Today, I have something to share with you. It is part of my Breast Cancer healing journey, but it goes beyond.
About two years ago, in March 2016, there was an intensive of shamanic ceremony. The intensive was held by my mentor’s mentor, a shaman from Peru.
I signed up around January 2016 before I was diagnosed with my second time breast cancer. Then, in February, I have found that my Breast Cancer was back and it was an invasive one.
I felt even more that I must go to meet this shaman after I learned that my cancer was back. I had hope… He might be able to give me some answers or some guidance on how to navigate during this terrible health crisis, or I even thought that he could help to heal my cancer.
Before going to the intensive, I was waiting for all test results to come back to figure out the stage of cancer and all other details. Blood tests, biopsies, MRI, PET/CT scan. All these stressful enough tests happened. I felt that I was part of a movie or TV drama… I could not feel that it was my reality. It felt like watching someone’s game. I tried not to be emotional. But every day was very heavy … not only for me, but for both my husband and myself by not knowing what would happen to me. I know it sounds extreme. But it was like waiting for a death sentence.
My meeting with my doctor was set right after the intensive. I have to say, it was crazy that the timing of all these events fell into place. Meeting a shaman before my cancer diagnose meeting. There must be a fate that I signed up the intensive to meet him in this timing.
My expectation was sky high. I was hoping that this shaman could give me some kind of hope and I could go to the doctor’s meeting with peaceful & easy mind and hope.
Anyways, I spent two days with him for the intensive. Being just diagnosed with cancer, I was simply lost. I did not even share this news with our close friends. So, I was there by holding a super heavy feeling, that I could not share my condition with anyone else, but with him and a few people. I was in a dark place. I did not know what my health meant, why I had to find cancer. Totally hopeless. But I was trying to find a reason and a road that would take me somewhere that I would be happy and hopeful again.
The intensive was a large group, like 20 people. Whenever there was time, I tried to sit closer to him, even though I did not know what I wanted to talk with him. I just sat closer to him. Then, when my questions came up, I just asked him.
I actually do not remember how we started this conversation. But he asked me this question.
"Okay, let me ask you this question. You are at the Divine Temple and the Highest Order tells you this. ‘We can give you another 40 years of life without cancer or as many years as you wanted, with good health. But you have to tell us WHY YOU NEED IT.’ What is your answer?”
I could not answer at all.
I could not say even like, "I want to live because I want to spend more time with my daughter!” or "I want to spend more time with my family.” I simply could not say anything WHY I wanted to live longer.
In fact, I did not feel right to say "I want to live because I want to spend more time with my daughter!”. Instead, there was a thought, "My husband is such an amazing father. My daughter will be just fine even I am not there.”
I was even more devastated after this intensive, because his question made me realized that I did not have a strong desire to live. I was okay to leave if I could not make it… I did not know why I need to have a healthy body again by overcoming cancer. How sad it was … Today, if I think about that day, it makes me really terrible.
I came home and I shared this conversation and my answer with my husband. He must have been shocked. I honestly shared that "A desire of more time with you and our daughter was not the answer to ask for a longer life.” If I remember that correctly, he said something like "If she (our daughter) does not have her mother, nothing can fill the void.” I understood what he meant, but I did not feel it from my heart.
Though this big bomb question was dropped by the shaman, today I can tell you that this was the fundamental struggle of my entire life by searching "WHY” I need to live.
My teenage years and twenties were in a really dark place. I struggled. I asked my parent that I wanted to go to see therapists and do counseling sessions when I was 18 or 19 years old, because I felt that I was not a good person. I wanted to kill myself. I remember that my first wrist cut was at 18 years old or somewhere there. The World was so painful for me to live. Obviously, I did not have a strong desire to live then.
Many suicide attempts. I was in the ER a few times because of that. So much alcohol during the twenties. I overdosed by many prescribed medications, which I desperately managed to get by visiting my doctor’s office, because I needed sleeping pills and minor tranquilizer pills. Insomnia. Anorexia, where I gained and lost 10~15kg of my weight every year. Gambling. Spending issues. Luckily, I was not getting into drug addictions. I think I did everything that possibly could hurt myself.
I hit the bottom. I call the place hell. I thought I would never be able to get out of the hell. I think, ultimately, that all this happened, because I did not know WHY I have to live or WHY I want to live. I was crying and said, "Why do I have to live?”
Somehow, I could get out of hell in the middle of my twenties. I met a gentleman at a bar, who shared a story about DNA and his story made me being able to believe that I have strength to live. I could stand myself again and I knew that I was out of the darkest place of my life. I did any effort to continue my life since then, because I knew that I never want to go back to the darkest hell. To not go back to that place, I worked so hard.
