By Cyndi Langley
Treating cancer as a whole can lead to transformation…
I’ve experienced cancer both personally and as an onlooker. When I received the news that I had skin cancer and would need surgery, I had already lost my sister from the disease. Making the transition from watching someone I loved go through the many trials and transformations and then shifting back to myself without being in a constant state of fear was necessary. But through my own experience with cancer, and the experience of watching my sister, I have been given insight, specifically regarding its treatment and the lack of understanding concerning the spiritual side of things.
The Oxford dictionary defines it as ‘the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body’ and ‘a practice or phenomenon perceived to be evil or destructive and hard to contain or eradicate’. The very definition evokes intense feelings of fear. Through my experiences and speaking to those affected by cancer, there is an underlying tone that everyone has had or currently is carrying fear. Fear surrounds the word cancer, both the physical and the emotional side of the disease. Just close your eyes for a moment and say the word cancer. How does your body respond? What feelings, thoughts or emotions does the word alone create within you? Words can be such powerful forces (and sometimes not in the best ways). We need to shift the perception or beliefs surrounding cancer and look at the power that is possible for transformation on all levels.
In Western society, we tend to view cancer from the physical side only, but if the mental, emotional and spiritual sides are neglected, cancer can often times return. What would happen if we could change our perception of cancer and begin to see it as a phenomenon within the whole being offering a chance at total transformation? What would happen if we changed the words and definitions that evoke fear and instead created opportunities for growth in all areas, addressing the physical body, but also the mental, emotional, and spiritual sides.
Transformation comes in many different forms. It’s not easy and it takes work. You must constantly tend, evaluate and accept each piece of yourself without judgment. It begins as a spark, like a small fire within needing care so it can grow in brightness and in size. You feel your spark, or see it, or perceive it. What is it and how can you tend to it for spiritual growth? You start by simply recognizing it, and that alone begins to brighten it and you’re able to see all that may have been intentionally or unintentionally locked up within you for so long. Be honest with yourself. Go back, further back, and even further.
Here is an exercise you can begin to do. Create a movie of your life in your mind about the events that have molded you. As you move through it, take note of what you see, feel, and sense. Stop at the moments that don’t feel right or seem off. These are the ones that have created the deepest emotions and scars, the ones you want to forget but can’t. Now take the time to sit with those emotions and see them from another vantage point, without judgment. This may be difficult, but with each situation you address, you will become lighter and your spark will become bigger and brighter.
What you are doing is clearing the cellular memories from within. These are in a sense like cancer, so it’s within reason that tending to them is needed to help the process of the disease to move through and out of you. You are creating the much-needed mind-body connection. One very important element to clearing on the cellular level is the power of forgiveness. The lack of forgiveness within you towards others or yourself allows the cellular division to spread throughout your entire body. I’m not saying it’s easy or that it happens overnight, it may take months or even years to forgive just one incident but being diligent and putting in the work will allow your mind, body, and spirit to soar and live out its purpose.
So many of us live only in our minds until a jarring moment or disease, like cancer comes along to open our eyes, and all aspects are effected. It forces us to look at ourselves even when we don’t want to. Truly delving into our journey with cancer can put it into context, and help with the healing. By allowing the process to move through you instead of fighting it at every stage, a transformation takes place as the process unfolds. I believe without addressing the mental, emotional and spiritual side of things, you risk missing the entire reason for your existence and why you have chosen to live this life. You can compare the stages of cancer to the stages of existence: birth, trials, and death.
If you are in the process of a disease, use it as an opportunity. If you are healthy, use it as a preventative. Instead of allowing the cells to divide with fear, let them divide with love and health, and keep in mind that self-care is whole care. The food you eat, the exercise you give your body, and the thoughts you entertain affect you on every level. Using beautiful affirmations, honoring your voice inside and asking for help when needed are just parts of whole care. Listen to your inner wisdom for what you need and honor it.
This piece touches on just a small part of transformation and growth during cancer. If you care to explore more, please feel free to use me a resource and a form of true support. Just remember, tend to your spark and over time you will have the most beautiful fire.