Here Comes the Sun
Hi everyone, well you would think I would be blogging more considering all the time I have on my hands. Anyway, I hope everyone is well during this crazy time. Like many of you, I have my share of ups and downs. One day I am calm and the next day I am down in the dumps. So if you are going through this, you are not alone. I am going through it too and we are all in this together. You might ask, Lori what do you do to through these times?
Well, I recently had an appointment, or I should say a video visit with my oncologist Dr. Olin. I always have a list of questions since my appointments are now spread out to every four months. One of the questions on my list was, "Dr. Olin, can I go out in the sun? A simple question but for me it was momentous. After my bone marrow transplant, I was not able to stay in the sun because of the possibility of developing GVHD. Graft Versus Host Disease. In the last two and a half years I have avoided the sun by wearing big sun hats, slathering my body in 50 SPF, and staying in the shade under a big umbrella. I made the most of it and considering the alternative, I was content. The sun was always a big part of my life. Beach vacations are my favorite and well, its the sun, who doesn't love the sun. Pretty hard to avoid. I made the most of it, I was alive after all, and to keep it that way I followed the rules. So back to my question. I timidly asked, "Dr. Olin can I go out in the sun?" Without hesitation, Dr. Olin replied, "Yes." I couldn't believe it. Just like that, I was given something I thought I would never have again, the sun shining on my face.
I was recently listening to a podcast by Abraham. A woman named Esther Hicks channels a higher spirit by the name of Abraham. Ok, stick with me. I know it sounds weird and the first time I listened to Esther it was a bit creepy but found I loved the message. Abraham teaches the law of attraction and to attract you need to be in the present moment. I have written about this many times before but the more I write it about this the more it helps me to remember how to get out of my own way. Abraham says, "Picture yourself in a canoe floating down a river. Sit in your boat and stay in the present moment." Sounds easy enough but is it? For me, it is really difficult. When frustration, powerlessness, hopelessness shows up in my life, I know I am not sitting in my boat face forward. My canoe is probably pointing in the wrong direction, either upstream or downstream. As you can imagine how hard it is to paddle upstream and all the turmoil it would create. Or how about paddling really fast to get ahead of yourself. COVID 19 is an example of either wanting to be in the past were I missed, what I thought, so many opportunities, or thinking about the future and better days to come. Yes, the present can be sad but I realize I can have a good cry as I float down the river and the situation will pass. This too shall pass. Here is an example. My son is graduating from High School right now. There is no prom, Senior celebrations, graduation...nothing. I was really really sad for him. As a mom, I wanted to take his pain away by saying maybe we can have a party once this is all over. Or maybe we can rent a boat on the lake this summer with his friends. I was trying to think of something to ease his pain but the fact is I can't. He needs to feel the frustration, disappointment, and sadness of never getting the end of his Senior year back. Instead of trying to fix the situation, I needed to embrace the present moment and support what he was going through. I did this by staying in my boat and let him have his feelings.
So back to Dr. Olin and the sun. We were recently in a swimming pool and I was slathered in sunscreen with my big hat under the umbrella. I heard a voice in my head saying, Lori, you know you can lie in the sun? Was I breaking the bone marrow transplant law of staying out of the sun? What if Dr. Olin is wrong? Screw it, I am going to close my umbrella and get some sun. My kids were swimming in the pool and I realized for the first time in over three years I could jump in and swim with them. I took the leap and in I went. We were laughing and joking around but at that moment I understood what staying in my boat meant. I felt pure joy. It was if I was in slow motion and I could see the droplets of water flying in the air and the smiles on my children's face. You know me, the tears started pouring down my face. I was so happy and I so glad I chose to stay in my canoe because that swim was one of the best gifts I have ever received.
So what am I doing to get through these times? Most of the time I try to think about my purpose in life and once in a while I am reminded that I am living my purpose. Yes, I get frustrated about what our government officials are doing. We all want to move forward out of this pandemic and into more certainty about the future of our country. So I bitch a little and then I go back to sitting in my canoe where I know that I am the happiest. Every night I pray for the world to heal. Meditation centers me but when I get caught up in my own BS I remember to take a deep breath, picture myself in my boat and go with the flow. Be well.