"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Commit to Your Highest Possibility

“I want my will to live to be strong. I want to get as much time out of this as possible. And so I need to work at that with complete focus and dedication and clarity and concentration, and right effort." Treya Killam Wilber

Committing to our highest possibility is about life's purpose and intention. It is to choose LIFE, even in the very imminent face of death itself. It is, for some, “to discover and fulfill their destiny”. It is, for others, “to become who God intended them to be”.

Committing our highest possibility is to live each moment to its fullest. It is to exercise our power of choice towards what is life-giving in the current situation. This universal theme is proclaimed in cultures around the world. The Latin expression Carpe Diem implores us to “seize the day”… for tomorrow we may die. The Japanese have a term, Ichi Nichi, Issho, “one day, one lifetime”, which reminds us to live each day as if our whole life is summed up in it.

I have come to believe that a healthy awareness of the “proximity of death” can lead us to living with a deeper commitment to our highest possibility. Often this means identifying and letting go of the things that are inhibiting us. Too often our lives are clogged and cluttered with the trivial and meaningless. We become limited by “false identities”, we are plagued by fear and anxiety, and we suffer cravings, addictions, and aversions. It’s amazing how quickly we can see and name this stuff for what it is when we become more acutely aware of our mortality. Once we’ve named that which binds us, we can begin the process of relinquishing it and turning towards what gives life.

Sometimes in the cancer journey the highest possibility is directed totally towards our own health and healing. That’s just the way it is. I’ve had to give over huge chunks of my life to coping with surgery and chemo, and to self-care. It has to be recognized that sometimes the "highest possibility" is just getting out for a walk, having a nap, or having a little bite to eat. But sometimes... it is much, much more!

Committing to our highest possibility is a deeply personal matter. It means being true to ourselves in terms of “who we are”, “why we’re here”, and “where we’re going”. It involves discernment in discovering what is important in our lives and how to respond to it. It entails courage and integrity to allow ourselves to be defined by our core values and our "essential self" rather than by the “cookie cutter” identities our culture seeks to impose on us by our roles, occupations, possessions, or physical attributes and deficits.

Living with cancer can help to clarify the vision of our lives, allow us to realize untapped possibilities, free us to live more richly, and to love more deeply… may it be so.

Rob; in Vancouver

“All of us have been dying, hour by hour, since the moment we were born. Realizing this, let all things be placed in their proper perspective… Remember, it is always later than you think. Og Mandino

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