Embracing the state of being uncomfortable – part one

I am committed to ‘doing the work’. Sometimes this means a metaphorical barefoot stroll on manicured lawn, other times I am body slammed against the sheer cliff face of my own stubbornness.

The roundabout of unresolved anger and disappointment willingly revisited is like agreeing to a daily paint ball session, blindfolded while wearing a mankini. Seriously, would you?

But we do. Perhaps we are addicted to the emotional trauma? Is feeling angry preferable to feeling nothing at all?

There is a desire for karma to prevail, for balance to be restored and for those that treat others with contempt, to be held to account.

Embracing the state of being uncomfortable, is accepting that life is not fair and that justice may not be realised.

But when that injustice is targeted towards your elderly father, for me, a brand new kind of anger recently emerged.



Words from Michael and Dylan about acceptance

My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations. – Michael J. Fox.

I find acceptance challenging. At the exact moment,  I reach the intellectual summit of acceptance, I find that it is but one peak in a mountain range. I realise that eventually there will be nothing left  for me to do but to embrace ‘acceptance’. Though I have known of others who have passed through this life, not achieving this peace.

We are challenged throughout our lives to come to terms with accepting that which we desire, may never be attained or that which we have loved, may be lost. My early years of singing into my hairbrush have not resulted in a record contract. It is unlikely at 50 that this will occur for someone who is not Susan Boyle or is only marginally talented at singing as I.

This leads me to Dylan Thomas, a Welsh self destructive melancholic drunk who happened to be a rather good poet.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Change is the unwilling dance partner of acceptance. She is a wilful vixen with raven hair, who twirls and whirls in circles, eyes softly shut giggling playfully as her floating skirts stir up the dust of complacency. She is a  mischievous, sometimes malevolent and unpredictable wench. She  arrives when least expected, demanding to be obeyed.  Mr Thomas would been her lapdog.

Sometimes we evoke change to elevate the boredom of lives that have become stagnant from our unwillingness to be motivated and to stretch beyond the comfort of our elasticated pants. I am sure if I wait on the lounge long enough, I’ll be invited to write a best seller. Enter reluctant change with her paisley carpet bag of magic tricks. She rarely arrives with a winning lotto ticket or a publishing contract.

All of us struggle with acceptance, and we all seek to be accepted by those that we measure as worthy. Even Jesus, the only son of God, was not immuned from this struggle. He did not go quietly, he raged against the light before he found acceptance.

As a teenager in the seventies, starved between episodes of Countdown, I gravitated to Teddie Neeley’s portrayal of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane in the production of Jesus Christ Superstar, the rock musical. His voice bleed with anguish as he cried out for redemption from his fate of crucifixion. It didn’t hurt that Neeley at the time looked like a bronzen surfie, and like my neighbours son, several years my senior.  It was Neeley’s raspy voice and the top note of his desperation that resonated with my own teenage angst. It was easy to love Jesus, though he might have been in second place if the neighbour’s son had panned out.

I truly understand the admiration that is evoked in others, by the down trodden and disabled as they rage against limitations. It is the ones that don’t sit around asking why, but get on with the living part of ‘life’, that I admire. I sometimes still fall back into the ‘why me’ circle of despair.

A wise woman advised me to not look back and judge myself against my former cancer-free self. Instead she suggested that I only measure myself each day against the ‘worst’ day that I had already had. I am often ‘better than when I was undertaking chemo’. This simple technique is proving to be a great leveller.

Facing your morality is confronting. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does, and with it comes anger. A deep resentful anger that bursts forth with tongues of flame, bitter tears and the anguish of  leaving loved ones behind. I have found my writing this blog that I have a place to lay these fears down, if only for a while.  Others may have written a private journal instead of this public outpouring. I do this to remove some of the veils that exist around the reality of living through a cancer experience and I’ve always be a chatty Cathy.

Most of us are never quite ready to relinquish this wonderful life. Some of us are taken, stolen by circumstance or by the hand of another. The blessed live long lives of good health and good fortune. Only the few are able to settle affairs and leave the house organised and clean. Funny what we think matters.

Some of us will pass quietly in our sleep, other will be left to suffer years of pain and discomfort, until morphine is administered in sanctioned settings. Some of us steal from ourselves that which is most precious. We make stupid choices, based in fear, sadness, grief, guilt and loneliness. Perhaps nobody asked, ‘Are you okay?’.

It amuses me when pharmaceutical companies market brands like ‘eternity’ and ‘immortal’. Seriously are we buying into this grand illusion? Millions of followers of programs whose central characters are immortal, buy into the created illusion that this is possible. We buy more trinkets,  more mortal possessions in a foolish attempt to weight down our helium balloon soul.