I remember waking up to what felt like my heart beating out of my chest. And after a week of acting strange, being distant and feeling disconnected with myself, I finally realized why. That realization took me by surprise. Because, well, I have been doing so well. But after admitting to myself that the very thought of going back into that MRI machine was a source of vulnerability, it all started to make sense. As I laid still with an IV in my arm, a cage over my face, and ear plugs in place, my mind went back to that day on August 26, 2016. And although I only tear from one eye since surgery, I felt as though the machine was soaked as my worry started to kick in.
I watched the MRI techs closely through the little mirror they provide. And with every facial expression they made, every time they looked at one another and anytime they picked up the phone, I couldn’t help but assume that something was going wrong. But I have come so far? I no longer know the anxious person this tumour turned me into? And it was then that I realized that it’s not over – even though I have been acting like it is.
Because I want this to be over. I want this to be solely part of my past. But why is it that these exams, appointments and phone calls saying your results have come in, heighten these feelings that I felt before? Why is it that the intense work I have done through introspection to overcome crumbled so quickly at the face of fear once again?
Oftentimes, we look to the past because it is less devastating than the present moment. But for me, it’s the opposite. Everything is different, everything is new. In fact, I look in the mirror and may look the same, but I am not the same. I look around and my home is different, my city is different, I have many new people entering my life. So why is it that a single moment in time can flash me right back into a cold, dark place even though i’m not that person anymore? Do I fear moving forward? Or, do I fear the past repeating itself?
I had a conversation with a friend the other day that really stood out in my mind. I was telling her of all the things that I have learned over this year of adversity and how I see this wisdom as a gift. She reminded me of something so simple, something I rarely give myself credit for. The simple reminder that the reason I see these events as a gift was because I made the clear decision to do so. That it was a choice to grow – rather than to stay in the past.
The past that I had no control over. The past that was filled with fear, sorrow, depression and a constant state of anxiety. And by making the choice to let go of the pain to begin the healing process, I learned many things along the way. Like the fact that sometimes it has to get harder before it gets better. And that sometimes it’s not the decisions we have to make, but the indecision about them that haunts us. And that even though it feels like it’s the big picture in life that matters, it’s actually not. It’s the small moments that shape us, guide our path, and bring us joy so long as we chose see it that way.
Like the moment I decided to leave town for a week because I couldn’t bare my reality at home. And the moment I met someone on that trip who has proceeded to help me heal deep wounds through the work that she does. Or the moment I said yes to a meditation class that led me to like-minded souls who have since become my friends. Or, the fact that I voiced my desire to write a book to the right person, at the right time – who happened to know of a workshop for such the very next week.
Moments like these ones are what life is all about. When we say yes to healing and growing, magical things start to happen. Like how I said hello to a stranger at the pool only to learn that we coincidently share the same creative vision. And that by simply saying hi, we have both made room in our lives for a business we plan to create that will positively impact the lives of many.
So today, I chose to see this time of uncertainty in a different way. I recognize that the moments that I am brought back to the past are simply just to remind me of how far i’ve come. They are there to bring me back to a temporary place of vulnerability so that I can relate to others with utmost compassion. They are reminding me to have trust, not only in the health care professionals, but in the divine guidance I have been receiving all along – even when my struggle made me question that.
Whether my tumour has started to grow back or not, I will be okay. And not because I know what’s going to happen or that I can predict the future, but I know that I am not alone. I know that at one point my greatest challenges were centered around losing my hearing and balance. But today, I understand I had to lose my balance to learn how to live a more balanced life. And, I had to lose my hearing to learn how to listen to the voice within. I know for certain that the nudges i’ve received all along, including the one to start this blog, have been from my soul, calling me to my purpose and have shaped me into someone beautifully new.
I sit here today happy, healthy and overwhelmed with a sense of ease. Because i’ve realized that the very struggle I thought caused me to lose my way, happened to be the very thing I needed to find it. And what beautiful gifts I have received – the realization that the past does serve meaning. And when I go back to that place of anxiety that I once felt, I am reminded of my strength and how I made the right choice when I decided to save myself.
The past. A robber of the present moment and a simple reminder of your inner strength.
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