Saturday, November 24, 2012

Equal Opportunity Seeker

I’d just texted back a friend in San Francisco to confirm our day plans to hike in Tilden Park. I placed my phone on the breakfast table, and reached down to scratch between the ears of my cat. Unbidden, I said softly, “I love my life.”

Unbidden, unpredictable, and surprising to even myself, this is what came to and out of my lips.

Whether temporary or not, I feel that I’m turning a corner on my attitude toward all of this – this “illness” thing. Perhaps this feeling is the result of the work I did this week on releasing old mental blocks. Perhaps it’s a result of having made a decision on which medical path I will take, and thus I can stop aching and hemming about it – allow myself to leave myself alone about it. Perhaps it’s a result of letting my father go, his behavior as a dictate of how I feel about myself and interpret myself in the world.

Likely, it’s all of this, and some dash of that magic called “Time.” Or, perhaps, it’s simply a result of all the people I have praying for me:

My friend’s father is a Baptist minister; he’s praying for me in his church.
My friend is a Sikh, and she prays for me.
My aunt’s friends are Hindu; she’s got them praying for me.
My friend’s mom’s best friend is a first-grade teacher at a Catholic school, and a whole school room of 5 and 6 year olds fold their hands, and bow their heads to pray for me.
There's a mass being said for me by a Cardinal, and my friend asked if she could pray the Rosary for me.
My Jewish friends, ranging from Reform to Chasidic rabbis, are praying for me.

Plus all the people who are generically spiritual, plain agnostic, or atheist, who're sending me healing and healthy thoughts.

I think I’m only missing Mormons and Muslims from the major religions! Perhaps this all is why I’m feeling generous with my optimism today. Perhaps it’s simply because I’m awesome ;) and I believe in the power of believing.

Last week, I saw a practitioner of EMT (tapping). This week, I’ve seen a holistic chiropractor and a depth hypnotherapist. Next week, I will see an acupuncturist and a reiki practitioner.

Besides which, medically, I’ve gone and had a blood transfusion, a platelet transfusion, and daily injections of blood thinner.

I burned some sage and bought a tourmaline bracelet to boot.

Pile it on. Who knows what is “working,” what is not. Doesn’t much matter to me, honestly – as long as I can feel that I’m taking action around getting healthy.

I bought a cross. (Don’t cringe.) I bought this gorgeous silver and turquoise-inlaid cross ornament. It has not much to do with the traditional symbolism of it, of Christ on the cross, and my burdens being carried and sins absolved by him. It has more, for me, to do with the beauty of the symbol itself, as if I’d hung Tibetan prayer flags, or the painted Ohm a friend sent me. It’s actually the second cross I’ve bought, having purchased silver with turquoise cross earrings a few years ago – I just love the way it looks. The shape, the contrast of colors. But, too, I won’t deny that, yes, indeed, it is a spiritual symbol, and I’ll take it.

When my mom was in town, we lit Friday-night Shabbat candles from a “Shabbat travel kit” a friend gifted me. We lit the candles, said the prayer in Hebrew, and then even said one over the challah (bread) we bought that morning. Cuz, why not?

I’ve begun reading a Deepak Chopra book, having thought that I’d actually ordered a Pema Chodron book, neither of whom I’ve read so far, but both I’ve heard the praises of. The book is A Path to Love, and emphasizes love of self, and love of G-d, which he points out is the same.

I bought a book of multi-ethnic blessings – compiled, surely for Thanksgiving consumerism, as the blessings are for the “meal” table. But it’s not only about harvest, but simply thanks and gratitude; plus there are some funny ones too. (“Rub-a-dub-dub, Thanks for the grub” actually made it into the anthology!).

I am a spiritual buffet gorger. I will happily lean on and grab for and explore whatever it is that may work. I won’t ignore the place of modern science and medicine, although I am already beginning to dread the third round of chemo which will begin in about a week. But, I will hold on to these other paths and ways and thoughts and inspirations to bolster me and harbor me as I go through the rigors and fear of dripping poison into my veins.

With all of it, I still am scared, yes, but how would I be without it?

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