Ever since I can remember going to the doctor, particularly the gynecologist, has been accompanied by the phrase “being overweight comes with a heightened risk for all sorts of cancers”; consequently, I haven’t felt too fondly when it came time for yearly exams.
One of my dear friends, Sharon Magruder, died of all sorts of cancers just shy of her fifty-eighth birthday. She was morbidly obese for most of her adult life, but did that cause her cancer? Did that contribute to it? It made her treatment more difficult. It made her bone cancer more difficult to detect. There is no denying that. But did the weight cause her cancer? Her biological mother had breast cancer and it did run in her family.
I’m digressing though. This entry is about fear. It’s about how I’ve allowed fear to engulf my life since my dad died. I’ve had an increasing sense of my own mortality. I went for my yearly gynecological exam last year but skipped the mammogram. I didn’t want to deal, and I kept hearing that voice in my head, the voice of my gynecologist “being overweight increases the risk of…….” I know all that.
I know all that and more. That’s why I work hard at being healthy. Could I work harder? Sure. Hearing fear driven messages doesn’t help. It really doesn’t. I get that being heavy contributes to diseases. I also get that losing weight quickly doesn’t work. Just look at the statistics on people who lose weight quickly—they gain it back.
But this is really about FEAR. I’ve felt a lot of FEAR this past year. Fear of cancer. Fear of ill health. Fear of disappointing people if I made choices that hurt them. FEAR. Mostly fear of cancer. I allowed that voice of my doctor to take hold in my head. I don’t blame her though. I am conditioned to FEAR. I am conditioned to WORRY. I understand that about myself. AND, I seek to change that.
I made an appointment for my mammogram. I actually got in fairly quickly. See? In the moment the way to overcome fear is to look it head on and face it. In the few nights before the mammogram I couldn’t sleep much. Fear took over me. It had no reason to. I have no family history. I felt nothing in my self-exam. There’s even debate over the necessity of yearly mammograms for those under 50.
And I’m telling you this is about fear. And it’s about self-worth. I find that people shy away from moments where I talk about self-worth, but building self-worth—that’s an art, and it involves listening just to myself. Just to my own intuition.
My mammogram came out fine, by the way. So all that worry? For naught. In my heart I knew that from the start. I knew. I know. I have to change the conditioning to move from worry to calmness. I have to keep working at stillness.
That’s why I meditate. EVERY DAY. That’s also why I work at taking the time to do NOTHING. In stillness comes energy. Healthy energy. Calm energy. That’s why I’m working at being less obsessive about all aspects of my life: food, working-out, yoga, laundry, cleaing, whatever and etc. Slow and steady wins the race. That’s moral of the tortoise and the hare.
So my question for all of you: Do you want to be the tortoise or the hare? I know the answer for me. What’s the answer for you?
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