When I spoke at the Health Psychology class at MSU, one of the students asked me how it was going into the hospital, I made a joke about being Pavlov’s dog walking into that building.
I have spent the last week devouring the books of Geri Larkin, a Zen Buddhist monk/teacher/temple founder. She is funny, insightful, honest with herself and her readers, and I could not put her books down.
In a few of her books, Larkin mentions a Buddhist story about what to do when you are scared of the dragon – turn around, face the dragon, ask the dragon to open its mouth REALLY wide, and then walk into its mouth. This is the same idea as “whatever resists, persists.” I touched on this issue in my book Journal entry on “Desiring Things to be Different,” a sentiment Eckhart Tolle says is the height of insanity – why would I deny and argue against what is? Talk about creating stress for oneself.
So today, I am choosing to walk into the dragon. I am going to consciously think of all of the reasons why I am grateful for the Cancer Center as I walk in this afternoon to receive my CT scan results. (Even as I write that, I cringe at the name of the building – why can’t it be known as the cell reeducation building – or the Health Center? As I have said before, everyone has cancer cells in their bodies and some people just have an immune system that can handle it!)
Okay, I am rolling my shoulders now – that was not helpful.
I am going to love the Cancer Center today when I walk in for my CT results. I am going to love the nurses, the pa’s, the drugs that made me feel sick, the smell of the building, the fact there are no windows. I am going to love the blood draw. I loving my stomach feeling tight and high when I write this paragraph, I am going to love that feeling when I walk into the building.
Going to? Hmmmm.
Let me take a real step and make this happen now.
I love the Cancer Center and the people in it:
- for showing me I am not the only one on the planet who suffers. Everyone suffers.
- for teaching me labels are layers of bullshit we use to cover up that we are all God/Buddha/Love (whatever you want to call it).
- for our marriage.
- for giving me drugs that reeducated my inflammatory cells.
- for doing the best they can with the information they have.
- for working with survivors who don’t always make it and still being optimistic and kind with every new person who walks in terrified.
- for being patient and working with me when I was SO mean to them.
- for giving us yesterday’s walk, holding hands, watching the rosy sunset and the gold streaked clouds, on a perfect summer evening, with our dog.
Some nice person named the building the Cancer Center because they thought it would be helpful to have it so demarcated. They didn’t realize they were sending out a potential prayer into the Universe. They were doing the best they could. So, I must concentrate on the people inside the building, not the name on the outside – (and now I start to laugh) – because labels aren’t important, right?