Yesterday I was celebrating a strange anniversary.
Exactly two years ago, I was waking up in intensive care without my left leg, with a one in two chance of survival to two years without cancer recurrence. The Thursday before, like every three months, I underwent a Scan and an MRI of control, after having spent the previous two weeks to feel this strange mixture of confidence and peace, interspersed with moments when I felt the terror who prowled and where I had to calm my mind at the same time so as not to let myself panic, without stifling this fear which is so close to the desire to live and which harbors its energy.
On Wednesday evening, just before these exams, I led an online meditation workshop called “How to Treat Yourself with More Tenderness” and I felt deep joy and gratitude when I accompanied the participants in a guided meditation to help them recognize the inner voices that persecute them and that deprive them of part of their ability to treat themselves well, then to connect to new resources to better live with themselves.
The week before, I signed a contract with a California publisher for my book, "Toxic Jesus," after submitting the three additional chapters he had asked me to write after reading my first manuscript.
And so here I am, alive, and filled with these multiple contradictory emotions: I celebrate life and love. I also grieve my loss and I stay with my pain and my mourning. I run up against my new limits every day. And yet I am full of joy and enthusiasm for the new opportunities that are opening up. I don’t feel like my “after life” is less rich than my “before life”, quite the opposite in fact.
There is energy and vital momentum in each of these emotions, and I don't want to deprive myself of any of them, because if I have learned something it is that life deserves to to be loved, cared for, and that it is made of it all. To want to subtract or stifle one or the other is to deprive yourself of part of its flavor.
To embrace them, to expand the space of my consciousness to keep myself with them, with all of them, is to be enriched with the energy that each of them contains. Sadness no less than joy, anger no less than gratitude, fear no less than peace. It is all this energy which animates me and which carries me forward, it is all this energy which makes me rich and in love, and which makes me celebrate this life which is given to me, and receive it as a gift, and live it fully.