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I was on my way to work when I saw a number splash across my phone’s screen.
I knew it was my doctor calling to talk to me about my recent ultrasound results.
I didn’t pick up; I let the call go to voicemail. I rushed through the New York City morning crowd, just like any other day, but today I was desperate to get to work. I wanted to hear every word that she had to say because—somehow, deep down inside of me—I knew there was something wrong.
I walked into the office, sat at my desk, and went through my emails. I stood up from my seat, walked into a glass-wall meeting room, sat in a chair, and bundled up the courage to finally call back my doctor. She answered:
“Hi Laura, it’s Emily, I wanted to let you know that we found a cyst in your ovaries and we need to give you a referral for a second opinion.”
My throat closed up with déjà vu—I’ve already seen how this movie ends.
“Is it bad?” I asked.
“We don’t know yet, but after the second test, we will have more answers, and we’ll be able to tell you the action plan for treatment.”
I thanked her for her time and hung up the phone. I sat in the room alone. On my right-hand side, I saw my coworkers tackling the tasks of the day; there is a presence of exciting energy in the office, the energy that only a Friday can hold.
My world fell apart—and they had no idea.
The room I was sitting in seemed so quiet. I glanced at an open window and felt a cool breeze on my cheek. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and called my sister. Then, I called my husband and offered him a divorce; I couldn’t possibly put him through what I was about to go through. Thankfully, he told me he loved me no matter what, and he would continue to love me, not only in this lifetime, but in the next one and then life after that.
When our life falls apart, it is essential to close our eyes and feel our breath. Just breathe; let your lungs fill up with air. What happened in the past no longer matters; what happens in the future nobody has control over it. Take it one day at the time.
How do we make our lungs take in a fresh breath of air when we just got punched in the stomach by life? When we just witnessed the air that gives us life leave our body.
Stay still for a moment; let your soul rest, and then:
One millisecond at the time—let yourself feel hurt and betrayed. Let every emotion surface to the edges of your body.
One second at the time—let the ocean of tears flow through the depths of your soul, and manifest into a physical reality. Cry the way a child cries when, for the first time, his lungs fill up with the taste of life’s sweet nectar.
Let tears close up your throat, and let grief flow through you; don’t waste your energy trying to stop it.
One minute at the time—close your eyes, slow down your breath, and be still. Listen carefully, do you hear that? That’s the beat of your heart. You are alive!
One hour at the time —just like the Greek gods, allow your lungs to fill up with the sweetness and aroma of ambrosia.
One moment at the time—surround yourself with people from the same soul-tribe as you; the ones you don’t need words to communicate with, because you are deeply connected.
One day at the time—allow yourself to embrace the unknown; the universe has never let you down before, and she won’t leave you now. She’ll wrap you in a silk hug with every loving-fiber she has, and while you might not understand why this is happening—I assure you—this will shape you into a Herculean, and you’ll witness your soul catch fire.
I can promise you, my dear, that one day, this will be a distant memory. You’ll be grateful you went through this as part of your human experience.
This path is now part of your story.
But for now, breathe, close your eyes, feel the beat of your heart, and just breathe.