Lately, I feel like a spiritual, meditation teacher chock-full of contradictions. I have had to let go of so much after having this life-threatening infection and being away (but still close) to these two brain surgeries... now nine months in the past.
I say one thing, but then I communicate another comment that is broader and potentially completely different. It all can seem to carry such incongruity. Or, it can suggest, which in all probability would be likely for me, brain damage (smile).
Timefully, one of my students emailed me a hurt-my-gut-fun-but-truthful writing from Oprah SuperSoul 100 member, Danielle LaPorte, about the challenging paradoxes of spirituality. It gave me that extra push or solidity I needed to formidably move ahead. So, here’s what I am talking about in my own words, and what I know now (which may change in the blink of an eyeball, so I better write this quickly)!
First, nothing is black and white. I mean nothing. If you think that anything is solid or you hold strictly to your beliefs, then hold onto your hat. Everything is in constant change, especially now. The universe or heaven goes through constant upgrades (good word, huh?). God changes and expands (this is a biggie!). If you think you know one spiritual “truth” it could alter, so be open and flexible. Be ready if everything needs to change. Can you hold onto your soul and be that flexible?
Second, as soon as you think you have a grasp on spiritual concepts, the door opens to a ton of more questions. Do you think you have a handle on God – on the universe? For most of you, including myself, I say, “Hell, no!” I have expanded, yes indeed, and it means that nothing is concrete, but I have to have a strong base... as long as I am bendable. What a dippy, long sentence, right?
To further clarify, I move forward but hold my past, very lightly. I seek peace within myself as my number one priority knowing that I can’t change other people, but my peace can have an amazing, calming affect on those around me and those a far. I no longer worry about “being” an out-spoken leader and the societal beliefs that come with that... or that I had. I am content now to be somewhat quiet (even though several of my friends/students and probably my husband, would laugh at me calling myself “quiet”). I continue to be out there rockin’ what I can, but I now do it in a way that really works with me, authentically. I am no longer tireless in my endeavors which just made me tired. I do less; I am more effective.
Third and lastly, I don’t matter... nor do you, but we matter significantly. During this infection, I almost died twice. On one of these occurrences, I was extremely aware of what was going on. I was in the intensive care unit, just had my first brain surgery (where the diagnosis was still stage 4 lung cancer which turned out to be an infection), the door to my room was open, I could barely talk and the hospital was freakin’ cuckoo – crazier than it had been the whole time I was there (which was about five weeks). There were people screaming, throwing up... there was intense pain, ghastly coughing, hardy har har laughing, loud talking. Oh wow, the whole gamut!! A part of me just wanted to go. To be a glorious spirit and be humanly away from it all. It was like staring at all of life in its beauty and horror... staring at it directly in the face, and I couldn’t move or ask it to stop!
After much uneasy contemplation and listening inwardly and outwardly, I decided I wanted to be part of it, but... it would be so easy to leave and now would be a perfect time/reason. I knew my husband and kids would be ok. It would be hard, but they would move on. I have taught my kids that from day one... my love is endless; my body is not. I knew that survival and life would now be different for me. I knew I needed it. I knew that to go on, I would have to do it differently – not just physically but spiritually.
A nurse finally came in, and I put enough words together for her to call my husband and close the door (rightly so, I was ok being alone at the hospital at night by myself until that night.) I had decided in my head, after all of this, that I would wake up content and ready to eat. Having an appetite meant having an appetite for life. That was it. I had a choice in this matter. That everyone including other friends/family/students would be ok if I passed. Parts of it wouldn’t be “fun,” but it would be ok. Now that I am here I feel more detached but more grounded than ever. I know that I make a difference but everything would be fine, as well, if I wasn’t here.
So, I am responsible for me. I have children that I am “responsible” for... but not their thoughts – the same with my students. I can help mold and guide them, but how they go out into the world is essentially up to them. “Letting go” is the quintessential statement, but I do it now with more care and awareness. Things are easier but harder. I think more but think less. These crazy contradictions continue, and I imagine they will only grow. I am ready.