You might know her, the hero of my story. My world is small. I’ve been struggling with how to tell this story for maybe a week now because it seemed important and was to me, yet, it had her name all through it. Then one day it comes to you, you tell the story as if in a novel and talking about a character in it, you tell her story as best you can. This story is not only about her; it’s about all of us and how we live our lives. I hope it touches some place inside of you.
What do you do when you are moved by somebody but it would be an invasion of their privacy to mention their name? Yet, how do I tell her story because she is at the center of this and more than anything I want to tell it. Years ago I met her, we met through what I was doing. After, perhaps, a year of getting to know each other, I, along with others, were invited to her home to cook and enjoy a dinner together. There was an enlarged picture of her hanging on a wall of her wedding day. The only thing was, she was completely bald, just her, with a friend or family member applying her makeup for her big day. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I fell in love with that image.
Now, some years later, the disease has come back and she must go through it all over again. Everyone counselled her, have the mastectomy done and be free of the cancerous cells. There was a date to enter the hospital and, at the last minute, she decided not to go.
She is different. She’s an artist, a dancer and a dedicated student of yoga. She is also an incredible yoga teacher creating an overall experience that lifts her students up to new awareness. She deserves my respect.
I am moved by her story because I don’t know if I would have her courage or her same mental fortitude. I don’t think there is any doubt in my mind that I would have said, “have the operation.” Yet, how infrequent is it that we are so committed to something, willing to risk it all for what we believe in and what we know we must do. She has to heal herself and, now, I have no doubt that she will.
We miss the opportunity to really see what is going on in our lives; to address as this woman is the past relationships, all of them, that have left an imprint on us over the years. I know she is looking at everything she can remember and then finding more answers through her dreams and her meditation. Whether or not all of these hidden emotions have a bearing on our current state of health or not, is cause for debate and a deeper understanding. I can’t say for sure, I don’t think anyone can, yet, there is something to how each of us has lived their lives.
These are the mountains we must all climb to find the answers that have been plaguing our soul. Is it very different from the deserts we’ve traversed, the years of wandering or the mountains we made holy because we went looking for answers? Man went looking for answers to what he was feeling and the challenges he was faced with, and ended up talking with himself. Because whether you believe that in those instances someone was talking to God the Creator or not, the person spoke with such fervor to himself that he ended up hearing something deep inside of himself that finally resonated and made sense to him.
Is healing oneself then really just the process of talking to yourself? Talk to yourself then! Tell yourself what it is that you want and must have. Tell yourself, no, convince yourself, that you are willing to forgive yourself and others. Realize that it was human to suffer but that now you are beyond your sufferings. See yourself bathed in another light, a light that radiates from your soul and shines differently and gives off a different glow. You, like everyone else who inhabits this planet and who has participated in this miracle called life, deserves to be free.
Thinking about healing, we make it so difficult for our children who come after us. Instead of helping them find their own worth as adults, we load upon them our comments, opinions and prejudices. We might say, my son doesn’t carry the same responsibility as I did at his age and is doing less with his life. We might say about a daughter that she’s not as beautiful as her mother was, or that she shouldn’t get married because it didn’t work out for the parents. We condition their lives and project our failures on them. Instead of helping to build up their self-esteem, we tear it down and add one more obstacle for them to overcome in life. The law of parenthood – in thought, words and action – is to tell your children that you will always be there for them supporting and guiding them.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
We all must arrive at this understanding of the joyful possibility of being a father or a mother even if our children don’t rise up from our own blood. It is about sending your children on their way forward on this journey called life. Think about it, their happiness depends, in large measure, on the foundation you have built for them to stand on. The history they will repeat with their children will most likely be the memory of what they saw in you.
We are not bound to the legacy of our parents yet the impact is great and, as most of us know, requires a compassionate look at the past and a resolved look towards the future. We know it isn’t easy. The thought of being caught in this spider’s web of consciousness where we pass on to the next generation the same lack of knowing and, which most likely had its roots long before us, is self-defeating at best. It is an unending cycle, which is difficult to break free from, yet, there is only one message to hear: Be Strong!
I am grateful for this lovely woman, for her strength and for what she is teaching me. My passions are deep, there is much I believe in, yet, I think hers might even be deeper. Somewhere in her soul there is a voice as if it were a prophet’s and I’m not trying to glorify her but just to say it is incredibly fervent and strong. It is a voice that we probably all long to hear because it tells us of what is possible to achieve. We can become whole as human beings. The power to heal ourselves is our gift – it was given to us, but we have to understand that. There are mountains to climb and they are there to show us that we can. Heal my love!