Our Own Ghosts

I thought this was especially timely being that Halloween is coming upon us in a few days…. and we laugh and have parties, pretending to be ghosts, vampires, and whatever scary image comes to mind.  But what about a pink Cancer ribbon as a scary symbol?  It’s hard to take it seriously being pink…but it IS scary.

That said, I was writing to a friend of mine about something she was going through and words flowed – sometimes you truly don’t know your own mind until you voice it.  We were chatting about her aging mother and her mom’s unhappiness.  What about anytime we experience unhappiness…

“Happy” is a state of mind, isn’t it… and when we feel we are losing control of things (and goodness knows we love to feel like we’re in control), we become unhappy… but in reality, we rarely are ever IN control, we just think we are, and to that extent, ignorance is bliss, isn’t it.  We delude ourselves – so does that make us delusional too?

Let me go back to happiness.  The Dalai Lama stated that “the very motion of our life is towards happiness… and the first step in seeking happiness is learning.”  The learning and culling of our positive and negative emotions that help or hurt us.  Some say it is the difference between having what you want and wanting what you have…. contentment and peace.

The Dalai Lama explained “..hatred, jealousy, anger, and so on are harmful.  We consider them negative states of mind because they destroy our mental happiness; once you yourself are filled by hatred or negative emotions, then other people appear to you as also hostile.  So as a result there is more fear, greater inhibition and hesitation, and a sense of insecurity….”

Translating that to breast cancer, I know there were times in the hospital I was abandoned by the staff in my highly fragile and dependent position.  It brought me despair which I translated to anger and then action to resolve… happiness never entered into the picture because I did not allow it.  I could have…but it was forgotten.

I’m not suggesting being happy about situations where our primary needs are not being met and allowing it to continue.  But taking action and coming from a different place.

Fear of the unknown is a biggie for most of us.  Some of us get lost in it and succumb to immoblization.  Some of us just get angry and unleash hostility around us.  Some of us adapt a pollyana attitude and ignore it (but it still lurks inside).

As I begin the path anew for the next procedures (whatever that may be post-consultations), I will work hard to focus on accepting the unknown unconditionally, while not abdicating my responsibility.

“When you are aware of your pain and suffering, it helps you to develop your capacity for empathy, the capacity that allows you to relate to other people’s feelings and suffering.  This enhances your capacity for compassion towards others.  So as an aid in helping us connect with others, it can be seen as having value”…. our suffering may not be as worthless and bad as we think”. – Dalai Lama

I do always try to seek something positive out of a negative experience – that was one of the reasons for starting this blog…so that someone else may benefit from my experience and research and perhaps make their journey a little less painful…. and it offers peace to my heart and mind to understand that living the human experience allows us the opportunity to be compassionate – towards others and at the same time, towards ourselves.

Perhaps I will do better now that I am aware… I hope so.  I would like to give up the ghost.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jerome
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 14:03:04

    you are becoming quite the Sage . . .


  2. Kay Wade
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 13:20:57

    Such a powerful post. And timely. Thank you!


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