As you may or may not know, I have a history of cancer (twice! and all clear for several years now), and I probably think about living fully, death, dying and such more than the average person. I got a pretty clear message the other day, and thought I had to share. I get annual MRIs to make sure all is good, and so far it has always been “All is good! Thank you, and see you next year!” THIS time, however, I got the call at 4:55pm on a Friday and a message was left on my machine: “Hi, Ana! Dr. not-being-aware-of-how-people-can-work-themselves-up-with-anxiety-over-a-few-words here. I am leaving the office now and won’t be back in until Tuesday, so try to call me then and we’ll get you those results.”
Now I have to wait 4 days????? Why didn’t he just say all was good? So, of course I can tell myself it is nothing…if it was urgent I would have gotten a call earlier. I listened to the message multiple times to catch subtleties in his tone. I had my close friends and partner listen to it as well. All said he sounded, in effect, jolly, and how could a doctor possibly sound jolly if something indeed was very, very wrong?
Well, if anyone can make up a story around that, a former cancer patient can! I thought “really? am i really going to have to do this AGAIN?” I blamed myself,
even making up a story like perhaps it was because I wasn’t living fully that I was being punished (being raised Catholic can be SUCH a pain around mindset sometimes!). I pictured all the things I wanted to do that might be put off if I had to deal with this, how sad I would be for a little while, then how warrior-like I’d be taking it all on, wondering which of my friends would show up for me, who would this filter out, would I be able to drop a day of work, what would I have done if I was self-employed and didn’t have health insurance, what might this cost to explore and possibly have to fix. That’s a lot of worry and drama. Such is the case when we aren’t in the present (notice how all that stuff wasn’t actually happening!). Wow, I was really going for it, working myself up like that! Or so I thought.
I then went off to a coaching course in San Francisco, and after the first day I somehow ended up putting myself into the loving hands of one of our powerful instructors that weekend, Sabina. To make a long, dramatic, and powerful story short (I know…those are supposed to be the long ones…) THIS was really going for it. She ended up helping me to allow my full range of feelings to manifest and I admitted I was afraid of dying (DUH! But say it: It is weird to say), that I wasn’t ready, that there were times in my life where I actually felt that it would be OK if I died at that moment and THIS wasn’t one of them. I realized that what I feared was not so much death itself, but the fact that I haven’t been living fully. There were things I was putting off, fears that I
allowed to hold me back…only hold me back 10-15%, but still, holding me back! This call wasn’t me getting punished, this was a WAKE UP call because I had let my lessons from my previous experiences drift away from my focus lately. And I was not going to let that happen anymore. I actually hadn’t realized that I had drifted off from my mission of living full-on because relative to many, it appears I am living full-on and I can convince myself of that too when I compare myself to others. But, only I know when that is true, and it wasn’t really true right now! I made the mindset shift, and my coach held me be accountable to live full-on DAILY for the next 21 days. Here I am doing it, and it feels fantastic. I am myself again!
I am writing this so that you don’t have to get the big slap in the face of the big C before you force yourself to look at your life and who you are being. Allow me to have done that for you, and heed the call. So, what have you been putting off doing, or saying? Do it! What grudge have you been holding? Let it GO! Most importantly, who have you been putting off BEING? Be it now!
Knock knock. Who’s there? I am the tick tock of death’s clock here to tell you to WAKE UP NOW!
Damn, that’s heavy. Damn straight it IS!