“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” ~ Quote by Jim Valvano
Jim Valvano, or Jimmy V., was an NCAA Basketball Division I Coach at North Carolina State. Jimmy V. and his 1983 NC State team defied the odds, ran the table and left as the NCAA Tournament Champions. Ten years later, Jimmy V. would give a speech while winning an ESPY Award on ESPN, that moved many to tears, and cemented the man’s legacy (imo) forever because of his passion that came through. Jimmy V. died eight weeks later from cancer.
Cancer is a mofo. Both of my Grandfathers, first Papa, then Old, succumbed to cancer. Their deaths were at opposite ends of a big portion of my spiritual journey. Papa’s death shook me because man, I’d already seen so much death around me but it was the first time that I could really see how hard it hit my family.
As a child, the deaths in the family I didn’t quite get, as I grew older, I watched as friends my age died, and at times even those younger, (even experiencing a miscarriage with an ex-girlfriend). Death is everywhere and I write often about Death because it’s an important theme in Life, in many ways, I think Death is what Life’s really about.
Old would die in the middle of last year, just a year and half ago, the defining moment, the exclamation point on a big part of my life dying. To finally address and diagnose I was in spiritual crisis, to get on my knees and with a sincere Heart, cry out to God because I didn’t know what else to do.
It was the lay off for the fourth time that became the Death of my view on fitting in the system just because didn’t work for me, that started that July off. It’d roll in with Old getting sick and getting the call from my Dad about coming home. Seeing him for the last time meant so much, shaking his hand even more. I can’t express how much these memories mean because as he was exiting, little did I know that my life, along really, truly walking my Path was just beginning.
When I came home, my girlfriend, with whom I had spent a year building a home, broke up with me. The next day Old died. I was devastated. I have written about this in the past, I know. But I bring it up because after walking through the long, dark tunnel, having oftentimes begrudgingly accepted that Life has a plan, and I’m merely flowing with it, I finally feel like I’m at the light at the end of the tunnel.
And what does that mean? Well, I’ll be honest, it’s one chapter ends, another begins, now I’m walking down another tunnel. This one has better lighting, it’s been repaved, and the flow of traffic is much better, but it’s still a tunnel.
Dude, I’ve wanted to quit this spiritual work so much. I’m just being honest. But trusting it, has given me so much more. I am glad I lived by Jimmy V’s words because I never gave up in believing that there had to be a better, healthier way for me to live.
I write this because I meet so many people, people who want hope, who need help, who’ve given up, of all ages from around the world. I’m living proof that if we give ourselves time to heal, we can emerge much stronger and appreciate the scars we acquired in the process. And it’s cool because I see so many people who’ve benefited from what I had been through, because I could relate, I could feel them and if anything, I was able to help them feel not so alone. The only way I could do that is because of what I believe: we are never Alone, God is always walking with us, taking each step and expressing with each breath, through us.
Everyone has their own timeline, own life, and that’s cool. It’s your pace. But if I could stress one thing, don’t ever give up on You, on believing you can live a better life and working toward understanding what that means to you. That’s all that matters really. No one wants to live another person’s life nor should they. The only life we can live is our own. And stars sparkle at night because we sparkle you know?
At some point, I’ll have another Death, probably many before my physical departure, but you know what, that’s cool, having walked through what was the apocalypse of my psyche, I trust the Spirit will show me what’s up.
I’d like to thank all my family, my friends, those who’ve come before and those yet to come. We’re all in this fishbowl together and I pray we “don’t give up, don’t ever up” because we can have a healthier world if keep on walking. Protest is good but instead of Occupy Wall Street, why not Occupy Consciousness. Our lives are not ending in chaos, the world is not erupting in destruction, if anything, awareness, a more conscious approach to living will show that it’s changing. And change is a good thing. Anger will only get us so far. We’ve grown tired of that. Lets rebuild, let’s create in love and gratitude. Appreciate the little things before they are gone because this all passes. It’s all too quick…
Many blessings. Take it one breath, one moment, one step at a time. You’ll get to that light and don’t trip at the next tunnel. It’s just life. And life is just temporary.