If you are over the age of five, you have at some point in your life had to learn about trust…possibly the hard way. Our trust is so fragile, can be broken so easily, yet we can be so careless with it. Why? Because we are are human! We want to live lives full of new possibilities and experiences, we want to have faith in finding our prince (or princess!) charming and we want to believe that fairytales, miracles and unicorns DO exist. Without exercising our trust, we are surrendering to the fact that all the beautiful aforementioned things do NOT exist – and how lame-o is that?!
I personally am quite liberal with my trust – you have it full throttle until you break it, and at that point, I can be quite stubborn. “You” meaning a person, relationship, experience or item…like when I used to trust one of my favourite pairs of jeans until I wore them shopping, had to tinkle in a public washroom, only to find the zipper would no longer zip up! My trust in those pants went into the garbage in that public washroom along with the eco-friendly paper towel I dried my hands with, and the jeans went to the local thrift store. I could have had the zipper replaced, but…you see what I mean? Stubborn!
My most recent experience with trust is one much more personal, intimate and complex than my bond with that pair of jeans with the perfectly placed knee tear and super trendy thigh wash. It is my relationship with myself. I won’t deny the level of difficulty associated with not only discovering, but admitting that the beloved and cherished relationship I have with my own body is tarnished, but I am happy to say that I am not too proud to talk about it.
I wouldn’t say that my body “let me down” when I was diagnosed with CANcer in December of 2015, it was just confused…there was not some foreign invader causing havoc inside of my body, but my own cells forgot their job, mutated and turned on the kingdom. In any event, it wasn’t until I came out on the other end of this journey that I realized that I know have some BIG trust issues to deal with between myself and my body.
If you have ever experienced a life-altering illness or injury, you probably know exactly what I am talking about. It is almost as if my body had an affair on me, and I am not sure, or I do not trust that it won’t happen again. As if recovering after being cheated on, I am not looking for evidence in emails, text messages or unexplained “business meetings”, but rather in how my body is showing up for me. For example…cough, cough, acheeeewwww! “I need to go to the hospital, I’m showing symptoms!!!” As I was saying, I find myself looking signs of the dis-ease around every corner.
Does this sounds familiar to you? Maybe you have broken a bone in the past, and still every time you accidentally put too much force or pressure behind it, jar it or tweak it (whatever “tweaking” it actually means…) you automatically think you have compromised the integrity and strength of that bone again. Or perhaps you have cat allergies (like I do…;) and even in the midst of cold and flu season when your colleagues and gal pals are sneezing and coughing all around you, the moment you feel that tickle in your throat you automatically look around for that darned cat! I often think of how great it would be to have my very own scan machine in my house (one that does not emit radiation, of course) so I could scan my body everyday as part of my morning tooth brushing, flossing, dog walking routine. Why not throw a harmless scan in there, just to be sure!?
I recently saw a quote that read ” Life becomes easier when you accept an apology that you never got”. This is such a powerful message, so applicable to this topic and I found it instantly resonated so deeply within me when I read it. We are never going to literally receive apologies from our bodies for the journeys they have sent us on, but if we can accept these experiences for all that they were and all that they have taught us, we can allow ourselves to fully surrender and find forward momentum. Trust = consistency / time. I know that the more health-full time I have between my disease and the present moment, the more trust I will be able to restore in this relationship with my body, and the less I will be analyzing any abnormalities as symptoms but rather accepting them as my body being perfectly imperfect.
Unlike that super cool pair of jeans that I used to know, I can’t just chalk up my diagnosis as a bad experience and toss this old body in the recycle bin. And I sure wouldn’t want to, either! This body and the experiences that it has given me have shaped me, and recently sent me on quite the trajectory! And on top of everything, it has taught me about having faith in what I do not know for sure, and about trusting the odds.