But it was just strength and finding the ability to live. Not the REASON WHY I WANT TO LIVE.
Even though I got hit by the first breast cancer when I was 41, it did not wake me up. I just kept going and going without having a positive desire for living. I was living with a very weird feeling that I was like a marionette. I often felt that I was watching my life from the outside of my body. I did not feel the connections with my word and actions.
I think Breast cancer came back for so many reasons. But one of the reasons was to deliver a message. "HEY, WAKE UP. If you do not really find a reason why you want to live, you will shut down one day.”
One of my favorite book by Paul Peacele "Super Joy”, he writes, "All disease is ultimately a form of disconnection” Now I can deeply agree with him. I was disconnected with me and Life.
Over the last two years since I decided to cure my cancer by only natural ways, there were many awakening moments to learn about my life. I have realized more about my life events and the relationship to society and culture, that affected to my struggles. But my question had never been solved. I still could not find the answer for why I need to live. What is the meaning of life? What does it mean to me if I continue to live without cancer or at least living healthy?
Then, last week, I had a session with my dearest mentor, Vonetta. We had a great session as we almost always do. And then we had a lovely lunch time together afterward.
I just simply asked her.
"Can I ask you a simple question. What is meaning of your life? Why do you want to live??”
She instantly responded with full of splashing energy that I could feel joy that overflowed from her.
"Oh, Ran. Because I love life!!!! I would hate to leave my life now, because life is so exciting!! I can feel joy by just feeling the sun right now. I just feel joy every moment and I can't stop it.”
The moment I heard her words, I knew that my question was finally answered. She gave me the answer not because how she explained it, but by expressing her excitement and joy that she has with her experience toward LIFE. She embodied the joy that makes her want to live in this life.
Since that day, my relationship to this world has been changed and I see this world differently.
I need to tell you what was the biggest point of my realization that I had on the day, that changed my life forever. I was always thinking that I have to find desires to live for "my” life. I mean… I always thought I had to find a reason for "my” life. For example, like passion. Maybe I need to paint and become a painter or an artist. I need to be successful with my business, I want to be a good mother. I want to be recognized as unique person who shares something with this world. If I do not have such special meaning or ability, I thought I do not have a meaning to be here. I tried so hard for many many years who I wanted to be, and searched for what I can do or want to do to make my life meaningful and meanings that makes me feel wanting to live.
But I do not need such to meaningful or special life, that is what I realized after Vonetta’s words. I realized that I just belong to LIFE, to this world where I was born. When I dropped the concept of "my” life, and started thinking that I am part of "Life” and all this world, things have become so clearly delightful to me.
I do not have to have something special or meaningful to make my life meaningful. If I feel this moment as joy, that’s all that matters. If I see the a flower in front of me and "feel beautiful”, that is enough to make me live. By inhaling and feeling my body is alive, that is enough to be here! If I can feel that I am on the Earth right this moment and feel so good with the Sun, that is enough reason to live.
Oh my god, while I write this, it gives me a feeling of dance within me.
If you have read Paramahansa Yogananda's book "Scientific healing affirmations”. You may have learned that he talks about Life Energy. When I read it, I tried to understand what is Life Energy. What is missing within my life? How can I ignite my Life Energy again?
I think I have found it. It may be different if I ask him. But for me, my Life energy was not active because I did not have a connection to this "life” which I belong to. This joy that I can feel by realizing I live in this life activates my life energy.
Again, I must say thank you to my cancer. If I did not have this healing journey, I do not know if I could come to this realization. I am just so grateful that now I can feel the joy to live in this world, I am also excited to EVERYTHING. This world has become a very welcoming place where I can find infinite possibilities of excitement.
To conclude my discovery to this answer, I wanted to share one of my experiences that I had in one of the shamanic ceremonies.
It was 2017, March. I attended another intensive that was held by the Shaman from Peru. On the 3rd day of the ceremony, I could go back to my mother’s womb. I was all of a sudden in complete darkness. A complete black, that only I saw. Then, I was hearing voices talking about me. My father and grandparents were surrounding my mother and talking about how excited they were to welcoming me. Inside of my mother’s womb, I was filled with excitement and curiosity. I wanted to see the world! I want to come out to experience the excitements that they are talking about and that the outside of the womb offers. That was the moment I decide to give birth to myself.
From this experience, I tell my friends and family, that if everyone remembers these excitements, our life would be different. So, it is my job to keep this excitement as real for my daughter. Now, I re-recognize this excitement between life and myself. I think this is the Life energy.
I haven't seen my mentor’s mentor, the Shaman this year yet, because the schedule never worked out. I almost feel that there is a reason that it did not work… Anyhow, my mentor’s mentor became my mentor. Without him and Vonetta, I do not think I would be here today like the way I am.