A new week, a new day, the cusp of a new month. Transformation and introspection linger in the air. Another delicious morning of reflection and inspiration from Dr. Remen. This morning I was reading her introduction to the section on Freedom in Kitchen Table Wisdom:
“Often in times of crisis when we reach for what we have considered our strength we stumble on our wholeness and our real power. How we were before we fixed ourselves to win approval. What has been fixed is always less strong than what is whole. In time of real need we may remember and free ourselves.”
I can hear my friend Gloria saying to me yesterday how she has become more ‘unedited’ as she has gotten older. I smiled thinking of the deliciousness of not worrying what others think. Of not fixing myself to please someone else. And, simply letting go of the idea there is something I need to do to feel alive and complete.
“Actually, we are all more than we know. Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten. Integrity rarely means that we need to add something to ourselves: it is more an undoing than a doing, a freeing ourselves from beliefs we have about who we are and ways we have been persuaded to “fix” ourselves to know who we genuinely are. Even after many years of seeing, thinking, and living one way, we are able to reach past all that to claim our integrity and live in a way we may never have expected to live. Being with people at such times is like watching them pat their pockets, trying to remember where they have put their soul.”
Something about wholeness. I am drawn to the idea of it. I was invited to embrace it by a friend when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. She gave me a lovely necklace she had bought in Israel that has two silver circular rings interlaced together. I have been wearing it almost every day, as a gentle, graceful reminder that I am whole.
“Often in reclaiming the freedom to be who we are, we remember some basic human quality, an unsuspected capacity for love or compassion or some other part of our common birthright as human beings. What we find is almost always a surprise but it is also familiar; like something we have put in the back of a drawer long ago, once we see it we know it is our own.”
Wholeness came to me as acceptance of the darker side of my being, the feelings I had not been comfortable acknowledging, like anger, sadness, resistance. As I leaned in to my wholeness, I found myself expressing a fuller range of emotions. I felt light and free.
[You can read more about my journey with breast cancer and finding my wholeness at Mostly My Heart Sings.]