Monday, October 1, 2012

Gifts in Disguise

"Take as a gift, whatever the day brings forth." Horace

This quote has been on my desktop for a couple of weeks now. It is one that truly resonates with me. It has been my practice to make the choice to see the positive, in everything. Even the difficult stuff... 

In 1994 I started to have a pain in my left wrist that was diagnosed as carpel tunnel syndrome. Over the next two years the pain slowly migrated up my arm, into my shoulder and then into my neck. I went through a battery of tests, ultrasound therapy, massage, myofascial release, chiropractic work... nothing seemed to help and I was left with a vague diagnosis and a not-so-comforting suggestion to learn to deal with my pain... for the.rest.of.my.life. Tough pill to swallow as every night at about three AM I would wake up to the feeling of ever-tightening vice grips clenched around my neck. I wasn't sure I could accept that answer. Thankfully, my father pushed the school clinic (I was in college living over 1000 miles away from my family) to get me in touch with a specialist. Within days I had an appointment. 


On the day I got an MRI I was told to expect results in about a week, so I went about my day. That same day, when I got home from classes, I pressed play on my answering machine and this is the message I heard... "Christina, this is the doctor's office. We have the results from your MRI. We have found a significant abnormality and we have found a doctor who is willing to work with you on an urgent basis. Please call as soon as possible." What? A significant abnormality... what does that mean? It was a tumor.... they were fairly certain it was benign... thankfully, it was. The main concern was the location of it in my neck, pressing against my spine. The doctors were worried about the removal of it and the too-quick decompression of my spine and the risk of paralysis. I was put on steroids to reduce the swelling and felt almost immediate physical relief. I also felt relief having an answer or at least and explanation to the source of my pain. 

Within two weeks I was in the operating room. It all happened so fast that I really didn't have much time to process anything before the surgery. It was my time afterwards where I spent time healing that I was able to contemplate what had happened and what was happening... I don't know why or from where this decision came, but I decided that this experience was a good thing. I chose to see this tumor, this mass of cells, as a symbol for any negativity that had built up inside of me. I saw it as a cleansing and a clearing and a chance to start fresh.  I saw it as beautiful. An opportunity. I liked this perspective and I feel that this experience was the beginning of my spirituality, one that continues to grow to this day. I am happy to say that I came away from the surgery and the healing process a stronger and richer person and I am grateful for the experience.


Today, I have received another gift (in disguise). The details are insignificant. Instead, I am focused on the possibilities and the new opportunities that I have just been provided and not the circumstance. The universe works in mysterious ways and if we are open to the signs and the messages and jump at the offerings we will get what our heart's desire.

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