I’m at the beach, reading Radical Remission, by Kelly Turner, PhD, and am challenged to ask my cancer what it wants, what lesson it is trying to teach, to love my cancer because it is lonely and needs mindful attention. “What?” I am more than dumbfounded. Western medicine teaches us to fear cancer, to eradicate, eliminate, poison and radiate and then if that fails, surgicate. “Listen to your cancer. Ultimately it is trying to heal you, to teach a noble truth.” “Ummmmm, I guess so, I wonder what that means?” I ponder these words as my scars constrict in dark pain and I sit inside because I’m allergic to the sun.
Early in my illness, my sister was talking and casually mentioned, “We can’t hate it, Julia, it’s part of you.” I remember being shocked, not hate my cancer? Not sure what she meant and not wanting to explore that subject then, I tucked it away. It came back when I read Radical Remission as one survivor described love of his cancer as a key element in his health.
Sitting quietly in meditation, I ask God to guide my understanding. What lesson was my cancer hoping to impart and how was I to receive it? Many healers believe that there is an emotional root to most cancers. Emotions identified as relating to cancer are anger, resentment and victimization. To that I say take care because who does not need to work on anger, resentment and love of self? Show me someone free of these and I’ll eat my hat.
Instead of eating my hat however, I decided to listen to my cancer. To listen for my lessons. Two main themes came up as I sat on my cushion and went quietly through my day. Forgiveness and joy.
Years ago our family had a major breach in trust with a friend. This betrayal changed our lives, eventually for the better. I prayed for release from anger. I actively sought forgiveness for her and created images of love. But her actions created much hardship for our family, and every time difficulties appeared, my anger and resentment flared. I worked so hard at forgiving that forgiving completely eluded me. And that created guilt, which plagued me. “What kind of Christian can’t forgive?” I asked. Recently I prayed to see her and did so twice within days. Finally, it seemed finished.
But the message in my meditation clinched it. “Do not work at forgiving. It is already forgiven. You cannot be betrayed because I have taken that betrayal from you before it happened.”
So I can quit working hard and just lay it down because it never was? Or if it did transpire, it was forgiven before it occurred? Already forgiven. Not mine to declare. Wow. I understood that, it pierced me with a clarity never before realized.
And guess what the sermon was on Sunday? “You don’t have to forgive because it is already forgiven. God already loves you.”
Then the marquee in front of the Baptist church, “Love makes enemies disappear.”
And just in case, Oswald Chambers reminded me again in Christ-Awareness. “Beware of allowing your self-awareness to continue because slowly but surely it will awaken self-pity and self-pity is satanic. Don’t allow yourself to say, ‘this is something over which they should be apologizing to me.’ Simply ask the Lord to give you Christ-awareness and He will steady you until your completeness in Him is absolute.”
Fourth times a charm. I believe I have it now. Whenever one is trespassed against just ignore it or lay it down. Over and again, not seven times seventy but until eternity passes.
I’m working on joy as well. If I listened correctly, I am being charged with creating, increasing and maintaining joy in my life and bringing it to the lives of others. Joy and forgiveness, both already exist creating good health. Who knew it could be so easy? And why do we make it so hard?