Monthly Archives: August 2013

Choosing metamorphosis, part 2

Sun, clouds, firs on Mt. Ashland

Sun, clouds, and firs on Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon.

Three days ago, six days post-surgery, my husband took me to the top of Mt. Ashland for lunch. He hiked while I sat in the sun and listened to hawks and wind in the firs, and quiet. Blessed quiet.

Last week I blogged about my upcoming hysterectomy. I made some (what I think were fairly audacious) commitments in that blog. Here’s the relevant paragraph:

… I’m committing to acceptance of all my emotions and my physical sensations and to noticing and working with my thoughts as needed. I’m committing to the growth and change which are undoubtedly possible these next few days and weeks. I’m committing to vulnerability and to being kind. I’m committing to believing the universe is loving and supportive, and to perceiving people as wanting to help me, wanting only the best for me, loving me. I’m choosing metamorphosis, trusting that what’s coming is amazing — deeper, truer, and fuller that my present life.

I was largely able to keep my commitments when I was in the thick of it: through surgery and the acute recovery phase, and I know my attitude made a huge difference. I needed some encouragement to use my call button in the hospital, to say “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry to be such a bother.” I’m pretty sure I had a couple of unkind moments, but I think it was only twice. It was pretty easy to believe the universe is loving and supportive when just about everyone around me was there to help me feel better and get well. Cards, flowers, meals, lovely body-care products — all were tangible expressions of love. And the prayers. Oh, the prayers. I felt incredibly supported and cared for.

But now, nine days later, I am feeling much better and I am having a hell of a time. I feel well enough that I want to be doing things again. And I’m realizing that, for me, “doing things” means striving and earning my right to exist. Just sitting here, knitting and reading and watching TED talks (and writing, obviously) is sometimes so hard I could cry. And have. But it’s clearly what my body needs me to do, and if I ignore my body’s messages, I’m toast. Dead meat.

So, I have two take-aways today, right now, at this moment.

  1. I have a long way to go in the whole trusting my intuition/body/universe department. I still want to look outside myself for direction and affirmation.
  2. I am not in charge of physical reality or other people. Just because I think the world (or my body) should be a certain way doesn’t mean that it is. And I suffer when I compare how I think things should be in this moment with how they actually are, and find the present moment wanting.

I’m so not in charge of what God wants to teach me. And clearly I need to learn these things. So my commitment is to gratitude for my body’s amazing healing power, for what I’m learning, and for the universe which is kind and unconditionally loving. I will stay in my chrysalis as long as I need to.

Here’s a haiku I wrote while sitting in the sun atop Mt. Ashland last Tuesday:

Clouds wind sun sky hawk

Made of God and galaxies

All of us stardust.

Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes. I am grateful.

Choosing metamorphosis, part 1

Swallowtail on thistle

Look what metamorphosis can do!

I am having a hysterectomy tomorrow. I’m okay with this. In fact, I’m more than okay with this.

The part of my brain that worries about being socially acceptable is telling me that being okay with a hysterectomy (and maybe even being a little excited) is WEIRD and something I shouldn’t tell people, because I’m “supposed” to be scared and resentful and resistant. Which I was, at first, but I’m not anymore. What changed? I did.

I’m choosing to have my uterus removed because my mom died, too early, of uterine cancer, an especially rare and deadly sort, and I am a DES daughter.

When I first made the decision, I felt angry and sad. As I paid attention to the anger and sadness, I realized that I needed to thank my uterus for her faithful service over the years, and to explain to her why she was being asked to leave the party.  Anger and sadness became low-grade anxiety and low-level grief and grudging acceptance.

Then yesterday I remembered one of Danielle LaPorte’s “truthbombs”: Metamorphosis is inherently destructive.

What if I approached this surgery as a metamorphosis? What if I embraced the experience with open arms and an open heart? What if I wholeheartedly committed to simply being present for all of it — anesthesia, pain, recovery, being cared for — the whole shebang? This feels so good.

I probably needed to do the “resistance/fear/grief thing” before I could get here, though.

But grief, pain, and fear will be just part of what I imagine I will notice and feel.

So I’m committing to acceptance of all my emotions and my physical sensations and to noticing and working with my thoughts as needed.

I’m committing to the growth and change which are undoubtedly possible these next few days and weeks.

I’m committing to vulnerability and to being kind.

I’m committing to believing the universe is loving and supportive, and to perceiving people as wanting to help me, wanting only the best for me, loving me.

I’m choosing metamorphosis, trusting that what’s coming is amazing — deeper, truer, and fuller that my present life.

Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.