WRITING TO HEAL: PART 2
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.