And, it wasn’t comfortable. Even though I’d been in many rooms just like this one before. A birth condition requiring multiple surgeries with long, drawn out recoveries made hospitals, needles, tests and physicians a familiar environment. But, this time was different, very different.
As I waited for the doctor to walk through the door of his examination room, I was given space to pause to remember the magnitude of what had brought me here to his office. It wasn’t easy, those past months of not knowing why my energy was dropping day after day, why it was nearly impossible to climb out of bed each morning. It wasn’t easy waiting for test result after test result, poking and prodding for answers to no avail. It wasn’t easy being scared – at times terrified — about my future. My heart told me this was not a simple health problem to be overlooked or dismissed. My spirit urged, “Do not give up looking for the answer. If you do, you will die.”
ANSWERS BEGIN TO EMERGE
I don’t know if he didn’t have the courage to tell me. Or, if it was an uneasy embarrassment from the times he had told me the tests were inconclusive and nothing could be detected. Or, the many times he had determined it as stress or simply my over-reaction to a minor health concern. Maybe so, after all it had taken my strong and relentless insistence that an MRI test be completed just to make certain that the blood tests weren’t missing something, something that would show us the answer – give as a hint to what was stealing my vibrancy, my health and possibly my future.
When the doctor handed me the test results, all he could say is, “I recommend that you make an appointment with UCLA Medical Center. They may be able to help you.” He said nothing more. He simply left the examination room. UCLA is a teaching hospital recognized for treating unusual cases. I assumed that the doctor had given up on the search for answers, feeling that he had exhausted his resources. Minutes later, I left his office and headed home, report in hand.
As I settled myself in the tiny apartment where my son and I were now living, I opened the envelope and began to read the complicated collection of medical jargon, words that left me puzzled but longing to understand. There was one sentence, however, that stood out very bold and clear.
The sentence read: “Strong evidence of the presence of lymphoma.” The report went on to give recommended treatment. Shocked, I whispered to myself, “I think this report says that I have cancer. The doctor who determined this diagnosis clearly has no idea who I am.”
BREAKDOWNS BEFORE BREAKTHROUGHS
The months leading up to the diagnosis had not been tough ones. The shock of my mother’s sudden and unexpected death a few months earlier continued to plague me with waves of grief and deep sadness beyond any emotion I’d ever experienced. My once thriving business, the one I had built from the ground floor up while raising my two young sons as a single mother, was now failing. My days were long, stressful, doing all I could to simply keep up.
It’s true. I’d denied the early symptoms that, looking back now, I can see had been showing themselves for months. But now the downward spiraling of my health could no longer be denied. Change was needed, desperately — immediately. The diagnosis confirmed it. Scared and alone, I now faced a search for the answer and the fight to save my life.
A JOURNEY OF HEALING
“The doctors clearly have no idea who I am.” Those nine words continued to play through my thoughts – over and over – reminding me of a power to heal, encouraging the search for more answers.
But, where does one begin to heal their life?
What changes are needed?
Following the diagnosis I immersed myself in learning about the disease. I wanted to know it intimately. Meet it face to face. Even make friends with it. Sounds crazy but I believe this may be the very thing that changed everything. I studied. Met with experts. Spoke with more doctors. Read. And, allowed myself to be guided to more answers. Essentially, I surrendered to my deeper Self, the part of me that believed healing possible. I listened to the voice within that continued to remind, “The doctors clearly they have no idea who I am.”
THE JOURNEY WITHIN
A healing journey can be very isolating. Surrounded by people, I felt more alone than I’d ever felt. Friends didn’t know what to say. My sons were silent. The fear inducing words and opinions of the doctors and all that I read were unsettling and scary.
After weeks of being immersed in looking outside for answers, a dynamic thought suddenly occurred to me, an awareness that would ultimately change the course of my life: “Before I can do anything more, before healing can truly take place, I must go within – I must ignite the spiritual power to heal.”
I declared a ‘sacred yes’ to do exactly that. And, with that ‘sacred yes’ came a spiritual practice and commitment to dive deep into study and growing and learning.
Up until now my healing journey was always directed by traditional medicine. Energy medicine was a foreign idea. Now I found myself studying with shamans. Sat for hours in meditation. Absorbed the beauty of nature with long hikes, keeping my body moving. I wrote volumes of words in journals. All the while, traveling deep into my heart.
THE SACRED ‘YES’
My ‘sacred yes’ came to be power-packed agreement – an agreement that would focus towards the faith and knowing of my deeper Self – an agreement that would not only serve as a replenishing force for my physical body; but, also pointed towards the renewing of my mind and of my spirit.
I AGREED TO GROW BEYOND THE DEFINED.
To begin, I was clear that things weren’t working as the once did. So, I must be willing to let go of the old definitions. To do this meant stepping into the unknown and expanding my relationship with intuitive guidance.
It meant exploring non-traditional means of healing and allowing for new ways of co-creating my life.
I AGREED TO FIND THE YES IN ALL THINGS.
Forgiveness became a power ally that changed my life immediately. It allowed for a new, fresh perspective. I dug deep to find where I was holding on to doubt, shame, guilt and anger – then, I forgave myself. And, I forgave others and asked for their forgiveness. Finally, I forgave the circumstances of my life. Through a moment-by-moment practice of forgiveness, something magical happened. An expansive flow of gratitude began to spring forth. I found myself grateful for EVERYTHING.
I AGREED TO IGNITE THE POWER OF NEW POSSIBILITIES.
I found the flow of gratitude to be an inspired motivating power. My practice of gratitude pointed my eyes in the direction of seeing possibilities that I may have at one time overlooked or undervalued. By taking away the blinders of judgment, fear and doubt, I began to see new opportunities, uncover new answers and new solutions — they naturally appeared.
I AGREED TO COLLABORATE WITH SHEER TRUST.
Trust. Always a challenge, it seemed. But, as I let go and leaned-in to trust more and more, something occurred to me. There are really only two choices ever: Worry. Or, trust. And, either choice requires the same: Faith in the unknown. Choose worry and I was putting my trust in fear of the future. Place my attention in the direction of trust and I allowed grace to point the way.
I AGREED TO PLAY WITH FRESH POSSIBILITIES.
The more I became comfortable in trusting the unknown, the more life presented answers. My mantra became: “Be alert. Life is showing you the way.” Synchronicity became an everyday occurrence. Chance meetings with healers, energy workers, physicians and treatment solutions began to show up in the most unexpected and unanticipated ways.
I AGREED TO BRING MY RADIANCE TO LIFE.
This agreement: the most powerful of all. I declared a ‘sacred yes’ to answer the one true calling of my life: to set free my innate gifts and wisdom that had once been vastly undervalued; to see the purpose of every experience; and, to acknowledge how every event brings with it divine meaning. In the end, I came to recognize, as author Joseph Campbell said best: “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”