Here's my reflection for this week. It struck me--with some help from my Buddhist younger brother, from my favorite new book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F..k, and from my brother, Jesus--that I torment myself every time I resist my life, push back against sorrow, suffering, and things out of my control. Like:
--swollen ticks on my dog;
--my second accessory stomach;
--slow, erratic drivers;
--the fact that at 71 years I no longer have forever.
In the wonderful book cited above, the author writes: Wanting positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one's negative experience is itself a positive experience."
I thoughtfully scratched my one-inch curly, apres chemo hair (uh, oh, another push back!) and wondered--how much energy do I waste resisting things I don't like in my life? And conversely, when I DON'T resist hard times, how much better is that for all of us?
I remember my surprising cancer diagnosis in the fall of 2015. Not fun. Scary, of course. But my attitude then was essentially: BRING IT ON, BABY! Do the two surgeries; give me the poison that will kill those damn, marauding cells; give me the Rx to help wobbly legs; and, oh, yeah, give me some legal dope to smoke for hard days. Though I admit to far preferring a good, crisp, cold Chardonnay (Toasted Head, are ya listening?) to vaping, which makes me cough. The point is that by not pushing back against incoming suffering, worry, and pain, it actually made the whole experience easier on me, my husband and kids, and friends. Possibly my dog.
I need to remember this when I am behind an impossible driver who is talking on a hand-held phone, texting, and petting his dog. All at the same time. I have to breathe deeply and feel some compassion for how crazed he is.
When my legs get wobbly again, just pop some Gabapentin and smoke a little weed. Read my fabulous, entertaining Jane Yellowrock series (by Faith Hunter) on my kindle and just relax, not complaining: I wish this had never happened to me. How could I get cancer? Me, who exercised regularly and actually ate OATMEAL for breakfast (instead of chocolate croissants)?
When I confront the fact that my daughter (who is still beautiful on the inside and once was quite glamorous) is now transitioning to the male gender, I think: "How cool is this. This is about him, not me. And the person I birthed and loved for so many years is still there. They have not gone away." And now I have two sons! Amazing.
When I bemoan my pooching-out stomach I catch myself and think, "At least you've got a stomach, babe. Remember that woman at Baystate undergoing chemo for her stomach cancer. She lost 75% of her stomach to surgery and can hardly eat