It’s Good Friday, not Bad Friday—a day of crucifixion of the ego and disintegration of what needs to be let go. I surrender to this day.
After months of tests and fears, I write the doctor’s exact words on my yellow legal pad: aggressive prostate cancer, bad prognosis, Gleason score 8, extensive treatments.
I lift my face up to the fluorescent light and breathe. I glance at my husband Gene. He is doing the exact same thing. As always, we move in parallel.
I wonder, What is faith? I have none. I have too much. I am everywhere with faith. Is despair the opposite of faith? Me and despair, we chummy up. We have long talks in the night—until sunrise.
I watch the poppa owl land on my fence post to hunt for breakfast. He has faith he’ll find something to bring home to his nest, that they’ll live another day in spite of coyotes, hawks, and bobcats. He gives those bad things no power.
I learned at Unity Ministerial School that I have 12 powers I’m always using for better or worse. The first is faith. Do I have faith in divine order or faith in chaos and fear? Good question. I need to glue these words from our writing exercise to my soul: I give no power to the doctor’s diagnoses and alarming statistics that disempower us. I affirm my faith in Gene’s powerful divine essence and his infinite healing abilities, which he activates daily through positive thoughts, beliefs, and a focus on healing.
I give no power to old stories and memories of losing my first husband, two girlfriends, and my dad to cancer. I affirm my faith in today as a new beginning with infinite possibilities completely unrelated to past experiences.
This past week before we left for the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, I lost my faith a thousand times. I did not want to go. I was fierce, raging at cancer, raging at God.
Once in Arizona, we felt like light was pouring through us, filling us both with love and laughter for the first time in so long. We had faith. We found magic in every conversation, in every person we met, and in the places we visited. It broke us wide open. At Unity of Phoenix, we fell in love with the community and the minister.
Gene’s doctor at Mayo told us Gene needed nine weeks of five-days-a-week treatments—a much more extensive plan than we expected. It terrified us. It elated us. We’ll lose our home in Boulder, Colorado. We’ll find a new one. I have faith. I’m bringing dinner home to my nest with absolute faith my beloveds will always be there—despite whatever circles around our lives.
I learned the second power I’m always using for better or worse is understanding. As the doctor describes the proton beams and pinpoints of light that will illuminate and destroy Gene’s cancer cells, I seek understanding of how Gene sees this. A look of absolute terror flickers across his face when the doctor mentions certain side effects, possibilities of doom.
I seek understanding of myself, how I make Gene and the doctor laugh to distract them whenever I see Gene falter in fear or sense how fed up Gene is with me and my fierce self—always coaching, cheering, sure a solution has arrived. Just too many exclamation points. I seek understanding of how to stop and just Be. In. It.
I seek understanding of my endless fear of crippling grief, of homelessness, and despair. I seek understanding of my inner divinity that rises like a phoenix, more powerful than any force in the universe.
Cancer has nothing on my fierce bitch divinity; grief is pitiful in the face of my fierce Christ consciousness.
I seek understanding of how to dig into my heart and rip out the fear that hides within, to proton beam away my ego. When I’m in remission from ego, I know only love and light. I become a proton beam of divine love piercing Gene’s body, destroying anything he is unable to destroy himself.
I seek understanding of how to live with fewer exclamation points, with more pauses and breaths.
I seek understanding of every single thing that makes us afraid and broken and terrified and unaware that we are God.