One of the most powerful healing tools on the planet today is prayer. It can have a profound effect on us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Prayer can decrease feelings of powerlessness which you may be experiencing if you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer. Or perhaps, you are weary and fatigued from treatments, tests, or your day to day life living with cancer.
The act of praying-of doing something transforms us from passive to active. From acceptance to engagement. I hear so many people say, “I have no control over my situation so I’ll just do as I’m told.”
Let me say, there is soooo much “YOU” the person dealing with this disease can be doing to help yourself heal. And prayer is a phenomenal gift to yourself.
Prayer can center you, calm your fears and quiet your mind, which is huge, as your thoughts may be all over the place right now. Prayer can be an enormous source of comfort and actually be quite uplifting and encouraging. It can bring a feeling of HOPE, a ray of light to the darkest of storms.
When I was in that abyss of darkness, where I felt afraid, alone and abandoned, I began to pray. I prayed to a higher power, to God, to source, Buddha, Krishna, deceased relatives, to nothing at all. I just spoke some words that came from my heart, from that place of truth where nothing is hidden. The blessing in all of this, is you can do whatever you want. There’s no rules. Pray in whatever way works for you. Let it resonate within and trust that all is well.
It can be a religious prayer if you choose. But it certainly doesn’t have to be, for prayer is simply a way to communicate what we need to get off our chests in order to feel better. I think of it as a release. I’m giving my worries over to something bigger than myself. Something or someone who can handle all my burdens and concerns. Let me say that I felt so much calmer after my initial experience. Feelings of isolation and anxiety dissipated and love and tranquility took its place. I humbly accepted prayer into my life at a time when I needed it the most.
Family members and friends told me that they were praying for me. Words cannot express my gratitude to all of them as I indeed felt this energy. It helped raise me up when I was down and out, and gave me hope to move through this thing called cancer. It was as if an angel came to sit on my shoulder and nourish my spirit. Love and peace filled my heart and soul. It has actually been one of the greatest gifts on this cancer journey of mine. The gift of prayer.
So you have two choices. You can worry or you can pray. The funny thing is: you can’t do both at the same time, so pick one. Worry is actually negative prayer and it truly serves no one.
If you don’t believe in prayer, perhaps you can take a leap of faith and just try it for a day, or even one moment. Even if you don’t believe that there is a God or higher power, you can still pray. Pray to a relative or pet who has crossed over, pray to an angel, pray to whatever you feel called to do. It’s your call. You are in charge: REMEMBER………
Pray for faith when things are not good and pray with gratitude when things are. It can change your life and your whole perspective on how you look at your situation.
I will leave you with these poignant words from a great man named Victor Frankl: “WHAT IS TO GIVE LIGHT MUST ENDURE BURNING”
Allow your inner light to come forward with its radiance and beauty. For amidst the storm, there may always be a lesson or a blessing. I encourage you to engage in your own healing. You are stronger and wiser than you know!
Peace be with you
To all the amazing chemotherapy nurses: A message for you
As I began my busy day……Mixing and hanging chemo drugs…..I heard a soft spoken voice say…..”Thank you for all you have done”
I glanced all around….There was no one in sight….But again came this voice…It was Angelic alright
We are the souls…Whose lives you have touched… In ways you may not see…But have meant so much
For nurses are blessings…Who inspire and love… With your smiles, gentle hugs…You are sent from God above
You say we have courage…And that we have strength….But it is indeed you chemo nurses…Who go to great length
To touch our hearts…Ease our burdens and pain….Uplift our families…Time and time again
You listen when we cry…When we share our deepest fears…About our hopes and dreams…We have accumulated through the years
And don’t forget the laughter…For that we have surely done…. It hasn’t been all melancholy…We sure have had some fun!
But our journey is now over… But because of your attitude… Our spirits have just soared… And we are filled with gratitude
Please never forget…All the good that you do…You help heal people’s lives… God bless and thank YOU….
As I have shared with you, journaling has been a gift to me in so many ways. Expressive writing has helped my mind/body/spirit heal and has allowed me to create a different way of being.
It seems that my life has somehow been a parallel to the poignant words from Andrew Barone and George Anderson’s book called “Walking In The Garden Of Souls.” They state the following: “We forget that we are on this Earth to learn strength in our adversity, to learn peace in our struggle, to learn joy in our sorrow….. to LEARN.”
I do believe cancer has given me every opportunity to learn all of the above and even more. Cancer opened my eyes to a whole new world and because of it, my life will NEVER EVER be the same again.
The following journal entry was written just one year after my initial diagnosis. What a difference a year can make!
