It's September 2010 and I am feeling pretty damn happy with my lot in life. I am in the throws of a blossoming relationship. My career is at an all time high. I am living in a house I have proudly managed to buy myself in the fairly prestigous (expensive) Sydney suburb I grew up in. After discovering a passion for running I've taken up a new challenge and am training for my first triathlon. Those around me are proclaiming, wow you are so happy right now!
I did not know it then, but my life was about to get turned upside down. Within 24 hours I was a breast cancer patient. A year later a 'survivor'. Another 18 months on living on the other side of the world in NYC with my breast cancer sister & bestie Nicole. Less than 2 more and she is devestatingly gone. High highs, low lows and lots of opportunity to completely loose my shit along the way.
Fear. Anxiety. Worry. That feeling right in the pit of your stomach when your brain has become lost to a case of the what ifs. The swirl. The complete crippling. I have been there. And back there time and time again.
To cope, I practiced (and practiced) shutting down those tiny mad ideas in my brain. My voice of reason strengthened in the belief that worry never serves me. I can't know what lies ahead. I can only deal with the present moment. I wholeheartely believe this to be the case. Especially when it comes to my health, I have become very adept at accepting I can only do so much, then I have to trust that I can handle whatever comes my way.
Last weekend I attended the Spirit Junkie Master class, which is based on the metaphysical text, A Course in Miracles. According to the text, miracles occur when we learn to release fear and instead return to love. This makes so much sense to me as it is how I have innately learned to cope these past years.
But while I have learned how to manage my fears on health matters, the universe has demonstrated divinely over the past couple of weeks that I am very much a work in progress in other regards.
Not long before last weekend I started dating the first guy I've developed any real feelings for since that fateful September I spoke of above. And I've discovered that while I've made some big strides on releasing health related fear. When it comes to relationships, I'm a total novice. In fact my breast cancer warrior armour has served me so well it's pretty much protected me and my heart from romantic love.
Until now. Perfectly timed with my Spirit Junkie Masterclass weekend, my heart began to crack open a little on the relationship front. Familiar old fears resurfaced. You know the ones - does he feel like I do? am I going to get hurt? should I even do this? As I went through the weekend and beyond I've had plenty of material to work with. Ultimately I learned I have not mastered fear quite as much as I had hoped!
So why is it that we can be so damn strong and resilient in one aspect of life only to become unstuck elsewhere? Ummmmm perhaps because we are human?! Never perfect, always learning and never in full control.
I have realized that it's the control part for me that comes to the forefront when dating. While I know I can't control cancer I want to control my relationships. But guess what, I cant. We can't. We must trust that we will be guided to those that help us learn and grow. That all what we can do is the inside job of loving ourselves, and being authentically us. And that whatever happens we are exactly where we need to be. Learning, living and loving.
I spoke to my very wise friend Selina on the phone yesterday and I said I was feeling vulnerable. She said don't see vulnerability as a weakness. It's a strength, because showing we are vulnerable allows others to do the same. The truth is, we are ALL vulnerable. She is so very right. And that's what inspired me to write this post.
I am learning. I don't know how far this new man thing will progress. And while I care, on another level I know the more important thing is that I'm getting the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with myself. That's the part I am behind the steering wheel on. And that's the most important relationship any of us will ever have. While I do it, I'm also having a whole lot of fun. I'm back on the love and happiness road. Good stuff alright!
nb the picture above is of Gabby Bernstein and her teacher Rha Goddess on the stage being freaking awesome last weekend