“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it once more.’ ~Author Unknown
I had the most frightening experience recently, and one that will be etched in my mind as one of those ‘forever moments’ as I know in some way, it has forever changed me.
And with each one, I’ve had to work just a little bit harder to center myself and clean up this ‘spiritual mess.’
Being sick is really hard.
And, I know I’m a much weaker version of what I once was—but, my heart and my spirit, are still quite amazingly strong.
I am resilient, but not so completely unbreakable—as perhaps, this process, has left my spirit feeling just a bit ‘raw.’
And yet, each day that I wake up, my heart spills over with gratitude, before these two feet ever hit that floor.
Because, I’ve learned that healing is much more than a bottle of medicine; true healing rises up from a much deeper ‘within.’
So, today I believe I will be redirecting these sails and setting down a brand new, and much better course.
One that surrounds me with the most love and joy….because…love and joy are the very best, and only true spiritual medicine.
In closing, and to all of my doctors and friends—this is my very best, and most simple ‘hope manifesto’…I just hope it makes a little sense to some.
A Letter to my Doctors: My Very Simple Hope Manifesto
Dear Medical “Community”…
Dear doctors, dear lab techs,
Dear difficult-to-pronounce specialists…
I am not your experiment, your head scratch, or very best guess… your bother in the middle of the night when no one else is there on call…
And, I am not the one to get shuffled on again because you’ve just reached your maximum thinking point.
I am tired of surgeries… of the pin pricks and pokes…
The looking over of charts and notes which are written in a language I just don’t understand…
I am tired of the wheezing when I walk gently these few stairs.
And the million and one side effects from all of your pills and potions?
I am tired of those, as well.
In treating my heart, you’ve broken my soul.
And now, it seems, you won’t even look me in these tired eyes when it is that I sit in front of you these days.
Is that your guilt? Your own fear?
I am afraid, too.
I am afraid that these moments passing will never be found again.
I am afraid that each day I will feel myself grow just a little bit weaker, and with no help in sight.
And I am afraid that those I love most will get that call in the middle of the night.. the one that will take their breath away and change their lives in forever sorts of ways.
I have this fear, too.
And yet, I hold hope stronger than each and all and every single little shred of this fear…
Because, I know…so very down deep in my heart, that even this darkness will someday define my light.
And on those nights, when fear challenges me the most—hope is always near to help my heart smile again.
They say, hope rises in the most mysterious of ways, and on these such days—when it is that your heart is finally open to it.
My heart is always open to hope. I suggest you let yours do the same.
Because, where there is hope… you’ll find a limitless possibility…
And in that space of limitless possibility,
That’s where all the best miracles begin.
So, why don’t you come out and meet me right there?
Bonus Poem on Loving Life Again:
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta