Cancer… it feels like it’s everywhere right now. People with it, people getting checked for it, the fear of it.. The fear of sickness and disease is spreading so quickly and I hate it so much. Half of my heritage is built on a healing ministry… on seeing others miraculously healed of sickness and disease. It’s what I know, believe in and have been a part of… And while this is good… a lot of people don’t fully understand it, heck I don’t fully understand it. And I’ve questioned myself for years, “do I want to be a part of this? What is this all about? Why am I a part of this? Do I want to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother?” And after thinking that I did for 25 years, I decided I didn’t. I don’t want anything to do with health as a career.
But now…. now as I watch people become sicker… now that I’ve lost my dad to cancer, well I feel like I should at least express how I feel about all of this in a little greater detail. Because these are things I’ve wanted to say and felt so deeply for so long, but I’ve never fully expressed them to even myself.
When I explained to Bridge that the cancerous tumor in dad’s esophagus and stomach was bleeding, that it was taking blood from his body so it could grow bigger… taking all of the healthy blood, the blood that contains nutrients for the body to grow strong…. Well her response was, “that’s evil.” And honestly she didn’t have to say another word because it is evil. It is evil to have unhealthy cells, cells that your body created team up against you and form a tumor… And then to have that tumor suck actual life from you.. Well that is dark, dark and evil and gross. I don’t even truly know what to make of it…
But you know what’s even darker and a greater evil? Living with the things that created the tumor. Living with bitterness, anger, hate, rejection and jealousy… those things… stress, worry and anxiety… People, they aren’t worth your life. They really aren’t. And I struggle with so many of them on a daily basis. Sure, we’ve been taught it’s Satan making us sick, but I don’t buy that bullshit anymore… Look inside of yourself. Don’t point the finger at others. Point the finger at yourself first. Figure out what’s making you tick before your time runs out. Being bitter with someone because they wronged you… forgive them. Get over that shit and move forward with your life. It’s only harming you. It harms me. It harms me to feel wronged by someone who has given me so much, but then hurt me too, but I have to work at loving that person where they are and forgiving them every time they hurt me. And it’s not easy at first, but it can become a lifestyle if you choose.
And it’s not worth it to stress and worry.. Find an outlet. Talk about how shitty your life is. Be vulnerable with someone. Stop carrying around shame… We all feel like a mistake in someway. All of us. But we don’t have to feel like that if we just share ourselves with one another. I’m thankful that dad started doing this with us before he died… Because he died free from all of this evil shit we choose to carry around.
And stop suppressing it by smoking, drinking, eating, shopping and watching an ungodly amount of TV. All of those things distract us from reality. My dad might have been stressed and worried, which is what caused acid reflux… But he smoked for years to suppress the stress and worry… Which is what helped the cancer grow. And I’ve struggled with food (especially sweets) for years. That’s how I choose to suppress my fears, worry and anxiety. We all do it in some way but I’ve learned it’s not worth it.
And… Do you know why Bridge sketches? It’s not for others. It’s for herself. It’s so she can stay healthy. That’s the reason I’ve been writing for years. It helps me figure out why I am bitter… Why I am hurting… Why I am full of jealousy towards my sister… Stupid jealousy that poisons me and hurts her. It’s how I discovered how much I hate myself and the reasons why I can’t embrace the person I am and want to be. It’s also how I make sure pride, yes pride doesn’t control my life. Actually, I’m not proud. I’m insecure. Insecure about my life, myself and my body. Yes, it’s gotten better… but it’s still something I choose to confidently work with and past everyday.
I say all of this because it’s much easier to choose love. It’s much easier to choose to forgive others and yourself. It’s much easier to look on the inside of you and figure out what’s going on. It may not seem easier, but in the long run… Would you rather be diagnosed with cancer? Would you rather have rheumatoid arthritis? Heart problems? How about cysts on your ovaries girls? Or prostate problems guys? It’s all connected… and you can gain your own solution before it’s physically destructive and deadly.
When I think, “Oh, I don’t want to invite that person, or I don’t want to talk to that person because they’ve hurt me.” I honestly have to ask myself why. Amanda, why don’t you want that person around? Why do you have a problem with them? Why can’t you love them and see that maybe they’ve wronged you because they’re in a lot of deep pain…. pain I don’t know about or even understand? Why do you feel the need to talk about others? Gossip kills too, and I’m equally as sick of it. Does it make us feel better to talk about others? Yes, yes it does because then we can look outside of our own crappy lives and find the things that others are doing wrong. And well… that’s really evil.
When we were kids, I remember sitting at the dinner table as a family. I was about 12, Bridge 10. And mom started gossiping and then Bridge and I chimed in. And we gossiped for so long that my dad finally said, “Enough. I’ve had enough of this. Y’all need to stop gossiping.” I’d never heard my dad say anything like that. Ever. Especially about gossiping. He’d never really given his thoughts towards it. But we all stopped. We stopped and the table was quiet. No one knew what to say, and honestly that’s a little sad. We didn’t know how to move forward with our conversation because gossip was a way of life.
But… it’s better to build people up. I feel so much better when I find qualities in others that are good, rather than bad. We all have both. We all have good and evil in us. It’s just part of life. But we have a responsibility to work as a team… Work together by forgiving ourselves and others. Work together by building each other up…. even when that person isn’t around. Because in the midst of this hard, challenging time… well, I choose to look at it as one of the greatest blessings. Dad may be gone because of anxiety, worry, bitterness and fear… Evil, evil he choose to live with did take him… But in the midst of that evil is so much good. The good outweighs that bad. It’s like eating an apple. The peel surrounds the inside. We have to eat around the peel or take it off before we get to the inside that’s sweet, good and satisfying… And I’m ok with that.