September 29, 2008
Last week as I was riding into work there was a segment on the radio advertising a Cancer Support group. One of the women being interviewed had been a member of the support group for 4 years and cancer-free all of those 4 years.
She made a comment that as ugly and painful and intrusive as cancer can be that part of it is minimal compared to the lesson of love and acceptance that she experienced. She confessed that without being debilitated by cancer, which lowered her resistance, she would never have been in a place where she could have accepted the gestures of love and caring not just offered by friends but thrust on her by genuinely loving friends....."I'm coming over right now and washing your hair for you!"
I could hear the emotions rising in her, I could hear her throat tightening as she fought back tears.
Arriving at work, I unlocked the doors and prepared the offices for the day's work. I am an office manager at a health care clinic. As I checked patients in and out throughout the day the radio-woman's statement was always in my awareness. I noticed how some of our really ill patients were driven, driven, driven people. Their need to get some antibiotices in them and get their busy-selves back to the action was their utmost goal:
"Take a day off and rest? How can I?"
"but if I'm not there the world will forget to revovle?"
"Nothing will get done if I am not there!"
Now I am sure that if this blog was a mirror you could see your reflection and just as many of you are denying the reflection.
When we stop taking care of ourselves, when we detach ourselves from the rest of humanity...except that it is our responsibility to take care of humanity because, "heaven forbid, others should take care of themselves" our bodies yell..."STOP".
If we don't listen to the little tickle in our throats or the fact that our shoulders have migrated to a tight little condo about an inch below our ears than what choice does the body have but to kick our feet out from under us?
As I contemplate that minute or two of the radio broadcast my mind keeps asking the question, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could learn the lesson of accepting love and compassion and support without getting cancer?"
Is there a way to open our hearts to being loved without first having to be a victim of something? If allowing others to love us and help us when we are on our knees or flat on our back can make such an impact can you imagine how empowering it could be to accept those wonderful acts of genuine caring while we are strong and on our feet!
Last winter my friend Ingrid and I gathered our wits, our memories, our wisdom and our talents, our wishes and desires and dreams....spread them out across the dining room table and gave birth to the Pomegranate Project, Women Empowering Women Around The World. Our dream, to help women develop their own talents and skills, to educate them about the real history of women, to help women network and share their knowledge and experiences with each other.
An off-shoot of the Pomegranate Project was a class, Wandering By The Dark Of The Moon ~ A Daring Adventure Into The Enigma Called Woman. We begin the class in February of 2008. Many women showed up to the first class, some come whenever they can, one or two we never saw again, but those that commited to the class and have been there every dark moon and every full moon have grown in ways I cannot even dare to describe.
I've seen some eyes hooded and dulled by life's experiences sparkle again, I've seen postures change..."was she really that tall last year?" Some of the women have reached major professional goals, major changes in life long relationships, recommitting to making the personal changes to make those relationships thrive.
We have become friends and sisters. We support each other, nurture each other, kick each other's tushies if necessary (lovingly, of course). We have really grown together, we have learned to love each other, not just as individuals but as women, strong, gentle, nurturing, brave, empowered. We have learned to respect each other, and best of all, we didn't need to get cancer to do it.
Maybe the cure for cancer and all those other invasive ugly dis-eases is opening ourselves up to the inherent love in the universe!
Ingrid, Jane, Lyn, Roxie, Roxy, Yolan, Marcy, Cindy, Liz, Peg, Akaysha, Marie, Leslee, and all you other "Dark Moonies" I love you!