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Wide Open painting by Julia Fehrenbacher

Yesterday I found out that a teacher at my daughter's school isn't there because she was diagnosed with breast cancer and over the past few months had undergone a double mastectomy, painful reconstructive surgery, and of course, chemo. Everyone is rallying around this young woman, and painfully afraid of what will happen to her two young daughters. This woman is the picture of health, beautiful, charismatic, and certainly the unlikeliest of candidates to ever have to fight cancer, as if the victim should hold a certain profile.

I was surprised yesterday, when I found out, however, that I wasn't feeling pain in the same way as the others around me. I was taking in the story, but my old way of processing information wasn't there. I wasn't weighed down by the news for the rest of the day, waiting for time to dull the ache of something that I didn't understand, that felt so unjust and so insane. My heart wasn't aching and fearful for her children, and I wasn't suspended in silent and painful prayer for God to save this young mother's life.

And I realize that this was a moment, when my Soul was reminding me to look beyond the form, and to see the beauty--to find that gorgeous angle that sets my heart free, that opens the space of love; to embrace and see the light and the healing that emanates naturally from a place that knows that all is well, that there is no death, that the beautiful change in form is a gift.

I realized that all of me wanted to see this woman in a different way, not as a victim of her disease, but as an unlikely warrior, who chose long ago to battle cancer, so that she may be set free from her fear, so that she might find the beauty that her experience gives her as she outgrows her old ways of thinking, and shatters her limiting ideas that would keep her blind.

I realized that all of me wanted to see her as living, not dying.

And I let the wisdom sink in, that the body is our most important tool in understanding the world of form. It is our strongest illusion. It is the ultimate decider of our fate, whether we survive or not; how it adapts, how it registers on all of the rigid measurements we have set up for ourselves to judge our health, and how well the body keeps us functioning in the fast lane.

Change in the the form of the body is judged very quickly as good or bad; faster than we can even be aware. So, if you are spiritual seeker like me, you desire to look past the form and find the truth.

I've spoken about my divorce, and how by changing the structure of our marriage, my relationship with this man has been able to work on many more levels than the one we were forcing, in adhering to the world of form. It has truly been a gift.

Changes in the body are no different than any other changes in structure. It opens up our experience to function on many different levels of understanding and experiencing.
Who is to say that cancer is bad? But it kills you! You scream at me. And I say, NO! That is the illusion, that we could actually give cancer the power to kill. My sweet fellow Souls, all of our forms are dying, but if we choose to look at it another way, we can live the rest of our days, really living, or we can choose to live dying. Many of us begin dying while our bodies are healthy, in fear of all that could harm our splendid flesh, or the flesh of those we love.

I, myself, desire to live along with this woman, who is LIVING! She is still here, and it is beautiful. If we can just see it, and our hearts so want to! You have to drop into the heart space to find vision, however. The mind can't get a grip on why there could be so much suffering.

The gradual or sudden change in or disappearance of form tells us to hold those close to us in the act of living, to look past the illusion, to what is really there, to see who people really are, and to not miss a second of it, dying and imprisoned in a world of fear and loss.

Can you see how our immortality is our most wonderful gift, if we choose to let it remind us of how precious our time together is?

As far as I am concerned, this woman is being given one of the greatest gifts that we could have...Imagine living instead of dying, unafraid because you have stared down the face of death, and you have walked away with your Soul intact. Now you know you can die at any moment, because you have questioned your belief that you actually have any control over it, or that you, in your limited vision, actually know what is best for you. You have questioned that those left behind you won't be okay. Your wisdom from your Soul has taken you past the illusion that they can't make it without you, and you know that their path with or without you is as bright and beautiful as the night sky, and with so many possible patterns of light to form the most magnificent constellations.

And you are left living until your form isn't. You say, but you are sick and in bed, and suffering from side-effects! How is that living?! And I say, that it is merely the appearance of form. Go beyond it, and see what it has to show you. Form takes nothing from the living unless you allow it, unless you can't see past the illusion that somehow you are being robbed, beaten and held prisoner.

Imagine watching someone at the "end" in a place of living yourself, instead of dying along side them. You can be there to laugh and feel joy, instead of feeling fear and suffering at watching what is happening to them. There is no need for either of you to be dying while you are living, no matter what your form says! But our thoughts want us to die. They are sure that this world is a scary dangerous place. I say our thoughts are scary and dangerous!

We are all on a journey to the end of form, it is our choice to awaken to the beauty of living.

And if you so happen to heal in the world of form, and stay around longer, you are changed. Those around you are changed. And there is faith in healing, there is the feeling of love that has come to you in so many beautiful forms.

And if it is your time, you can let go in peace, in loving acceptance and trust, that this adventure is over, but it was all so beautiful. And you give thanks. And we give thanks for you.

Dear sweet angel of a woman,

May this be your way to healing, not of your body, but of your mind. May this be your moment to celebrate, and fully live and love, no matter what your world of form may look like.

May I be there with you in spirit, unattached to any outcome of the flesh, but in celebration of you, and your release of fear, because although cancer has touched your precious experience, it has taken your heart and soul to new heights. May I see you in all your splendor, and may I thank the body that has given me this gift to see you.


  1. Thank you for helping me to see (something that is seemingly very painful) in a new light.

    Very beautiful.


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