Counting Blessings

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Lately I have had difficulty keeping track of time. The summer is passing by so quickly and each day is full of activities and things to accomplish. I have many self-imposed deadlines coming up and the prospect of getting everything done seems impossible. In the past, I would have felt anxiety and stress. I would be worrying about all the work ahead of me and feeling guilty about my upcoming vacation. I would be berating myself for taking on too much and not having enough time to enjoy my summer. A part of me would feel miserable and another part excited about the opportunity to get away from the daily burden of to dos hanging over my head.

Right now, though, I feel only calmness. It’s a detached state of mind where a part of me is observing all the activities I am involved in without feeling the rollercoaster of emotions I am used to experiencing. It is a strange sensation, especially because I realize I may not complete all the tasks I had hoped to accomplish by the end of summer.

Perhaps part of this sense of inner calmness comes from knowing that in twenty-four hours I will be on route to Spain to celebrate my fifth-year anniversary of being cancer-free. I am meeting up with my sister-in-law who is also a cancer thriver and who just completed radiation treatment. We are celebrating our precious lives and counting our many blessings.

As I have written about before, I experienced many dark nights of the soul going through my cancer journey. There was one night I will never forget. It was the night I spent in the darkness of my basement grieving the life I felt I was about to lose. That night I was gently, but firmly, shown two paths. One led to the end of my suffering where I would quickly slip away and out of my mortal coil to be one with the Light. I knew that if I chose this path I had little time to remain in the physical plane. Though I didn’t want to leave my husband, children, family, and friends, the exhaustion and pain I felt dealing with the cancer was almost unbearable. I was tempted to step onto this path and be released fully from the anxiety and fear that plagued me.

The other path, in some ways, was more difficult. It meant that I would have to choose life in a conscious and deliberate manner. Choosing life, for me, meant knowing I was fully responsible for all of my choices, actions, thoughts, words, and feelings. I felt the gravity of what choosing life would mean for me. It would mean no more bullshit. It would mean that I needed to step up to the plate, live in the present moment, and BE aligned with who I truly was. No more shrinking, backing down, or slinking into the periphery. By freely choosing LIFE I made the decision to no longer give away my power. I realized and acknowledged the incredible inner sovereignty within.

I remember thinking, “Oh shit. This is REAL.” I could feel the weight of my choice. God wasn’t playing.

By choosing LIFE I have chosen a more challenging path. The difficulties lie in making sure that what I say and do are aligned with the highest good. There’s a passage in the Bible (I just looked it up), Matthew 19:24, which reads, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” In my view, even with wealth aside, it feels impossible to enter the “kingdom of God” IF, like me, you believe that the kingdom is not so much a place, but rather frame of mind or level of consciousness. How can I walk through the “eye of the needle” if my consciousness is not pure, if my heart’s intentions are not aligned with the highest good? This question makes me check myself again and again. Do I honestly believe and feel that I am being true to myself – my higher Self – in my daily routines and interactions? In other words, am I truly walking the walk?

Though I believe, in my heart, that the kingdom of heaven is open to ALL of us, I also have an internal knowing that there are ways to open our hearts here on Earth that will make it easier for us to fully experience (and understand) the Light that is constantly being offered. Being aligned with our highest good – our greatest most divine Self – is a huge step toward receiving and integrating this light. I interpret this biblical passage to mean our ability to be our highest Self without judgment of others or self (our Earthly personality/ego). It is to BE who we came to be by stripping off the protective layers, carefully constructed or forcefully imposed, and to KNOW we are living our lives from LOVE, not fear.

As I prepare for my trip tomorrow, I feel genuinely happy that I am HERE on this physical plane and that I chose LIFE when I had the opportunity to do so. I am aware that every day is a new opportunity to align my thoughts and actions with my higher Self and to be able to ask if what I am experiencing holds the intention of the highest good. I am blessed to be able to have these internal reflections and am grateful to have a space where I can share my heart. I am counting my blessings and am conscious in this NOW moment of the gifts this LIFE has offered.

With much love,

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