Seasons of Survival
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
I have this recurring dream where I"m running with all of my might up a hill and my body is working so, so hard. My arms are pumping and my heart is racing. My feet keep taking one step and then the next, then the next and the next again. The weird thing is....I'm not going anywhere. I'm literally stuck. I'm running in place despite all of the work and effort I'm putting into moving one foot in front of the other. I'm guessing many of you can psychoanalyze what that means. Personally, I feel like it signifies several things, one being that I just really feel stuck. Period.
I was reminded of this dream this past week as I was venturing out for my run in an October snow storm. It was the weirdest, most beautiful moment in time. I was literally capturing the clash of two seasons...as the leaves were falling from the trees, so was the snow blanketing the earth around me. I don't think you necessarily have to be a cancer survivor to understand the significance of the inner turbulence one feels when nothing seems to be going according to plan. Chaos meets calm meets confusion meets purpose. For me the significance weighed heavy as I am, in just four short days, approaching another surgery. A surgery that will hopefully propel me forward into healing and the closure of this clash of seasons I continuously find myself in and ultimately help me to just finally settle into a new season of life. As I was talking all of this over with my health coach this week, she gave me something powerful and incredibly peaceful to think about. She told me to envision a hope chest....immediately I thought about this beautiful wood chest that I had in my room as a kid. It had once belonged to my grandmother and I felt like it was a treasure just having something with so much history in my possession. She said to think about all of the experiences that I've had throughout this long cancer journey. As I complete another challenge or face another demon that only I know about, I tuck it away in that hope chest. That chest is a box full of the good, bad, happy, sad, big and even insignificant moments that I've had to push through. I'm not discarding any of them because all of them are what have gotten me here...to where I am today. I'm also not letting them chaotically spill out and stand in my way of becoming this new version of myself that truly is to be my destiny. They are all, however, carefully, thoughtfully and gracefully placed in the chest until one day I will be able to close the lid of that chest in awe of my ability to demonstrate patience, determination and resilience as all of the pieces have come together and that I saw it through to the end. Day by day, experience by experience, the lid is closing. I've said it before and I will say it again over and over...the biggest misconception is that the experiences and demons of cancer go away the minute treatment is over. Not even in the slightest bit is this reality. It's a process. In order to heal, be healthy and just be whole again we MUST take the time to fill our hope chests with all the right pieces. Rushing the process will get us nowhere. The overwhelming fear I'm living with right now (because as you know, surgery and I don't always gel), will be happily placed in the chest once I've danced with it and have seen it's ramifications through to the other side. I keep reminding myself that I'm living. The highs are high, the lows might be quite low....but I'm here to live it and place it oh so neatly in my beautiful chest of hope. May strength, peace and love find you in whatever season of life you find yourself in today. Much love-M.