When it comes down to a serious health crisis, fear bears down on us and we want a fast fix. Easily we can fall into the assumed cures of western medicine. Western Medicine is valuable AND complementary. It has the capacity to rid the body of signs and symptoms through a variety of interventions. What it falls short of is the necessary dose of what the body, mind and spirit truly need for healing in wholeness. When we are in a health crisis, we have an opportunity to recommit to being present with ourselves, with our temple, and attending to our needs and wants. At its essence, regardless of what the health ailment is, in addition to time and attention, our being is craving self-honor and love.
Find the memory and feeling of a time when you have been sick with the flu, laid up with a broken ankle, immobilized by a surgery, or another similar health challenge. These experiences, at a minimum, require time and attention for healing. We are forced to pay attention when we are in crisis, be it health, financial, or relationship in nature. There are moments we can look back and identify a number of things we may have done to prevent the crisis. Perhaps we could have avoided the fractured ankle if we had been attending to our environment or recognizing our bodily fatigue. Perhaps we could have healed with greater ease avoiding complications from a straight forward yet major surgery of a C-section had we taken seriously the recommendations from our doctor to lay low while caring for our newborn to the best of our ability. Perhaps we could drink fluids and sleep when we have the flu healing with greater ease and less time. Perhaps we could have avoided the flu altogether by drinking fluids and sleeping when we are in need. The point is to see these past experiences as opportunities to learn to become present, not to stay in the past or berate self.
Whether it is a cold or cancer, our body…. our temple, will communicate with us very clearly. We have the opportunity every moment to pay attention and respond in the moment to requests that will come far earlier and much more subtly. Without time and attention and love that our bodies and spirits are craving a small (yet monumentally important) request will turn into an overwhelming requirement.
There is no cure for cancer. There are treatments that facilitate healing: chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc.… In addition to the medicinal intervention, another great attribute they provide is opportunity for paying attention and the opportunity to slow down. Following surgery we must take it slowly for the incision to heal, radiation zaps cancer cells and it also zaps us of our energy while our body inhabits the radiation to kill the cancer cells. We must rest and pay attention. With chemotherapy we are forced into a place where we may loose our hair, a place where we don’t recognize ourselves when we look in the mirror. In many ways we become naked to ourselves through this process.
These are the opportunities that, in spite of the crisis, we are afforded the inspiration to advocate for ourselves, find our voice, and tap into the our internal support, care and love that most likely has been lying dormant for some time. The medicine and interventions do their part in killing the cancer and we, in the wholeness of body, mind and spirit can choose do our part to create an environment where cancer cannot thrive.
Listen to your body, attend to it, and be with it, as you would your child. Say nice things to yourself and encourage yourself as you would your best friend. Take time to listen and respond to your own needs and wants. Reclaim that tiny unheard voice that is begging to be heard. It might just be saying something really simple like “lets take a walk in the fresh air” or “I would love to lay in the grass and look up at the starry sky”. Notice how good it feels to be able to breathe in air taking in this essential element of life. Then thank yourself for listening, attending, and responding to your inner voice. This is one of the greatest acts of love one can do for self and ultimately for those we love.