I am not very interested in cancer.
I guess you could think it is easy for me to say that when I experience very little discomfort or unwellness in my body from the cancer. Am I just fortunate, or is it because I don’t invest cancer with any great significance? I am constantly told by health professionals I come into contact with that my appearance and wellness does not match my clinical notes. Is it luck, or can my mind and spirit really affect my body so much that it can also carry the cancer lightly?
I don’t know the answer. No-one knows for sure, but I can tell you this with complete confidence – cancer is nothing to my soul/spirit/higher self except an opportunity to learn and grow. Once I was able to bring my mind into alignment with that attitude, I believe my body followed suit.
I think we approach life backwards, and make things so much harder for ourselves than they need to be. We create unnecessary suffering because we start with the physical first and often go no further. This is perfectly understandable given we live in a physical world that seems like the only reality. Mind and spirit seem like abstraction and ethereal. But because of this, we leave the real power of creation and life untouched. It is like filling a bath a thimbleful of water at a time when we have a bucket (the mind) and taps attached to the water mains (the spirit) at our disposal.
The thimble requires a lot of effort to fill the bath, but it gets there in the end after a lot of extra effort. The bucket is more effective, but when you turn the taps on and the water just flows …… that is effortless. And this I believe is what it is like when you bring your mind, body and spirit into alignment – life just flows…. effortlessly.
What’s not to love about that?
This physical world is a delight. It is a playground for children and adults alike. We forget this. We come here and inhabit a body that enables us to play. We can touch, taste, smell, hear and see the world around us. We can create things and make things. There is so much to play with, so much potential to create, so much beauty. So much joy and love just waiting to be unearthed.
We have complete freedom of choice
But when we get here, we forget what we are.
And we forget to keep playing as we physically grow.
Instead, we believe we are a body, then a mind and lastly, if we ever get that far, a spirit.
It is in the wrong order.
Can you see why this is a problem?
Because the body is of the earth. It is a physical organism that is subject to the laws of nature. It must die. It is subject to illness and pain and annihilation. It is vulnerable.
The mind is a “body” on the mental plane of existence that is attached to the physical body. The physical body is its home. Without the physical body, the mind dies also, therefore it is very attached to the physical body remaining alive. This also makes it vulnerable…. and afraid. For itself and the body.
So here we have two aspects of our-self that are vulnerable, and one of them is also afraid. And because the mind is attached to the body, we feel the fear in the body as physical sensations, and that makes the fear seem real. Because of its deep existential fears, the mind is very alert to anything that threatens both its’ and the body’s survival. The un-managed mind is based in fear at a very deep level and is constantly on the lookout for attack..
Fear is not conducive to play.
We can look at young children who feel loved and safe in their environment before the collective human fear becomes programmed into their sub-conscious mind.
They are trusting, spontaneous, open, inquisitive, creative and exploring.
Most of us lose these attributes as we grow from young children into adults. Or at least they become much more subdued and subterranean. We absorb the collective human fear of not being enough, of being unworthy, unloveable and vulnerable, and quickly learn to shut our natural openness down in an attempt to keep ourselves safe.
We learn to play it safe.
We loose our sense of awe and wonder trying to be cool and sophisticated and create a persona (a mask) we present to the world in an attempt to appear strong. We forget that the physical world is a playground (sometimes we are even taught it is a battleground), because we are only operating on the level of body and mind, and from those levels, the world and our physical life look like something to be taken very seriously indeed. Particularly if you believe you are your mind and body and that these are finite and the only ones you get. To add insult to injury, most of us live in a culture where the physical rewards of life are much more highly regarded than the mental or spiritual. This is very obviously the case, when we see the majority of the population are willing to endure physical and mental discomfort and even suffering in the pursuit of material gain. Often thinking they have no choice.
There is the other aspect of our-self that is often overlooked.
Our spirit /soul/ higher self.
This aspect, if acknowledged at all, has often been subverted (its power and authority undermined) by religious dogma within the very institutions intended to support it. Religion has managed to give Spirit a bad name by attaching a multitude of rules and conditions to God’s love. In my experience all this does is limit the individuals capacity to fully live and therefore grow. Spirit is not separate from life. Spirit is life.
David Tacey in his book “The Spirituality Revolution” says “I appear to some people to be optimistic, given my conviction that we exist in a living connection with a spiritual reality, whether or not we notice it”. This is my conviction also. I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and as such, are always in a living connection with a spiritual reality. Whether we notice it or not is another matter.
Real power lies in noticing it.
Our spirit is fearless and free. It knows it is unconditionally loved and is always safe. It has no fear of annihilation because it is eternal.
I know myself now as eternal spirit, having a mind and body for the purpose of living life on earth. This means that the order of importance for me is now reversed. Matters of spirit are most important, mind second, body last. This is not to say that I don’t look after my body – I do, because I value its worth as a vehicle for experiencing life on earth, but because I don’t identify with it as “me”, the fear around its survival has gone. I love life, I enjoy life, but I see this physical life as a tiny dot in forever. I have consciously chosen to bring my mind into alignment with my spirit by choosing beliefs that inspire and uplift me. Beliefs that enable the “fruits of the spirit” mentioned in the Christian Bible “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” to arise more and more. The only thing preventing us living out “the fruits of the Spirit” all of the time is our fear, and our focus on our physical reality.
Our spirit is always connected to Spirit/God Creator/Life, whatever your preferred name. Engaging with our spirit is embarking on a path that takes us out of fear and into love, because Spirit is love. It takes us from closed, fearful, anxious and stressed, back into trusting, open, spontaneous, creative, inquisitive and exploring. Life becomes happy and fun. We are no longer concerned by problems which are only temporary, but which when we are operating only out of mind and body, seem so all-consuming and important. We begin to conceive a bigger picture that is not primarily physically based, but spiritually based and impervious to time and destruction. We feel safe. And life begins to seem effortless. Everything seems to be working to benefit us because that is what we believe and that becomes our reality.
I didn’t consciously choose cancer. It appeared to choose me. I don’t believe in random meaningless events, so I believe cancer was always going to be a part of my life. What was my choice however, was how I was going to experience it.
Resist it or embrace it. Fear it or love it.
It was my choice.
I chose to embrace it and learn to love it. I do not regret this, it has been one of my greatest teachers. As my daughter-in-law said to me recently – cancer changed my life for the better. It was my impetus to push through fear and seek peace and joy.
Real, lasting peace and joy.
And the story hasn’t ended yet.