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Come Stumble With Me

Jun 12, 2023
Reading time 3 min.

My surgery is 12 days away. In the last ten days, I have had four related hospital appointments and a lot of blood work to ensure I was up to a 3-hour procedure. The surgeon and the hospital wanted to make sure I knew what to expect both pre-and post-surgery. I felt seen and taken care of.

Since my initial diagnosis, I have experienced almost every emotion. I have been feeling the weight and messiness of being human. Sadness. Anger. Self-blame. Confusion. Doubt. I have been exploring my mortality and the loss those close to me would experience. On a very human level, I could also feel all the things I would miss. It's a long list. My nervous system seems to take on a life of its own, continuously cycling through those feelings and thoughts throughout the day. Last week, I had a day of feeling exhausted and was left with enough capacity to watch TV and snack.

In my last blog, I mentioned that as cancer patients go, I am fortunate. A three-to-four-hour surgery. Once and done. No Chemo. No radiation. Many others are not as fortunate. They face some arduous long treatments that often diminish their quality of life. Some must face their mortality. It is hard to stay in the present moment knowing what you will be confronting.

As much as I would like to deny these emotions, I find myself sitting in my discomfort, staying present in my feelings. I am giving space to this intense emotional storm so they can find a voice and a healed expression. Most importantly, facing this fluctuating wave of emotions, how do I reconnect to the Mystery that lives all things? How do I reconnect to the gift of my life, and how do I stay in the present moment? For me, these questions are foundational to my life.

Sure, I regularly meditate and pray. I have been doing that for most of my life. Right now, I need more than that. I find the touch and feel of human connection reaffirming and grounding. My life, in part, is validated by the people in the community I am part of. I am not alone in all this. I have the support of an amazing community of friends. I find validation for my life and the person I have become through the quality of the people I have as close, intimate, loving friends. These connections nourish my being and keep me grounded in my life. All of this increases my capacity for self-love and self-forgiveness. Part of my daily prayer includes acceptance for all that I was. All that I am and all that I am becoming. This affirmation is often enough to help me reconnect to the Divine.

I have often mentioned my relationship with my spiritual teacher. Although our visits have been infrequent lately, we stay in touch through text and emails. I have been sharing my situation with her. Last weekend I went on a 30-mile bike ride through several parks. Midway through the ride, I found her walking in one of the parks. There are many different rides I could have taken. I could have started the ride at any time. Only Grace and the Mystery of Life could have arranged our meeting so perfectly.

This unplanned encounter was very reaffirming. It reaffirmed that I am worthy of Grace and need to continually release myself into the present moment while embracing the Gift of my life. I ultimately have no control over the timing of how my life unfolds. I can only lean into my life and be present in what it brings me.

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life, I remain open to Grace and the gift of my life.

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