A Conversation with terror

I have brain scans every 16 weeks to monitor ‘unusual cells in my brain’. In March I had a scan (I have results and all is well thank god ). On my way to hospital to get my scan I got a real sense of terror (my nervous system had decided it really did not feel safe). In the past I would of tried to turn away from this terror and try to ignore it. But, I have found that it actually helps to engage with it.Rainbow

In turning to face terror, I found myself having the following conversation, if I am honest the words just came through me so I don’t feel I can claim them as my own. I am sharing them (despite my voices that it might be a bit much) as I found it really helpful and perhaps it may be helpful for you too if you find a challenging emotion such as fear or terror rising in you:

Hello terror

It would feel disingenuous to say welcome, after all you are not the most comfortable of guests.

I can feel you in my belly, you have put me off my food, I feel you in my contracted diaphragm with shortened breath and in my gut which has lost the regulation of holding.

I know, I am keeping you in the shadows of my being.

I was shocked last week, to hear a women on the radio talk about her favourite child. And yet, I see that I too am partial to favouritim, ahh terror, your sister joy is a much more comfortable guest, she brings safety, expansion to my spine, lightness, laughter, connectiveness, wonder and curiosity.

Ahh now, don’t be hiding, I know you have gifts too, come on out of the shadow, hop up into my heart there and let’s give you some breath, is that better?

Ok, come on, let’s sit by the fire and look together at what you want to show me.

The brain scans, I know, they are tough, resulting in a dichotomous choice of brain surgery or no brain surgery, again. Praying to hear the words ‘stable’ and dreading the word ‘change’ or ‘growth’, which is funny, as in so many other facets of my life these qualities are so celebrated, but not with unusual cells in my brain.

I know, the boys, I cherish them, ahh now there’s the spot, like when the masseuse applies pressure to that one point on the body, it is unfathomable to think about the possibility of not mothering them. Yet in your invitation to turn and face this I feel it dissipating, it is somehow easier to hold.

I know, the wonder of hubby, I cherish him.

I know, my able body that can bend, swim, sing, love, hug (although not so often these days with the auld virus).

Ahh you bear gifts of gratitude and you have invited sadness in with you to share her gifts of tears, ahh that is bringing flow, there is a little more breath, I can feel my ground a little more too.

Ahh and there is softness reminding me that she can hold you too, do you see that rainbow in the sky? Let’s both go and dance on it for a moment or two.

Ok, I know you there is more you want to show me, let’s take another look, ahh yes the uncertainty, none of us can every really know. I guess I just get a strong reminder of this every 16 weeks, a pretty loud reminder with the pounding of the MRI machine and contrast dye coursing through my veins and the holding of my breath until the results.

So can I commit even more to the parts of me that want more life? To work in nature and help people remember their resources? To be with my children, husband, friends and family? To sing? Can I commit even more to that playful, creative energy that wants more breath and space to colour the shape and form of my life?

Can I let go even more of the work that no longer serves me?

Can I live more fiercely?

Ahh terror, you bring the gift of courage, and I had forgotten that joy always comes with you too.

As Kahil says “together they come and when one sits at your board, remember the other is asleep in your bed”.

Let’s all gather around the fire and sing before the scan, come terror, softness, sadness, courage and joy. Ahh and there is ease, come on over and join us, sit and warm yourself by the fire of my being.

We are getting well acquainted you and me terror. I don’t know if I can say that I will be able to welcome you the next time you come to visit, but I think I can say that I will try to remember to bring you out of the shadows sooner. Thank you precious one, thank you for all the gifts that you bear.

Not long to go now, you know, I think it is going to be OK.