Well, I took a bit of a “blog-cation” since the end of December.  I needed to have some quiet time to process my life a bit…on all levels… physically, emotionally, spiritually, energetically, left, right, up and down… you name it.

It is now just over 13 months that I was first diagnosed with cancer.  Wow, what a year it has been!  It certainly was not on my radar, nor on my “bucket list” but yet, here it is and now a major part of my life.   It is amazing the changes that it can create not only in my schedule but also in perspective of life as well.  That is certainly not a super realization and certainly stating the obvious, but life is different now and I am too.

I have called this past year or 13 months and 2 weeks to be exact, my year of living lovingly.  But as time moves forward and the year moves into the next it has expanded my reference into my Life of Living Lovingly.  Here I can go really trite and cliché, which I will try to avoid but still much of that is inevitable as I find not only the ways to cope but to thrive and joyously embrace my new reality.  I have to admit, that at times, it can be beyond difficult, but I have been blessed (or cursed…depending on perspective) to have a certain naivety and overly positive mind in approaching my life.  In my moments of darkness, it has served me well and helps me stay in touch with my innocence.

I have a friend Devon who has been a wonderful inspiration to me in this past year.  He is a bit ahead of me in terms of his diagnosis and treatments and I am grateful to the light he has shown on this path that we and so many others share together.   Recently, Devon posted “A “certain darkness” is needed to see the Stars at night and what a sight that is… Who hasn’t wished upon a lucky star , asking where you are, hoping not so far ?…During my own brush with deadly-darkness one year ago , I discovered that a single star filled dream, was more powerful than a thousand perceived realities.”

Thank you for that Devon.  So, now, when I look into the darkness, I see the stars and they are numerous, wondrous, and awe inspiring.  Sometimes, it just takes a little darkness to see them.  They are always there after all.

And, they allow me to dream and to reach to achieve those dreams.  Even in moments of challenge, we can still dream and reach beyond our perceived or imagined limitations.  These days, I have a long list of limitations, many of which are quite real.  My question to myself is am I going to let those limitations define me, or am I going to continue to dream and find ways to achieve and realize those dreams.  I’ll let you know how that goes but I am confident it’s going to go in the positive.

As you may have noticed from my previous blog entries I am big on finding wisdom from music and even you’ll find sports references that I find inspiring.  Recently I saw a great quote from a championship sports team.  It said, “ Don’t let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do.”  So, focus on what you can do and do it to the best of your ability.  Don’t worry about those things we cannot do which can then become the excuses for not doing what we want to do in life.  We may not be perfect, but each of us has unique talents that allow us to achieve excellence in some way in our life.

So, I am finding and looking for, in my “Lovingly-ness”, ways to be more loving to myself and to those around me.  On a very selfish level as the Beatles sang so many years ago,  “…And in the end, the love we take is equal to the love we make…”  So, if you want to receive, you need to be willing to give.  Otherwise, we may not be so happy with the results or the lack of them.  Just remember, it all comes back, everything that we do.  And when we love, well, love comes running to us.

On the love thing, a song that keeps coming to me is James Taylor’s “Shower the people you love with love”.   If you want some, you’ve got to give a little.

Shower the people you love with love
Show them the way that you feel
Things are gonna work out fine if you only will, as I said
Shower the people you love with love
Show them the way you feel
Things are gonna be much better if you only will

I’ll share a few more things that I’ve learned in my Loving Year which are things that I aspire to keep living with.  Remember Hilda, my warrior, goddess, inner-healer?  Well, she’s still here and sending you all love and blessings as she shares with me.  So, as warrior / inner healer, Hilda can be a bit of a paradox.  I have to say, I love a good paradox.  So, I’ve spoken a lot of surrender and acceptance this year, which I have found to be very important and effective in my healing process.  But at the same time, I have experienced simultaneously that I have to be a warrior as well.  Surrender, and not surrender.  It’s a good challenge.  It comes down to what you surrender to and what you decide to fight for.

My dear friends Guru Dass Singh and Guru Dass Kaur expressed it beautifully in their song,  “Never Surrender”.

“Don’t lose faith, and don’t lose heart, don’t lose faith and never surrender…never surrender to your tears, though you’ve been crying them for years, you know the pain is just a part of what is opening your heart… and in the challenge of each day, let your courage show the way…It’s not just the life we live but the love and light we give.”

Sometimes we need to put up the good fight.  Keep the heart open, keep the faith and find the courage to meet that challenges we face and in that, we find the ways to give love and spread our light.

A very interesting thing happened to me in my surgery to remove the main part of my cancer.  (the surgeons remove all that can be seen but then there are those remaining un-seen pesky cells and thus the reason for radiology therapy and chemotherapy).  When they removed my tumor which was bigger than my fist, my anger was gone.  Removed!  Not miraculously, but ripped out of me.  I can’t say that I am fully anger free…I still work on that and I just see that as part of life’s journey.  There are certainly long lists of things that bother us or we can get quite self-righteously indignant about.  But I can say that a certain heat or burn, no longer exists within me.  It is gone and paradoxically, as much as I can curse my cancer (that’s being honest), I am grateful to it as it coalesced my anger and then let it go.  As my anger disappeared or was taken from me, my heart has only grown and everyday, I can experience and give more love in my life.

Another issue I am lovingly letting go of is blame.  I am reading a book that I have been enjoying.  It is called, “Cancer As A Turning Point”.  In it the author, Lawrence LeShan says, “It is important to remember that you are not responsible for becoming ill and you are not responsible for your recovery.  What you are responsible for once you are ill it to do your best to get better.”   I have learned there are no guarantees.  There is no claim, there is no blame.  Just do the best of what you can do and hopefully, that works.  If not, you know that you have done your best and that is all you can do.

When I first became ill, I had so many healers contact me.  I was quite lucky and often quite overwhelmed by it.  After reading the above quote, that became a foundational criteria for selecting healers that I could resonate with.   Anyone that wanted to talk about what was it in me that had caused this, was off my list.  I wanted to deal with solution orientation and not look for the issues of self-blame that many want to call upon.

Recently, I received a loving message from a dear woman who simply said, “ dear, there is nothing you need to forgive, there is nothing to exhale, there is no guilt.”  That is love and that is staying with me.  If you remember the movie “Love Story” from the early 1970’s, you may remember the by-line, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry”.  How sappy many of us thought that to be at the time.  But now, in my self-love, I realize, there is nothing to be sorry for.  Just embrace life, whatever it may be, and be happy.   Another super liberating thought.

So, I’ll close here and I look forward to future blogs with you.  In the meantime, here’s a little John Lennon wisdom for you all.

“Love, love, love…All you need is love, love.  Love is all you need.”

Love and Light to you all,

Sada Sat Singh