What is it about woundedness that is so powerful in engaging others? Whether it’s a physical ailment, a childhood trauma or a recent heartbreak, it seems that when we start speaking to the world through the voice of our wounds, the world responds back in spades. Suddenly, the flood gates open up and everyone has a story to share. Strangers immediately become brothers and sisters, and don’t show the least hesitation in sharing deeply personal and painful experiences.
Years ago, at the recommendation of a therapist my husband and I were seeing, I began going to 12-Step support groups for Co-Dependants Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous. I also joined a couple of online communities for the same purposes. Initially, it was a huge relief to be able to share my stories with people who had “been there, done that.” Compassion, encouragement, and support surrounded me. I soon discovered that I wasn’t alone, there were people more fucked up than me (no judgment there, just sayin’…), and I didn’t have to have secrets anymore.
I was validated and heard – two things very important on any healing journey.
But something began to happen about 30 days into it. I wasn’t finding the groups helpful any more. The people began to annoy me, the meetings drained me, and I no longer felt like I belonged. I simply couldn’t bear the constant rehashing of everyone’s issues over and over again, with so little focus placed on the solution. And my skin crawled at the idea of saying, “Hi, I’m Grace, and I’m an addict.” The words just didn’t want to come out.
“Once an addict, always an addict” is one of the major philosophies of the traditional 12 Step Program. and I was having none of it. I may have developed some maladaptive “survival” behaviors, but those were things I LEARNED to do as a child. And surely, anything learned could be UNLEARNED, and new behaviors put into place – right?
So I quit going to meetings and began seeing a solution based program. It wasn’t long before I stumbled upon a wonderful Buddhist Bodhisatta, a psychologist, who was running an online recovery program, and immediately I felt at home. I had found my tribe. And under his care and instruction, true healing began.
To this day I thank the Recovery Gods that I listened to those little warning bells, and removed myself from the 12 step programs. It didn’t take more than a year before I was free…completely….of addictive behavior. My recovery came from being in a “wellness” focused environment – not a “sickness” focused one. I spoke and prayed and meditated and affirmed and manifested health into existence, having surrendered it all to God’s grace. My thoughts and words shifted. aligning with freedom. wholeness and well being.
And my whole life changed.
I was thinking about this yesterday when, for what seemed like the millionth time, I sat at the computer to write a post and came up empty. Several times a few sentences managed to make their way to the page, but the flow was missing. I’d type and end up staring at the screen for 5 minutes. Then I’d try to “force” something, but I would quickly lose interest and delete the page – completely uninspired.
Then, the epiphany. I don’t want to write about breast cancer, my daily challenges and experiences. Not right now. Even though it is the “big” issue in my life right now, even though ’m undergoing treatment, and yeah, it’s been difficult at time, and even though there are times when I absolutely need to talk about what I’m going through – it’s not what’s in my heart to write about.
I no more want to identify as a breast cancer “survivor” than I did a “recovering addict”. It doesn’t feel right. I am NOT a disease, and my life is made up of so much more than this single season! As powerful as it’s been, as transformational and life altering, it does not – and will not – define me.
This mindset explains why pink ribbons don’t fill in my space. In fact, now that I think about it, the only pink ribbons I do have were given to me by others! The beautiful handmade blanket covered…the t-shirt….the handcrafted key chain.
Don’t get me wrong! I am SO very appreciative of these thoughtful gifts. The outpouring of love, support, prayers, gifts and encouragement I’ve received has been an amazing blessing. But it’s been my friends and family who have filled my life with merch and slogans like, “Fight Like A Girl” and “Kick Cancer’s Ass” and “Save The Tatas”.
The only thing I’ve personally done that would ID me as someone dealing with cancer is my bald head. Otherwise, no one would know if they saw me. AND THAT’S THE WAY I WANT IT.
I’ve been receiving messages from Spirit in the past couple of weeks. Every time I turn around, I see something about the power of words. I am being reminded of something I learned several decades ago, and that is this: The power of life and death and in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), that it is out of the abundance of the heart that we speak (Matthew 12:34), and that the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).
Words contain the power of life and death, blessing and cursing, health or illness. They are containers of vibration. The Hidden Messages in Water – the work of renown scientist Masaru Emoto – shows that even the written word carries vibrational energy that impacts life is near it. Words let the Universe and everyone around us know exactly what it is our hearts and our minds, and repeating the same thing over and over again is, in itself, a creative process. (Hence the power of chanting).
So I’ve been confronted by Spirit recently: What is it that I am saying? What thoughts am I repetitively thinking, what prayers? What WORDS am I using? What the HELL is coming out of my mouth?
This morning, I’m making a decision…..setting an intention. I want to speak – and write – only those words that bring the vibration of healing, restoration and renewal into my life. Just like back in the “recovery” days, I’m going to focus what I want, and not on what I have.
Words are like seeds we plant in the unseen ground of our tomorrows. And I know exactly what I want to grow.
“We have totally forgotten that this Universe is the outcome of vibration. This Universe is not communication. This Universe is not money. This Universe is not love, it is not sex, it is not beauty, it is not even God. That one line is true: “In the beginning there was the Word, Word was with God, and Word was God.” That’s all it is about. What is a word? Creative vibration.” Yogi Bhajan 7/18/84