Lately thoughts of cancer have floated through my mind. The word is still with a lowercase ‘c’, but it’s there, in my daily life.
I’ve learned to not stuff disturbing thoughts down into my body or heart. They always pop up somewhere, like an evil jack in the box.
When I try to stuff the thoughts, the feelings associated with the word ‘cancer,’ morph into capital letters until the word is entirely in CAPS like it’s screaming out.
I remember a phrase I read from a book whose author I can’t remember:
Feelings are energies that can be moved and transformed.
When I first read that sentence I thought “Wow, that’s empowering.” I get to direct my feelings, move them around, and create something else.
I can stop the stories in my head and create a new story.
So I grab a piece of paper and write out my thoughts, examine them, and try to figure out if I’m feeling anger, grief, fear, or all three.
Many times it’s not necessary to find ‘the answer,’ only to feel the feelings and examine the threads that make the word stand up in my mind.
Sometimes I thread those words together until they become something else, something not scary or ominous.
I remember when
cancer had me by the breast
the slash, poison, burn
a bald toxic dump.
Nurtured by family
powered by faith
seeds of hope planted
until a garden grew
a wasteland no more.
Dare you to try again
been there and back
you will meet defeat
because now I’m not afraid
to die, after I’ve lived
If poetry isn’t your thing, you can also examine or deal with negative feelings by practicing meditation, deep breathing, journaling, listening to your favorite music, drawing, or reading something inspirational.
The point is you can stop the negative feelings in your head and create a new story in your heart.
Make new stories this weekend.