I stood in the forest clearing and screamed into battle. Gripping my invisible Samurai sword I slashed viciously with tears blinding my swollen eyes. The primordial, shrilling, shriek awakened the beast that lay dormant inside.
That morning, I faltered. I did what I had consciously avoided the previous times I had the bout with my eyes. In Google’s search engine I wrote- Breast Cancer/ Eyes. My heart seized as pages linked to Ocular Metastasis. It was as if I stood in the middle of a frozen lake- terrified by the sound of ice snapping. The resounding chorus of cracking threatened the very structure of what held me up. My entire approach to healing came apart at the seams.
My 5th round with Rocky Balboa Eyes was by far the worst. I called them so, because I looked like I got my face pummeled by the Champ himself. My practice of loving myself was confronted by the grotesque face that looked back at me in the mirror. I felt defeated, exhausted, and utterly lost.
I had relentlessly dedicated myself to a deeper human experience- trusting that by doing so, I would ultimately heal. I had rigorously detoxed, renounced pleasures, fueled my body solely on live foods, resolutely practiced my healing protocols, and held fast to my spiritual rituals.
I accepted my circumstance and believed in the higher purpose of the challenges I faced. I gave way for my true self to crawl out of the shell of the old predictable self. Yet, 6 months later…I still had my lump and had potentially made my condition worse. I felt like a fool.
The beast that had leapt out of me was Anger. I didn’t even know I harbored such a gastly thing until it exploded out. The compulsion to “take the high road” was usually an automatic response. In the past, the impulse to overcome anger and convert it to something useful had been ingrained. Anger is not productive, it’s ugly- it doesn’t solve anything- it’s just a waste of energy…
My rage emerged like the Incredible Hulk. I felt robbed of my life. Everything I had endured and deprived myself of was a joke. Accepting failure after trying so hard made me livid! I wanted to freak out, go on a drinking binge, drown myself in Ecstacy- escape reality, bathe in debauchery and rebel against the unfairness of life. Is there no meaning to anything? Did I seriously just get a shitty break and this is it? Should I have submitted to being butchered? “Fuck You Universe!” that was where I was at!
Bending over, I pressed my hands into my thighs while catching my breath. Heaving from my outburst, I felt it slip away. The crazed beast subsided and in its place was emptiness. The lesson from Anger was yet another example of what was left unfelt. There is no wasted emotion- all feelings collaborate in making us human.
In “When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress”: Gabor Mate- MD and author, reveals the common thread between chronic disease and stress. Working in palliative care, he found that there is a physiological link between the body’s systems and our coping mechanism to manage negative emotions. Life experiences from an early age condition us to suppress what we feel or to override it in order to function. By doing so, there is a ripple effect causing a biological consequence. Maintaining my composure throughout my life may have been the root cause of my undoing…
I was due to leave for Vipassana the following week. I laughed at the absurdity of voluntarily choosing to sit with myself in silence for 10 days...especially at such a time. Pandora’s box had been opened…
LESSON: FEEL WHAT IS LEFT UNFELT