In this letter, I begin to work through all my feelings about my recent set back and my choice to return to chemotherapy. I struggle with confusion and ambivalence, as my new path slowly emerges. Trauma from the cancer has always been intertwined with trauma from my childhood. Once again, I discover this connection.

What Does It Mean to Surrender?

August 15, 2015

To: my inner-inner circle

I find myself questioning my decision to begin chemo. I am grief stricken by all the loss in the moment. There is so much I still want to do but no energy or time. I feel more grief than rage. I know anger is one way to move through things, to shift energy, but I am tired of being angry. I am so tired of being angry. I am so tired of being angry. I really just want to collapse and give up, let the cancer overtake me and pray for a quick end. I don’t understand why I have to give up everything. Today I am tired, bed ridden, weak, limp.

No one is making me go to chemo. [I had decided to return to chemotherapy and was scheduled to resume treatment in a few days.] I can change my mind at any point. I can start chemo and then still change my mind.

[At this point, I walked away from my computer because I felt stuck. I returned to my bed and continued my sobbing. About 20 minutes later, I felt a slight shift in my energy, ever so subtle, but I could move and the weakness and limp feelings were less pronounced. I returned to my computer to continue my writing.]

I hate everyone who wants me to fight. I think I’m in hell, but I think hell is just a state of mind that exists in the earth plane as well as heaven. I think what is creating the most hell, is my ambivalence. If I was fully 100% committed to dying/surrendering/letting go [Here I can see my confusion as I lumped “dying”, “surrendering”, and “letting go” all together, but perhaps letting go and surrendering does not mean choosing death. Perhaps letting go and surrendering is a way to tune in and receive the support I need.] then being bed ridden and weak would not really be as much of an issue. I might be uncomfortable, maybe even physically miserable, but I would not have the losses because I would have let go of the desires. Right now the desires are still strong, even in my weak limp state…but I don’t have the energy to actualize those desires…and then there is this “seduction” to the bed. I put “seduction” in quotes because it feels like I am being called to the bed, lured, as if my bed is whispering, “Come to me. Come to me. Relax. Let go. And just be.” But I don’t truly trust this beaconing call. Is it coming from my true soul energy to surrender to the bed and not move until I feel genuine impulse to do so or is it destructive, self-sabotaging behavior— an act of giving up and choosing death? I am afraid to give in to this desire to lie in bed. What happens if the impulse to move never comes? What happens if I decline further while I am waiting? I must be in charge. I must take action. I can’t just lie in bed! [As I reflect now on this a few weeks later, I realize I was “called to the bed” as a way for the universe to stop everything so I could tune in and realign.] The questions are the same with my eating…if I don’t force or push and just truly eat only when I am hungry and what I feel moved to eat, will I eat enough to sustain myself and will I choose foods that will best support my body and health or will I just accelerate my decline? Peace comes from accepting and not forcing. I am tired and confused and ambivalent, but I need to honor the ambivalence because “it is what is” right now.

I really don’t believe the answer is “fighting”. It is not the most efficient way to reach your goal. The most efficient way is to “catch a ride with the flow”. I did that when I had my mastectomy and I truly felt like I was carried, almost like a dream, and did not even have to exert muscles to walk. That is what I need right now. I need to be carried. I can’t carry myself right now. I can’t hold myself up, but I am afraid to let go so fully. I am afraid to give up control. I don’t feel it is safe to surrender.

[There are two critical themes in this letter.

1. What does it mean to surrender?

2. Can I trust my impulses?

When I talk about trusting my impulses, I am referring to subtle pulses that guide our actions when we slow down and are conscious enough to receive them. I was fortunate to be trained in several movement modalities that used impulse as a guide—Authentic Movement, Continuum, and Moving Theater. In Continuum, we would lie on the floor and not move until we felt genuine impulse to do. If you have not participated in this kind of practice, it may not make sense. It is something you have to experience, to fully understand, but I will try to explain.

Often we are running around in our daily lives, from task to task, without really checking in to see what is going on inside our bodies. I believe there is a flow of movement that results in optimal health and happiness. Our bodies naturally resonate with the universal flow, if we allow it. So “waiting for impulse” is slowing down to allow the body to find its rhythm. Once we can feel our rhythm, our movement and actions can be guided by it and we can move in synergy with the universal flow.

My problem was that I was afraid to surrender (and confused about its meaning) and I was afraid to trust my impulses. Again, reflecting back on this a few weeks later, I see the connection to the molestation—a time as a young child when I followed the natural impulses of my body, when my body responded by reflex to erotic stimulation. I learned to distrust my impulses due to all the suffering and shame that followed. Orgasm is probably the greatest physical act of surrender. ]

So I find myself neither here nor there. Trying to work on my website, worrying about food, forcing myself to exercise…none of that is really helping, but then lying in bed is completely horrible. I feel like a hot sweaty beached whale.

I guess there will not be resolution tonight.



P.S. God can’t carry you if you are holding yourself up.

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