I was talking to somebody on the telephone the other day about a recently diagnosed cancer. She is at the stage of waiting for an appointment for surgery. Yes the long wait of unknowing when time slooooows down to a crawl and days feel like weeks. We were talking about thoughts of worry and the what if’s which come with this kind of news. There is every good reason for the mind to run on, and on, in such circumstances. One’s life is threatened after all. At times it can feel like those thoughts, and oneself, are running totally out of control. Imagine? Just imagine how that might be?
Most of us have had this experience at least once in our lives I would think. That’s our thoughts coming thick and fast and the resulting inner chaos has one in a desperate state, while at the same time outwardly attempting to maintain some semblance of normality. It would seem even to have enough mental space to think about letting them go has evaporated. In such circumstances one becomes ones thoughts. Fear is obviously in the ascendancy and that is a normal response when life is threatened. Every fiber of one’s being is on high alert. A cancer growing in one’s body IS the fiber of ones body after all! Towards the end of our conversation she said, I don’t want my thoughts to develop legs!
And for the life of me I asked, Do you take walks? Came the emphatic reply, Yes I certainly do, they keep me physically strong and help me emotionally too. My suggestion was to take her cancer for a walk. A merit walk you could call it. I suggested she, Offer the merit of the walk to the cancer, to all of you. Body and mind together.
As Rev. Alicia wrote in her last article Unexamined Thoughts, it is fruitless to try and control thoughts. However giving them the light of one’s attention makes a difference in terms of their energy. By acknowledging runaway thoughts, by taking them for a merit walk, such thoughts might well slow down, at the very least. This is to turn the stream of compassion within. Compassion is, after all, our very nature. A truth too often lost sight off.
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