Tomorrow morning, the father to my children, thus one of the most important people in my life, goes in for his third brain biopsy. Nine years ago, he fought a courageous and powerful battle against brain cancer. We were given a reprieve. Sadly, invisible forces seem to have been working to allow in unwanted cells and transform them against the power of chemo.
Thirty-four years ago, when I was in my 20s, the age of my sons now, I lost my dearly loved father to the demon of alcoholism. Like a bad horror film, those memories of his last few months (my last few months of college), have started playing over and over in my head.
Those months in 1985 deeply impacted me because the world and structure I knew, the love I counted on, went haywire. I didn’t know what or who to hold on to. So, I began running. I began overfilling moments of every day. And while I’m grateful for the many good things that happened, I see now how they occurred not because of my busyness but perhaps in spite of it.
We can’t outrun death. We can’t outrun pain, sadness, anger, judgment or grief. They quietly rest on our backs, going right along with us. The faster we run or fill our plates or try to distract ourselves, the tighter they hang on.
Here’s what I am learning: healing begins when we slow down and turn and face those difficult emotions. We can observe them and ask them what they are trying to tell us. We are so much stronger than our fragile egos or self-images might have us believe. Our hearts are powerful. When we slow down, consciously breathe and observe our feelings, we also begin to build internal trust that we are enough, and we open up to forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of others for whatever wasn’t as we wished. We become more whole. We begin to heal.
My daily conscious commitment to slowing down, mindfully breathing and asking my deeper self for honesty and support makes me feel like I’m not gripping as much, not tensing my defenses against a perceived assault. I’m literally breathing myself up the ladder of energy, out of the constrictions of fear and sadness up to the expansiveness of love and creativity. I visualize myself not just breathing up this energetic ladder for me, but also for my five children and most of all for their father as he goes into surgery.
We all have fears. We all care about someone who may be going through a challenging time. Today, take a few minutes to breathe out fear and breathe in creativity, expansiveness, breathe in to the most positive and powerful energy we hold: LOVE. Feel and observe your shift, your slowing down, your expanded awareness and the new possibilities that come with this. Take a minute to write down any reflections and another moment to write down something or someone to whom you’re grateful.
These days I find myself doing this conscious breathing up into love several times each day. It helps me focus and show up in a thoughtful way. It keeps me grounded.