There are days when I have to search for the light. These are the days that I wonder where my spirituality has gone. How can something be so present and then so mysteriously gone all within a matter of days? But it’s not really gone, of course. My budding spirituality is like the sky. Present. My sadness or worry or mere numbness are the clouds that sometimes cover the sky. Even on the days when it’s cloudy as hell, you still know that it is there.
On these days, the dark days when the light doesn’t seem to exist anywhere, that oh so familiar icky feeling of guilt sticks to my ribs like a big hearty stew on a cold winter’s day. It just sits there, making me feel sluggish and tired. Guilt, just like that big bowl of stew (or more relatable, perhaps, Thanksgiving pie) feels like the right thing in the moment, but always looking back on it, I see that I didn’t need it.
I understand that the more cognizant of the guilt that I am, the more that I can begin to release it. My guilt is somehow tied to magical thinking: If I complain, then I’ll really be punished. The truth is, there are going to be dark days, and my gratitude for what I do have never truly disappears; it sometimes just needs to wait in the wings while I get mad as hell. I try to pretend like I don’t need my Adavan or I don’t vomit rage all over people on the roads with me on these days, spewing out how much I love meditation or just how helpful I find exercise to be (mainly because I believe that people would rather hear about my cool Chopra practice or my love for all things #ShrinkSession than the fact that all I really want to do on these days is sleep). Completely true things– both mindfulness and movement have totally changed my life. But the real truth of cancer is that sometimes even coping skills won’t get you through the terror. Let’s be real about this whole cancer thing, OK? There are going to be times when all the meditating and working out in the world isn’t going to take away your fear. Sometimes you just have to sit with those uncomfortable feelings and recognize that it’s real and human and raw and totally unfair, but that you will get through it and that the fact that you have to even “get through it” is so thoroughly disgusting and unreasonable and amazingly arrogant of the world to ask a person to do, but there it is anyway.
And when the clouds melt, that is when you remember what really matters: The real you that lives and breathes and carries silent hope no matter what the sky looks like. The silent knowledge and comfort that the sun will still shine, the moon will still wink, and the stars will still carry our wishes throughout the universe, no matter what.