9/24/04 WHAT HAS MY CANCER TAUGHT ME:
When cancer knocks at your door there is absolutely nothing to prepare you for it. It takes years and years for cancer cells to multiply in your body, yet suddenly one day it presents itself without warning. The three words, ” you have cancer,” are I believe the most frightening words one can ever hear from a physician. “Sit down, take a few deep breaths and by the way your tumor was malignant,” are the first words I remember hearing from my surgeon. It was a very surreal experience. It truly was a day my life changed forever with or without my permission.
Initially cancer brought up my worse fears imaginable. I felt vulnerable, weak, alone, angry, filled with rage; For a brief moment-it paralyzed me. Not me, can’t be me. I’m too young. I’m sooooo healthy. Yet it was ME. I quickly rose to the action mode and began to prepare myself for what was to come. I attempted to take control of what was happening even though my mind was reeling with anxiety. This was going to be a bumpy roller coaster ride. I put my seat belt on immediately.
In the months ahead I learned that my life had been filled with much fear and drama from my childhood to much of my adulthood. With a tremendous amount of spiritual work and inner healing I have succeeded in shifting the fear and drama into love and joy. FEAR is false evidence appearing real. It’s what we create in our minds. It’s fear of failure, of not being good enough, of not being worth enough, of not loving oneself enough.
I worked diligently at loving myself more. I affirmed daily how beautiful I was inside and out. I practiced body care and spiritual care. Taking care of Pat Bateson became my priority. Everyone else in my life had always come first, but not anymore. In my mind I am the most special human being in God’s eyes and he loves me unconditionally. After all, he created me perfect, whole and complete.
That took a lot of self reflection, letting go of old hurts and wounds, and acknowledging that only I can truly love myself completely. Letting go of all the sadness and forgiving loved ones for old hurts felt like a boulder was lifted off my chest. I was freeing them and freeing myself to move on in positive ways.
I learned to TRUST and that was BIG for me. I surrendered my fears to my Creator and said: “I trust that you have my best interest at heart and you will show me the way.” My prayer was heard as he took me by the hand and led me down my path.
I had contracted my life’s purpose and lessons long before I came to this Earth and I knew in my heart that I needed to stick around to fulfill that purpose, for however long that would be.
My heart slowly began to open, and as it did love poured freely through every vessel leading to every chamber of my heart. I would be able to give and receive love in a way I had never known before. It was pure unconditional live and it was simply divine.
I learned rather quickly to communicate what I wanted and needed as it was my body and mind that were being challenged by this thing called “cancer.” I became an assertive advocate and I was my #1 CHEERLEADER!!!! Through communicating it opened up our ability as a family to discuss what we were feeling honestly and without judgement.
I came to realize that much of my life I had felt alone even though I was surrounded by loved ones. I felt I had to do everything myself, perhaps so I could feel in control, or perhaps because I didn’t feel “worthy” enough to let others do for me. That was a huge challenge in the beginning but I quickly realized how much others wanted to reach out and assist me.
I will never, ever forget all the love and support I received from so may. I learned how wonderful mankind is and how I am “worthy” to receive that love. It has been one of the greatest gifts of all.
I became a more compassionate healer the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I could now understand and empathize with my patients like I never had before and I could offer them HOPE, KINDNESS and LOVE in a new light. I believe there is no greater service to God than that.
I have learned to take one day at a time: In the beginning, one minute at a time. I am attempting to live in the present. I no longer live in the past and I consciously choose to do so daily. I love being in the moment for that moment can be so energizing and life altering and can never be experienced again.
The “little things” I don’t sweat anymore. Heck……. once you’ve been run over by a train and have lived to talk about it, those incidentals mean nothing. I relish in the simple things. I love flowers, blue skies and mint chip ice cream. I take very little for granted and I savor every blessed event this life has to offer.
I “love” more. I tell people and family I love them. I give more hugs and kisses than I ever used to. I still cry at the drop of a hat, but I learned that if I can share something very personal with someone and it assists them in healing on some level, it is worth the few tears we may all shed. I believe that incredible healing can take place when one is willing to open their heart and share.
I find that I am more at peace with myself and the world. I am more joy filled and my heart feels lighter and freer.
I am closer to God that I’ve ever been in my life. I have come to understand that he has always been there for me, loving and guiding me. I simply was not awakened.
I am “AWAKENED” now. In August of 2003 Pat Bateson’s spiritual awakening began. One year later her story continues. I am so thankful to the Divine for assisting me on this journey and I am equally as blessed to have such wonderful family and friends who have been behind me every step of the way. Each of them has played an integral role in my healing. I could not have done it without you.
I believe nothing happens by chance in the life and that we all came to this Earth for a reason. We share love, friendships, laughter, sadness, pain, joy and peace. Through good times and bad we have always been there to support one another. To me, that is what life is all about.
I love you and thank you for being in my life.
