It's Not Personal
"The optimal approach to healing requires that you view an illness as an intimate but impersonal experience
that is passing through your life."
The above quote comes from Caroline Myss' teachings. I had it written down inside the front cover of my spiritual direction journal. It was the first thing I read post diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer. The quote goes on to say:
"It is intimate in that your soul needs to dialogue with the illness, but impersonal because it can happen to anyone. It is intimate to your soul, but impersonal to your body. By keeping it intimate to the soul and impersonal to the body, your body does not lock into the belief that the illness can't be cured. Remain impersonal to your body and do not marry the experience..."
Not making cancer personal has not been an easy task. I felt as if I was standing at the base of Mount Everest, looking up at the mountain. Thoughts swirling around in my head like a blizzard. "Really? I agreed to climb this mountain?" "That is a *##*ing big mountain." "Am I really prepared for the journey?" Part of me does feel like this is just part of my soul's journey. That all the spiritual direction, self-reflection work done over the past ten plus years was in preparation for this climb. Just one month prior to the diagnosis I had birth chart astrology session with Michele Marie (Soul Alignment Astrologer), whom I had met on the Mystical Tour of Spain trip.
There was another part of me that was buried by the avalanche of guilty feelings. The teachings around the law of attraction contributed to these feelings. "What did I do to attract this into my life? Was it my past dietary habits? How about the stress? Maybe I didn't exercise enough in the last few years. What might I have done to deserve this?" In trying to pin illness and disease down to one thing that we did wrong is part of what makes healing so challenging. I must confess though, one of the thoughts I am guilty of is that "bad things should only happen to bad people." If that is a universal truth (which my soul knows it is not), then I must be a bad person. This ingrained belief pattern likely stems from the teaching that "sinners go to hell." It is something that we are all exposed to almost right out of the chute, even if you are not raised with a specific religious exposure (which I was not).
How do you not make an illness like cancer personal? Having a solid foundation of a daily spiritual practice was of great benefit. Even pre-diagnosis I liked to start my day off with the Prayer of Entry from Entering the Castle work (by Caroline Myss);
"I cross the bridge into the silent bliss of my interior castle. I close the drawbridge and forbid all outside influences from entry into this holy place that is my soul. Here in my castle, I am alone with God. Under God's light and companionship, I discover the depth and beauty of my soul. I embrace the power of prayer. I open myself to divine guidance. And I surrender myself as a channel for grace, healing, and service as God directs my life."
I also have been able to gain insights and perspective on this soul journey through the teachings of Robert Ohotto. I also met him on the Mystical Tour of Spain. In one course he stated, "Sometimes it is just our time." Peace enveloped me like that heavy duvet covering me at night. I didn't hear those words and think that it is just part of my destiny and I shouldn't change anything. It did give me permission to stop chasing a cure. To just be still, go within and get inner guidance. Deep down I didn't want to be someone who tried to survive the negative effects that chemotherapy and radiation could have on the body, and die anyway. I would rather ask my body what it needed to possibly heal and give it that.
Through listening to my intuition, I have been led to the works of Anthony Williams. His theories about viruses' and other pathogens' contribution to diseases such as cancer make sense to me, and fit in with my history. Many of my dietary choices were feeding these viruses and pathogens that had taken host in my body. The concept that it is not just diet alone lessened the guilt that I felt. If someone does not have a higher viral/pathogen load, then eating a diet like I did might not have any effect. This theory does not absolve me of my responsibility to eat healthier. My eating habits now are based on feeding my immune system army versus feeding the viral/pathogens.
In summary, not taking cancer personally has involved:
- Believing that I have a Soul Contract.
- Trusting that what I am experiencing is part of my soul's journey.
- Having faith that all is as it should be and I will be guided.
- Listening to my inner guidance, trusting what it is telling me, and taking what action I can.
- Letting go of an attachment to a specific outcome (live or die).
- Changing the things, I can (eating habits), and relinquishing what I can't (knowing what is to come).
"When dealing with an illness, you need to stop trying to undo what is already done and instead deal with what is.
Where do I do from here?"