There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. – John Lennon.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when I decided to choose love, but it was early on in my diagnosis. I felt sick for a long time and by the time I was diagnosed, it was almost like I was ready. In some way I was so relieved to know that there was actually something wrong with me. That I didn’t have to spend the rest of my life feeling the way I did. That there was a chance that I would get my old self back. Maybe that’s when it happened. I stopped fighting against my body and started fighting with my body. I wasn’t angry. I was just relieved.
The minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months I spent in fear of my diagnosis and treatment were many. I never knew what was behind the next bend or on the other side of the white crest of the wave. Mom always said use your energy for healing and that’s just what I did. I surrendered. I allowed myself to be carried by the current. I chose the choicest of rafts. Sturdy, modern construction made from the most innovative materials. It was light and nimble, perfect. I laid on my back, arms and legs stretched out and faced the storm head on. Shrink, flush, gone, shrink, flush, gone, shrink, flush, gone, I repeated over and over. I convinced myself that I would be safe. I allowed the universe to care for my body and to cure it from disease. I visualized a summer rain storm and I allowed the rain, the chemo, let it wash over me. Cleanse me, purify me, I thought. I trusted that this raft and my crew — my team and my doctors would keep me safe. Take my body, do what you need to do, tear me down and put me back together. I’m ready to be whole again. I loved my family when I couldn’t love myself. I put my fears in a small lockbox on the floor in the back corner of the deepest darkest closet I had and closed the door. I trusted my raft would steer me to safer waters. And one day I heard a few scrapes and felt a few bumps. I sat up. Yawned, rubbed my eyes, and stretched. As the sleep fell from my eyes it all came into focus. I made it, I hit land. Love showed me the way.