My story lies deep in my body’s memory,
Protected by layers of fat.
Bits of it surge to the forefront, unexpectantly giving me glimpses of my long-lost self,
And the all-knowing one, who longs to embrace, bless and heal all of me
My story can’t be figured out.
It speaks to me in its own time, and on its own terms
As I stay connected to my feeling
My body reveals clues and chapters.
When I was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, I realized needed to slow down and nurture my body. To redirect my energy, to leisure over work. To figure out why I am so impatient so I could relax. I was no longer willing to violate my body by eating to fill emptiness. I needed to face feelings I had tried to push down with food before. I literally needed to get things “off my chest!”
What it all comes down to is I finally stopped to listen to the wake-up calls I had ignored before and come to my senses in all areas of my life so I could stay there. This is what cancer did for me- it woke me up. I know now that if I forget what can happen and go back to my old ways, I could get cancer again. I am unwilling to do that. In the face of death, I found the strength to forgive myself for violating my body and for being mindless. I found deep energy, deep breathing and meditation to give me the strength, stretching and stillness I needed to heal.
Bernie Siegel says that right down to the cellular level, our bodies know what we are to become. The body is a channel to the soul. Rather than using the illness to beat ourselves up, or set off on a crusade to figure out why bad things happen to good people, we can use the illness to get our attention.
My body has a deep desire to live. It has an incredible tolerance for damage and destruction. I believe that we live as long as our soul needs our bodies. We live as long as we do because of the care we give to our bodies. The care we give to our bodies determines the quality of life we will have, but not the length of life.
Getting ill also woke me up to my body and made me pay attention to it. Siegel (1986) writes “Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires- disruptions in our lives that seem to be disastrous at the time but end by re-directing our lives in a meaningful way.” I could no longer view my body as a machine to be driven and manipulated. Now I needed to see it as my companion who needed to be loved and listened to. A sanctuary to be worshipped.
Harboring toxic emotions and suppressing feelings affects one’s body. Holding trauma in the body’s tissues causes toxins to build up which can lead to disease. I started asking my body what it needed to tell me.
Thavin & Marcob is a place where you are celebrated for being you!