Just Keep Paddling
I can harness the wind, but I cannot change its force or direction. I can accept my fate, while I co-create my destiny. Is the diagnosis of cancer my fate combined with my destiny? It feels like I am paddling into the wind.
As I journaled, the question around fate and prayer flowed from my pen. I stated, "This is not a rhetorical question." Yes, I was expecting the answer to flow out onto the page, as I had my daily "conversation with God." The spiritual seeker in me really wanted to know.
If we all have a fated departure date, then what is the purpose of prayer?
People have prayed and death still came. Creation and destruction are both Universal Laws. What can be created, can be destroyed. Death is part of life. If prayer cannot change fate, what is its purpose? If it really is 'just our time to die", then why do I pray?
When my mom was going in for her surgery recently, I prayed,
"Hover over her. May every hand that touches her be a healing hand."
Though it might not have altered her fate, I know I felt more at peace. Perhaps, simply because I knew that the outcome of my mother's surgery was something that I had no control over. Saying the prayer simply reminded me that it was out of my hands.
"Control what you can. Release what you can't."
I have no idea who originally said the above quote, but my friend Brianne has said it to me on more than one occasion. What do I really have control over?
It has been written and researched that cancer is between 5-30% genetic. That means that I have control over 70-95%. I still need guidance to know what it is I am meant to do, and if I am meant to do it.
I choose what I put into my body. Will it feed and nourish my cells and my immune system? I did not choose to get a virus (Epstein Barr) or a pathogen ("liver fluk").
I choose to improve the quality of my sleep, by what I do to unwind before going to bed each night. I don't get to choose if my neighbour's dog starts barking at 3am and it wakes me up.
I choose to listen to the teachings of Caroline Myss and Robert Ohotto, both teachers of Mysticism. From them I have learned about the power of prayer, the difference between an Ego and a Soul prayer.
I choose to do the work required to build my Soul Esteem, and subsequently have become better at setting personal boundaries. I don't choose when someone might test my personal boundary or how it will be tested.
"Not my zoo. Not my monkeys."
I choose what to spend my money on, but not what something may cost. I have chosen to not earn a living at the moment through my physiotherapy practice, but to focus on my own health and healing journey. I don't recall choosing a cancer diagnosis as part of my Soul Contract, but here it is. So, I pray, "What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go?"
I don't choose to feel angry or frustrated. I do choose to accept that I will still feel these emotions. I choose to reflect and pray, "What is it this emotion is trying to tell me?" Just the other day, I felt the frequency in me shift, just like someone had changed the station on the radio. I prayed, "Show me what triggered the anger in me, and what I need to do now."
Just Keep Paddling
I can harness the wind,
though cannot change its
force, nor direction.
I can see the path,
and choose not to take it,
for it seems dark and dreary.
I though...had you not promised,
light and love?
I can see the mountain,
and pray that you help me climb it.
I know you will not
move that mountain for me.
If I am meant to climb it,
I can choose to paddle
to "just keep paddling."
As the wind blows
hard against me.
Paddling slowly forwards,
I am tired. I must though,
Keep on paddling.
I pray for strength.
I pray for courage.
I pray for guidance, wisdom, and council.
I pray for illumination...
so that I may see my next step,
though it is dark.
I can harness your love.
I can use your light.
I can lean on your strength.
So, I can keep paddling into the wind;
If that is the direction
I must travel.
This poem was inspired by a story my mother tells of being on a canoe trip with my father. They were tired, and a storm had come up. As they paddled into the wind, my mother recalls my father telling her, "Just keep paddling."
My prayers have been answered in many ways. People have been there for me when I have been in need. I will hear a message in a book, a song, in a podcast, or from one of my courses. Perhaps today, I will be the answer to someone else's prayer.