever will be able to. If I hadn’t had such a wonderful circle, I would have gone to counseling. Lucky me, it was offered as part of my treatment. I chose not to because I had my circle, but also because I didn’t want to be in the hospital, where the center was located. So far, my choices have served me.
In Resources, I have listed the different meditation CDs I listened to and the books I read that helped me.