Last week after school, my 9-year-old daughter sat in the passenger seat and asked, “Mama, is it true that the future isn’t real?”
My heart thumped with intensity as she left me feeling speechless for the 10,000th time. Where does she hear these things? I often wonder.
“Yes, my sweet girl, it’s true,” I answered. Then I went on to say the words my heart offered, trusting it would all somehow make sense to her.
Either call in severe pain and rigor like I did — horrific monthly migraines that lasted from five to 32 days long for five years + a massive brain tumor and a 9-hour anesthetized brain surgery + 92 days of severe sciatica that ripped my body with an atrocious Level 10 (plus!?) pain — to wake up to the fact that Now is ALL WE HAVE, or...
Accept this now, without needing pain like that to wake you up.
You are a gorgeous, exquisitely creative, completely loved and lovable Child of God. Being of Light, experiencing the limitations of time and space in a human body.
Revel in the gift of being in a body.
Enjoy the things you love to do — dance, sing, give more hugs. Jump off boulders on the beach or if your body doesn't like that idea, cuddle up against one and feel it holding you. Earth is, after all, holding you.
Ask for help — don't rob other people of the joy of giving.
Forgive that guy who was mean to you; he doesn't see his wholeness yet.
Forgive yourself for that poor choice you made when you were drunk.
Spend a day doing nothing on your To Do list... simply bask in being.
Wear that dress you feel so fine in; let Life adorn you.
Pick up the phone and tell someone you love them.
Listen to an elder; their stories want to be heard.
None of these ideas resonate? Then what does? You are the one whose best friend you were brought here to be. My daughter and your own inner child are asking --
How will you honor the only moment there is?
Life is now. Honor yours.
I love you.
Dear Teton Char,
We share a friend. Andrea and I met when we were 14. You live near her now, in the Tetons. She tells me you asked how my brain tumor got there. You and I have never physically met, just as I never met your sister whose brain tumor eventually led to her body's death. But my heart mourns your loss. I honor you as a woman and sister. So I'm here to answer your question.
When my tumor was discovered through an MRI, the neurosurgeon assigned to my case told me, "It could have been growing for 10-20 years."
I named her Fidela. Somehow, to me, she was my friend. As was Dr. Lewis Hou, whose Buddhist nature shone through his eyes and silently said, You can trust me to get that tumor out.
So when he offered the options: 1) We can do nothing. 2) Neurosurgery. 3) Chemo. 4) Radiation... My response to him was, "Let's go in. Let's get it out." Though Fidela was my friend, she wasn't meant to stay inside my brain.
"We don't know why it's there," said Dr. Hou.
That was fine. I didn't need him or western medicine to know. I knew why Fidela came.
Right or wrong don't belong in this place. My story isn't "right" -- it's simply mine. In 2006 I did a workshop called It's All Made Up. Its lesson landed. We make up the story, the why, the reasons things happen in our lives. While science is useful, continuously, it disproves itself. Factual, material "realities" are consistently rewired, reworked, rewoven. Just like the human brain.
Fidela was my body's latest and most effective attempt to get my attention. It was a piercing cry, a roar, a terrorized plead, a prayer from a body who knew she was worthy of being held by loving arms.
I had a lifelong addiction to sugar and food. As a baby, my big feelings were met sometimes with EQ's tender, loving arms and gentle words. Other times, I was given sugar -- with no blame or judgment of my parents or others who would pass me "a treat" to soothe my cries -- I was given toxic and highly addictive pain killers called sugar.
My brain had been wired by mine and others' choices,
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, was born with a divine pen in her pelvis. She is a lifelong letter writer, a thought leader in Love, and she writes memoirs. This blog is devoted to her greatest passion: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.