What does it mean to be healed?
As many of you know, I recently had a CT scan and received some very good news. While I was happy about the result, what was more significant to me was my state of being going into the scan and the subsequent appointment with Dr. Chue. In the past I would have been anxious, hoping for the best, dreading the worst, trying to set good intentions to influence the results, worrying that my worry was working against my best intentions. This time it was different.
While Wes and I were driving to the appointment he asked me how I was doing. I said, “Good!” and I meant it. I could have been going to the market was my indifference to the occasion. It was a far different car ride than my previous rides which included my “baggage,” mostly filled with anxiety, because of the power I gave to a scan in determining my well-being. I checked in for my appointment and was given the barium sulfide to drink. After a few sips I thought, “I’m going to have to remember mocha next time. It’s not too bad tasting,” which was a far different culinary experience than two years ago when I wanted to vomit with every gulp. When the technician sat me on the table I looked at the donut (CT engine) and thought, “You really can’t hurt me,” referring to the radiation I would receive, which was a far different judgement from my usual resentment at receiving more radiation to get a snapshot of my insides. What changed?
There existed within me a belief that I could always affect change if I worked hard enough uncovering the root causes of a situation. If things weren’t changing then there must be another root cause, my reasoning said, and I would keep looking. It worked so well over the years I never had to consider what belief I might have about myself if the change I wanted to see wasn’t happening.
Then, in 2009, I got cancer. For eight years I explored my external and internal landscapes uncovering root causes, remedies, and recipes hoping that the current one would be the magic bullet healing me of cancer. The vigilance, discipline, and emotional highs and lows over those eight years took a toll on my body; It was always in a revved up state. I can only see that now, in hindsight. At the time it was my normal. If I were a fish, that state was my water. (The fish and water analogy comes from a David Foster Wallace commencement speech)
When my cancer marker went up in May, I sat down again to explore my internal landscape because the emotions I was feeling were needing some attention. Something had begun to shift already; I could feel it. Being angry had replaced being worried, and quite frankly, I was tired of thinking there must be more to be revealed that I needed to figure out.
“Enough,” I thought. “I AM enough as I AM now.”
My mind was having none of that. It had a need to want to dig deeper to uncover something to be healed that might have an impact on my cancer marker.
A more loving part of me said, “No, I AM enough as I AM now. I love you.”
But this controlling kind of energy kept pulling at me to keep digging.
“What is this about?” I wondered! I could see its fear and the urgency it had to want to keep looking. I waited, watched, and it finally became clear. What emerged was a long held belief I had been diligently trying to avoid with my relentless hard work uncovering root causes. “If I still have an issue that isn’t changing, in this case, cancer, then there must be more for me to figure out. And if I can’t figure it out then there must be something wrong with me.” - like a fatal flaw, like I don’t deserve to be here, like I’m defective to my core. I saw that belief for what it was and felt a tremendous amount of compassion. Frantic, child-like, afraid, determined, because it felt like life/love was conditional and unless it could prove its worth it didn’t belong. Over and over I hugged that belief with three others lovingly spoken from the very core of my being:
“I AM enough as I AM now”… “I love you”…”I AM healed. “The child-like belief would try and wiggle out and I would would keep repeating, “I AM enough as I AM now”… “I love you”…”I AM healed. “ until it calmed altogether. All that remained was a quiet peacefulness.
The experience left me contemplating a few things:
1. I thought about my dad who had an unwavering need to be right and wondered if he too couldn’t fathom a world where he would be allowed to exist if he were ever wrong. In lieu of feeling loved, did he choose to be right instead? And then I thought about the human condition - do we each have a strong need to be a certain way - the smart one, the funny one, the good one, because we somehow got the message that we weren’t lovable as we were? We had to earn it?
2. I thought about our culture which focuses so much on physical healing and yet are we healed? In 2011, I expected to feel relief after my lumpectomy making me cancer free at the time, and yet the worry that had always existed within me found a new focus - will it come back? Physical healing can give us more time to live, but they have yet to figure out a cure for dying.There is more to us than these bodies, and healing the baggage we carry makes the time we have here a richer experience.
3. I thought about how different I felt. With the part of me who believed I had to earn my right to exist now quieted, my body was feeling relaxed, at a cellular level, for the first time. The difference is palpable. Periodically, the habitual echo of that belief will be heard as it wonders if even this realization will be what heals me of cancer . I just say, “Let cancer go, I AM enough as I AM; I AM healed.” And my body relaxes.
4. I thought about all of this from a more spiritual perspective. At the level of who we really are, eternal and connected to Source - I have always been enough as I AM now, always loved, and I’ve always been healed. Always. My physical existence has come and will go one day, but me, the one who occupies this body, the one who resonates more and more with my eternal nature…has always been enough, always loved, and always healed. It can be no other.
Which brings me all the way back to my original question. What does it really mean to be healed? The answer to that is probably different for everyone, but for me, I found my answers. I AM healed.