As I lay on the table a couple of weeks ago at radiation I realized I was gripping the handles I usually hold on to. I was thinking about the radiation and wrapping my thoughts around it working, hitting the right places, getting deep enough in my nerves, etc. And then it hit me.
My body is broken.
With or without cancer, my body will age, it will weaken, it will eventually fail. That is the truth.
I don't say this with sadness or seeking pity, I say it with confidence because this view of my body heals my soul.
What do I mean?
My body is something I have taken care of most of my life but for vanity purposes. Years ago, as I shared in my book, My Journey to Live From the Inside Out, I realized that I was living from the outside in - trying to take care of the outside of myself so I would feel whole within. What I came to learn is that taking care of the inside first, my heart, mind and Spirit, healed me and I grew content with who I was on the outside.
As I have journeyed to live from the inside out, nourishing my Spirit before my body, I have received so much peace within. Yet, I say in the title of the book, it is a journey, and at times I find myself living once again from the outside in - in this case, seeking to cling to my body.
When I noticed my hands were clenched on the handles I released my grip and opened my palms to God. I had an honest conversation, telling God my desires; to be here, to live a full life with my family, to grow old with Stephen and watch the kids grow into adults, etc. And then I surrendered my body to God - again.
I don't mean I am giving up but this battle isn't in my hands really. In that moment I gave my body to God, trusting Him with the outcome of this whole cancer thing.
Instead I asked God how I can be used in this broken body to live out love while I am blessed to be here to do so.
And as I lay on there on the table I was drawn to pray for others - my family, friends, people whose paths I have crossed in my time here in Boston. Being able to spend the time on the table loving on others rather than gripping those handles and trying to make my body not be broken is healing in its own way...
I am broken in body but whole in Spirit.
I know it isn't an easy journey to be here - and I am sure I will circle away and back from this truth many more times - but I wholeheartedly believe this is the way we are meant to live, from the inside out - nourishing our Spirit first and trusting the rest will follow.
It is a truth many of us don't want to admit, and I happen to have to meet this truth eye to eye with cancer that our bodies are temporary but our Spirit is eternal.
I invite you to take a moment and...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
And if you have been struggling but trying to remain whole, I want to give you permission to admit you are broken. Maybe you are broken in body, maybe it's a broken relationship, maybe you are broken financially, etc. Whatever it may be, it can be healing to finally let go of trying to be whole and simply say I am broken.
Trying to be whole is the way of the world. The way of peace is to acknowledge it is a blessing to be broken - for it is in the broken places light can shine through.
My hope for each of us to let go of having to be whole and perfect and embrace our brokenness. May we allow the light of love to shine through, healing us from the inside out so we can live a fuller life as the people we were made to be.
With love and hope,
"Let light shine out of darkness." - 2 Corinthians 4:6