When I was initially diagnosed with CANCER, a huge, creepy demon entered my life and my mind. This demon monopolized my thoughts for most of the day and was more than eager to stick around into the night time. Fear, worry and anxiety were her specialties, and boy, did she excel at them all. Hooked me right in!!!!!
Insomnia kept me awake until the wee hours of the morning and I would tumble out of bed in sheer exhaustion. This was not the time for such antics as I had life altering decisions to make regarding my health.
I soon developed physical ailments that I believe were triggered by stress, overwhelming fear and a multitude of tests necessary to aid in my diagnosis. My body felt tattered, sore and greatly fatigued. My mind felt like it was going crazy and I couldn’t stop the incessant thoughts. It was a scary time in my life. I felt completely alone, vulnerable and helpless.
I had pills for pain, sleep, anxiety, digestion, depression. You name it. I was like a “walking pharmacy.” Felt more like a “walking zombie.” Realized pretty quick into the game that this was not going to work for ME. But what else was I to do????????
A friend suggested journaling to help me gain some feeling of control in my life. Being open to a therapy without side effects was appealing, so I ventured into a card store and bought myself the most beautiful pink journal I could find.
I didn’t know what to write at first so I did a little research of my own and then began my cathartic process of letting go.
This is one of my inital entries:
Take away the pain Lord. Take it away right now. Take all of my fears. I don’t want them. My wish it to heal. I want to trust. I want to surrender completely to you. But that fear is overwhelming at times. I need to get through this moment Lord, surround me with your love and light right now. Surround me with a billion ANGELS. I need all of your support. Soothe my mind. ANGELS, I give you my worries. Send me peace. Thank you.
There I said “IT.” I was acknowledging my deepest secrets to a piece of paper, but somehow I felt better afterwards. A sense of relief took over and I felt calmer and more at peace. In an odd way it felt safe to write my down my worries as I was not being judged nor criticized for my thoughts. My journal and I became great confidantes and this process truly helped in my recovery.
Many people experiencing cancer have some issues with anxiety and overwhelming feelings, at least at the beginning stages of the disease. Many of us do not want to burden our family members or medical team with our concerns, so we keep the emotions bottled up inside. Not healthy to do…………. believe me I know firsthand……..
Journaling is a fantastic way to release feelings, thoughts and pent up emotions which will then have positive effects on your body and mind. Writing can enhance your ability to cope with treatments and free your mind to make important health decisions.
Journaling did indeed alleviate my stress, sleep and anxiety. Helped with the pain too. Much pain we experience in our lives is related to stuck emotions that are unexpressed. That is my belief anyway. When I wrote my TRUTH directly from my HEART, I came to realize how strong, resilient and powerful I truly was. I no longer felt alone and knew intuitively that one day I would be sharing my story with others, so that they too would not feel isolated or in fear.
Journal entry four months later;
I am alive. I am healthy. I am well. It feels so good, so great, so fantastic to feel this way. Oh, what I have conquered. Oh, what I have overcome. What a gift I have been given. I don’t think I ever would have gotten here without my cancer. YES, my cancer. I am becoming more comfortable saying the word. It hasn’t come easy for me to say it. But you know what that’s all it is—- a word.
I still journal today and I couldn’t imagine life without my pen and paper. Somedays I express gratitude for all that is good in my life, while others, I seek solutions to life’s challenges. Quite often, I am enlightened by the wisdom and knowledge that resides within. So many of our answers are found there, if we just allow ourselves to get quiet and then take the time to listen.
For novice journalists here are some tips to get you going on your journey:
l. Pick out a journal that calls to YOU. And I mean speaks to you so much that you just have to get it. Remember your journal may become your new best friend!!!!
2. Find a quiet place, take the phone off the hook, and give yourself the time to do this exercise. Light a lovely candle, have a cup of your favorite tea and make this “ME” time. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and then just allow.
3. For starters, don’t think with your head what to write about. Let your heart do the talking and the words will just flow. Let whatever comes, come, without judgement. If you get stuck, jot down one word that pops into your mind and the rest will follow. There are no rules here!!!!! If emotions arise, let them. Tears cleanse the heart and help you heal.
4. Date all entries. You will be amazed at your progress and I was amazed at how much I grew as a spiritual being.
5. Keep your journal in a safe place. It is your private life. If you want to share it, do so, but do not feel you have to.
Learning to appreciate yourself and your gifts and letting go of unwanted symptoms and “stuff” is available through the process of journaling. Give it a try and let me know how you make out and what you uncover. So many gifts are inside of you. So much waiting to be discovered. Finding peace within the chaos is possible too. I hope you come to understand how powerful you truly are.
So I invite you to take out your journal and begin writing, for what you say today, may just help or inspire someone in your shoes tomorrow.