The Gift of Me
When each of you read this I don’t want you to read – the gift of Colleen. I hope that as you read you will embrace the gift that is you – Karen, Tracey, Kristy, Sherry, Gerald, Cindy, Kate, Craig, Lynn, Brian, Carol, Jeannette … each and every one of you.
Recently I read the book “Dying to be Me” by Anita Moojani. Her story is that of a woman who spent a life of experiencing shame and self-doubt. She had 2 people in her life who were diagnosed with cancer before she, herself was similarly diagnosed. Her fear of cancer and the horror of the treatments patients undergo was deep-seated and consuming. I won’t summarize her story but do encourage you to seek it out for yourselves. Anita’s battle with cancer eventually brought her to a coma that was expected to be the end of her life. She was in this coma for about a day and a half. During that time, she experienced a Near Death Experience. Anita carried 2 Truths with her back from that experience. The first was that her cancer was a result of her life-long inability to love herself and her powerful fear of the disease. The second was that the whole purpose and task of her life (and the same is true for all of us) is to live fearlessly, unapologetically and fully as her unique self. Anita woke from her coma cancer-free and her body quickly recovered from the effects the disease had wrought on her body. This happened because her experience convinced her that she is perfect as she is and has nothing to fear. That Truth is universal. It isn’t just for Anita Moorjani. It is true for me and you and every Soul in existence.
Anita’s experience had a profound affect on me. I knew it at once to be Truth – and a Truth that I had been missing and one that has enormous potential to change my life and the way I experience all of the other lives I encounter. Like Anita, I have spent my life deeply ashamed of me. Being a fat person in a world that worships artificial, superficial beauty is an experience of continual humiliation. Body-shaming and prejudice against people of size is the only type of hate that seems to remain socially acceptable. In addition to my weight, my life experiences and my behavioral imperfections or ‘sins’ have left me with little appreciation for Colleen Gervais/Wilbraham/Friesen.
Ever since I recognized the Truth Anita revealed to me, I have been trying to find ways to accept, love and celebrate me! My efforts have been met with mixed results. Most days I am able to center and allow the Colleen-peacock that I have deeply buried and besmirched to rise from the mire, spread the bodacious plumes I have been blessed with and strut my glorious self through the days – until condemnation comes and my fragile feather display retracts and is tucked away in fear – hiding and cowering is my known posture and while it is hideously uncomfortable – reflex is hard to overcome.
Yesterday I was given a Gift that I hope I am able to carry close and use to rapidly balm the moments in life that set my reflexes into hide mode. Saturdays – they are generally a magical sort of day, don’t you think? Yesterday was a sparkling specimen right from the beginning. I woke rested and lazy-hazy to Espresso’s loving tongue kisses. The day progressed idyllically: cinnamon bun breakfast followed by a deep, loving, reconnecting conversation with my True Companion (for those of you who don’t know – Marc Cohen’s True Companion was Craig & my wedding song – rendered brilliantly by our talented friends Brian and Carol). After lunch I took Espresso on a walk into the thankfully dazzlingly sunshine. At the end of our walk, I felt drawn to head into the meadow just across the street from our house. I just felt like I wanted to sit on the wakening Earth and connect. Espresso sniffed and explored around me while I sat cross-legged with both palms resting atop the still-slumbering bristly dry grass. I was rewarded with a spattering of connections. I felt the slow, deep pulse of the Earth, even more eager for the endless winter to break than we are. I felt the creaky-groaning stretching of the trees, working their blood-sap to reluctant life. I felt the dance of the gentle breeze, pirouetting and spiraling then lifting the barking geese on it’s gentle palms.
At length I returned home but just couldn’t bear to leave the company of the sun, breeze and geese so I busted the deck furniture cushions out of their storage and I laid in the sun with Espresso perched on my tummy and reconnected with the spirits of nature around me again. As I lay there, the sensations I was experiencing drew my attention to my body – my perfect, miraculous, God-gifted body and everything it was feeling. The warm, adoring weight of Espresso on my belly. The sun on my cheek and eyelids providing a kaleidoscope display on the screen of my closed lids. The caress of the breeze, teasing my hair this way and that. The smell of EVERYTHING! In the distance I could hear the roar of a power tool and simultaneously I scented the unique oil/gas exhaust it produced. Eventually I began feeling the low ache of my elbow pressed too long against the metal frame of my seat and the almost comical gurgle and churn of my stomach as it sought to remind me that it was time for a snack.
Like a gong, all of these amazing sensations exploded into the message they wanted to bring me. This – all of it, the blissful, the uncomfortable, and mundanely natural sensations are why we come here! I came to Earth fully aware of what life here entails: bliss/agony/joy/grief/pleasure/pain. My glorious Saturday coalesced into a golden revelation. I didn’t come here for only the pleasantly illuminating moments. I came for all of it and I came because only I can bring the gift of ME (read you) that this world needs precisely now – precisely here – precisely, uniquely and completely ME!
To wrap the message up with a bow and leave me with an anthem to help me remember my ME mission, I was given a song I had never heard before, by an artist that I always enjoy. The song was Dying to Live by Scott Stapp. You can find it here. I hope it clicks with you as powerfully as it did for me.