Updated: Jul 12, 2018
The Fear-Denial Cycle
Those who know me know that although most often I am a great listener, there are times where I am not! In these times, it is usually the presence of fear that prevents my mind and spirit from listening. So, what to do when the fear hits? Go into denial? There’s a problem with that: when the denial wears off, the only thing to do is sink back into fear. So I ask again, what to do when the fear strikes? After experience, I can answer myself this:
If fear keeps resurfacing, the emotion is carrying a message or resolution. I have learned that messages from ourselves, our intuition, spirit, and the universe will only keep knocking louder when ignored.
The knocking was growing increasingly loud in the beginning stages of my recovery from breast cancer. My body was telling me things, and with the help of others, I began listening.
Post-diagnosis, I had a lot of fear. My friend Jill helped me determine what to do when fear struck. Listen for the message - is there something that needs to be removed or changed? In the beginning, the messages were mostly in regards to diet. Nutrition is a pinnacle of healing, and my body was wise enough to reject all but the most simple and natural foods. It would tell me, sometimes in peculiar ways, when things were right for me or not. Jill helped me develop a method to take the time to listen to the messages.
At one point, I had a strong feeling to change something in my morning routine. Though I had a low-sugar diet, something just seemed off. In taking the time to listen to this feeling, I realized that my morning matcha green tea latte, though sugar-free, was made with almond milk containing sugar. I made a simple change and removed this drink from my mornings. Finally, I had listened. And the fear subsided as soon as I made the change in routine.
Another message came not in the form of emotion, but in physical taste. One day, I had a persistent, strange taste in my mouth and was scared and the taste would not subside. After an entire day with the taste, I realized that earlier I had eaten four potato chips. Even though they were of high quality ingredients, my body was telling me not to eat any fried foods. As soon as I identified the message, the taste subsided.
Another way my body speaks to me consistently is through a stab in my left arm pit. If I’m wanting to eat something that my body doesn’t want, I will feel that stab in my left arm pit. A thought can also trigger this sensation. Messages come in all shapes and form, some in obvious stabs, and others in more subtle, fashions that take a lifetime journey to interpret. It’s a fun and exciting puzzle to learn the languages and meanings of messages, and has added a magical wonder to life. Whatever form the message takes, the most important thing to do is to listen.
After almost two years of learning to listen to physical messages, a deeper spiritual healing needed to happen and I needed to learn to use it for my mind and spirit as well. I was afraid to admit the truth to myself. I had almost lost my own life during a period where I found myself a caretaker. I did not want to admit to myself the effect of certain patterns I had developed. The fear was overwhelming and I started having heart palpitations and felt a knife through my heart. I needed to admit the truth to myself, change some relationships, and acknowledge my own heartbreak.
I needed to listen to the truth and act accordingly. Many spiritual books speak of embracing people, but I had to learn to increase my ability to be a friend to and embrace myself by allowing my true feelings to flow. The deeper healing, spiritually and emotionally, was assisted by many tools such as those found in The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson, and Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman. Light Emerging, The Journey of Personal Healing by Barbara Ann Brennan helped me understand on a deeper level about my own healing journey and the importance of purpose in my life.
Although I retired to Oahu for a less stressful life, I still need to have a purposeful life. This purpose will ground me into my life and be my creation. These tools helped me look at the situation on a deeper level without being consumed by it.
When receiving the potato chip message via the bad taste in my mouth, it was so frightening to know with certainty that something was wrong, but not understand exactly what that something was. It was a similar experience in the years just preceding my diagnosis.
I had a fibroid scar on my breast from a seat belt in a past car accident. This fibroid then changed into the cancer. I would not have been able to detect a lump until it was advanced, possibly resulting in a different outcome. But somehow I knew that it was there before I was told. The knowledge that something was wrong would sneak in, sometimes waking me up at night.
As frightening as it was to have an idea that I was getting breast cancer a couple years before it happened, I know now that the messages were coming to offer the possibility of prevention. I began making changes in my life a couple years before the physical manifestation; I lost twenty-five pounds and started doing cardiovascular workouts many mornings before work. These were pinnacles for continuing my healthy lifestyle, but it was not enough for complete prevention. I am a big believer in prevention and hope my story might help change even one person’s path.
This process of receiving information has been sometimes frightening, awkward, distracting, and sometimes resulted in the opposite outcome if I misinterpret the message. I am still sometimes afraid and confused, sometimes stubborn, but I do my best to face the truth and trust this process. And in trusting the process, I have learned to trust the fear. Not give into the fear, but trust that the fear is carrying a message. And when a message comes, there is always a reason.
Our mind, body, and spirit work together to bring us messages to ensure our survival and thrival. The magic of this journey, learning to respect these processes that are inherent in the human being, is full of both wonder and mystery. I am looking so forward to further exploring this journey in the years to come.