As a fifty-two year old, seemingly healthy, active woman, with a good career and decent income, my life was good. At least by all outside appearances. I will admit, that I did have a sense of entitlement to a life absence of disease and illness. As a person with a healthy body mass index (BMI), who exercised regularly, did not smoke, drank socially, took supplements, ate reasonably healthy (the latter had improved as I aged), and had worked on reducing toxins from bath/beauty/household cleaning products, I felt I was on track for a heathy aging process.
Internally, despite my inner reflection, spiritual growth and development work, there was discontent. I knew change was needed, but was not fully certain as to all the changes I needed to make. What I failed to realize was how much my current life was draining me. The answer to my prayer, "change any part of my life that you need to change" was a great deal more than I had anticipated.
It was like the Universe took my head and "put it into the toilet", to quote Caroline Myss. Caroline has indirectly, through her books, courses, and lectures, served as my no BS spiritual director. When my head comes out of the toilet, I catch my breath. The Divine questions, "Are you ready to give up all that you think you are and need to be?" I would love to answered yes and avoid my head from getting shoved back into the toilet. The saying, "Old habits are hard to break" should be, "ingrained patterns are hard to break." If cancer is a call for change, what was it that I was being asked to transform? How much of my life needed to change?
After the diagnosis of cancer I continued to work part time. Working provided me with a sense of purpose, normalcy, distraction, and financial security. On the days I didn't work, I was doing non-conventional treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen, high dose vitamin C (HDVC) intervenous, eventually adding Artesunate and Mistletoe into the IV mix. I was off work for 2 months because of the Covid pandemic. Not working afforded me the time to focus more on my own healing. It was after my return to work in the middle of May 2020, that I started to experience some physical issues.
I have a very active Peacekeeper and People Pleaser archetypes. Much of my time, energy, and resources would go into towards keeping other people happy and content. This provided me with a sense of safety, security, and a sense of purpose and value. Robert Ohotto, teaches about these "Archetypes of Survival and Adaptation". These archetypes serve a purpose when we are children, but can limit us as adults. Robert has challenged me to examine what archetypal patterns are running certain areas of my life: Family, Finances, Relationships, Health, Self-Esteem. What I discovered is that my Co-dependent, Blood-donor, Rescuer, People Pleasure, and Peacekeeper were part of my team in almost every area of my life.
Activating a new Archetypal team, is challenging. Ingrained patterns won't change without a great deal of conscious awareness. Robert Ohotto has been one of the miracles in my life. His teachings has been guiding me on this journey of transformation. I have learned to ask if I am doing something from the position of "I am enough", or doing it "to become enough". I have also been learning how to recruit a more functional mystical team to my roster. Archetypes such as the Mystical Lover, Mystical Teacher, Intuitive, Truth Teller, Sacred Prostitute (meaning I value my self), and the Sacred Healer.
Even as I was dealing with cancer, I continued to frequently put the needs of others, ahead of my own needs (head in the toilet). I would accommodate clients at the end of my day, even when I knew that I would be tired (head in the toilet). I wouldn't say no to helping out, even if I didn't have the energy (head in the toilet).
Each time my head went into the toilet, and came back out, part of who I thought I was supposed to be, got left behind for flushing. Not returning to work after the colostomy surgery in October 2020, I had to deal with the feelings of a loss of purpose and value. There was the loss of financial independence as well. Which had not only been a source of pride, but also a means of helping/rescuing other people. The loss of my physical stamina to kayak, hike, and cycle, was another challenge, as my physical abilities were part of my sense of who I was as a person, as well as a source of recognition. As my health continued to nose dive, I also had to renounce my helping out at my friend's farm.
There have been days that I can barely get up off the couch. If I do, it is only to go sit in the chair. These are my pajama days. Then there are days I can feel that breath of fresh air entering my body. The pain and fatigue are less, and I am able to do more.
I do know that people are praying for me. And honestly, I sometimes feel that it will take that "great big huge" (as Caroline would say) miracle to survive. Yet, I am blessed by all of the smaller miracles that occur on a daily basis. My first miracle of ever day, is waking to another day. Then there are all the friends, former clients, teammates, people I have met on courses, who will randomly message me (email, text, messenger, or by a letter/card in the mail). It may come in the form of the friend who randomly stop by for a short visit. There are the people who offered me financial support when I first came out of the hospital, when I most needed it. I have a couple of friends, who come by and help with the yard work. My friend who takes time to drive me to appointments. All of you are the small, daily miracles in my life. It isn't the big things that you do for me that matter the most. It is the random acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. All of you make this world a better place, and I do feel truly blessed to have you been a part of my life.
Other than my dog (who can't make me my meals), I live alone. But I am not alone. I am blessed with all of you. Each one of you has touched my life in some way. Be you a family member, close friend, former partner, client, or teammate.
Life has been good to me. There has been so much fun, joy, laughter, and love. It has not always been easy though. There were times I felt lonely, depressed, rejected, unwanted, not good enough, and left out. Writing has always assisted me process my feelings. The joy in simply living and the miracle is just being alive.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ― Mother Teresa