|The Ugly Duckling Egg Tempera on Wood Panel - 12'' Diameter - 2011 - Catherine Meyers|
Many of us, especially when we're young, feel like the Ugly Duckling, as I've depicted in my painting and often these feelings of being an outsider or not belonging carry on into our adult life, and sadly even up unitl our death. I see this ugly duckling opinion of ourselves as an illusion, and very difficult to overcome, unless we can find some kind of hope in a power greater than ourselves.
I'm writing this to tell you since September 13th, 2018 my life as I knew, continued with my own personal transformation, which when I think about it, began 27 years ago January 2nd, when I stopped drinking. I had been that ugly duckling up until that point, when my life thankfully began to really change. I haven't written a blog post since September or perhaps even August. Nor have I written in my daily long hand journal since August 2018. So finally I'm journaling, and I have the desire to blog.
The reason I specifically mention September 13th, it was the day my doctor informed me the CT scan I had been given, revealed that I had breast cancer which had metasicised on spots on my bones, lungs, liver, and head. I fell apart at that moment. I don't know what exactly I was thinking, but I'm certain my immediate feeling was the instinctual reaction of panic and dread, with the thought that I was going to die.
And so since September 13th I've been learning how to cope with this news, and trying to figure out what I need to do. It's a rollercoaster of feelings between denial, acceptance, hope and a myriad of other feelings and thoughts.
I've been trying to figure out what is next, trying to take care of myself, and have concern for my friends and family. I have had 27 years of 12 Step recovery and have learned the skills to live in the present moment and day. It's what helps to keep me sane, because there is nothing that will drive you more nutty and quicker that worrying about the past and projecting into the future.
And so I draw on those 12 step skills. The differnce now is, there's an intensity with which I'm compelled to live my life with, each day. This is because I live with the possibily that I might die before I'm ready to go. It's not easy at all, because I'm always falling short, being a human being Accepting this fact, I don't simply say this as an excuse for not making the concerted effort to change.
Don't think that this transformation is negative. It's a journey of sober self - actualization. It's my belief, this is the only way I can transform in a way that consistently sticks and becomes the foundation of who I've been, am being and hope to become.
I am basically a hopeful and optimistic person. But I don't think this has come to me naturally. It has been the influence of my mother, who had a strong faith in God, but as a very young child I had the distinct sense of there being a spirit that was watching over me and with me. And today I still feel this, but more so and I actively pray for others and myself. I meditate, read, and try to be the best person I can be.
In A.A. We have slogans and we all have our favourites. Mine is H.O.W. which stands for Honesty, Open Mind, and Willingness. I have worked on these three for the past 27 years.
These three things have become very, important and relevant to me, more now then ever, because I am opening up my heart and mind to Spirit and letting this guide me, trusting that I have spirit guides to show me the way. This gives me comfort and confidence to live life to the fullest from here on in.
I hope I haven't rambled on too much and that I have made some sense for you to understand.
Blessings to you always, stay calm. be brave, watch for the signs. :)