I am currently facing another cancer treatment decision, and am feeling more at ease in making choices as a result of reading a blog post by Jeremy Geffen, MD. I am sharing some excerpts from his post with you, and encourage you to read the whole post (link further below).
Years ago, as a speaker at a Cancer as a Turning Point™ conference, Jeremy Geffen, MD, said:
The Essence of Healing is found in Focused Action and Intention . . . Wrapped in the Arms of Surrender.
In the blog he is now writing related to his own cancer diagnosis, he recently wrote about that sentence in a way that profoundly moved and inspired me. In my own cancer journey I am often aware of the paradoxes of life, and wish for answers where there don’t seem to be any.
The paradox is that, in each moment in life, we must choose between knowing when to take action in our lives . . . when to focus our efforts and intentions to change the circumstances we find ourselves in . . . and when to accept what is happening and surrender to the truth of the moment, the truth of what is — knowing that, at least for now, we must simply surrender and let go.
When confronted with cancer, there is a deeply visceral, human instinct to do everything possible to heal, to ‘fix the problem,’ and try to get well. This includes searching for the drug, the doctor, the healer, the herb, the diet, the therapy, the protocol, the clinic that can save us. We search and search, and are often willing to endure even the most extreme sacrifices — including an almost limitless array of tests, scans, surgeries, procedures, drugs, chemotherapy, radiation, and myriad types of alternative healing modalities — to find a way to live.
A . . . problem with this kind of approach — which is especially implicit in the conventional medical model of treating disease, and especially cancer — is that being in a constant state of searching, and making efforts and trying to do everything possible to ‘find the answer,’ can not only be exhausting, but counterproductive.
In my experience, it is impossible to truly heal when constantly in stress — let alone being ‘at war’ with whatever is going on in your body, or your life.
I have found that it is most helpful and productive to make every effort possible to heal and get well — even fighting really hard — while wrapping your efforts, in every moment, and to the fullest degree possible, in the arms of surrender. I believe this balance is where the deepest essence of healing is truly found.
I am talking about a deeper recognition of the futility of making constant effort to exert one’s will in the world of outer affairs, or on the inner realities of what is happening with the body. I am referring to making room, deep in one’s heart, soul, and being, for what is simply true and present in the moment, and accepting it — as fully as possible. I am also talking about making room deep inside to honor the great Mystery that ultimately lies behind who gets well, who doesn’t, who lives, who dies . . . and when. Embracing this Mystery, as fully and consciously as possible — even in the midst of a tectonic cancer battle — transforms the whole experience. It adds a vital and precious quality of humility to the entire process. It helps dissolve the illusion of separation, and the illusion of control. It can also open otherwise hidden, inner doorways to supreme grace, unexpected blessings — and perhaps even profound physical as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual healing — that might otherwise be missed.
The way forward is to become quiet enough on the inside to be able to hear, and distinguish, between these two imperatives that lie within us all . . . and which can move and change from moment to moment.
You can read this entire blog by Jeremy Geffen by clicking here.
This message seems perfect for this season when the days are shorter, dark is longer, and it’s a time for us to focus on the light within. Nature intended us to use this time to experience rest and renewal – a perfect time for quiet and an exploration of surrender. I wish you peace and joy in this winter solstice season.