- Mer Monson
Sunshine in my Pocket
While walking in the most gorgeous snowfall this week, I was listening to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling and I just couldn’t help it, I started dancing. This potent healer has come across my plate more than once over the past few months and I finally got the message. I go for it at least a little every day now. It lets my kid out. It opens up my joy. It makes me laugh. It feels good.
I remember dancing with my sister Bev to Olivia Newton John with huge plaid shawls pinned around our waists - man those things could twirl. I remember completely wigging out to Erasure at after-the-game dances in high school. Steve and I went ballroom dancing the weekend before I left on my mission and we had regular dance parties all over the furniture with our boys when they were small, but since then it's been way too seldom. And to be honest, I didn't feel like dancing for a long long time. It felt like a betrayal of everything that still hurt.
Mysteriously this joy, this desire to dance, has begun to open up again on the other side of cancer. More than ever before, I’m willing to trust fun and laughter, more willing to let myself be all the way in it. The old me needed every painful piece of life to be fixed before I could let go, but the wise old woman inside has finally gotten her way. Now that I'm back in the game I do it alone, I do it with Steve, and I have faith that someday the boys will get over their loony parents and join in the fun again :)
Why the shift now? A mystery for sure, but I like to think joy has always been down in there and, thanks to a whole lot of unburdening, it's finally getting some room to breathe. And since encountering a major epiphany last month, this unburdening has kicked into high gear.
While attending a workshop taught by one of my favorite people, Robert Holden, my name was drawn out of "the hat." I was invited to the front of the room where, for nearly an hour, he and I explored two questions: “How much do I believe God loves me?,” and “How much do I let God love me?”
As we stood on my answers together (he'd laid out a big scale from 0 to 100% on the floor), all kinds of beautiful conversations and revelations showed up. I was given eyes to see that I've been trying to use love to heal instead of surrendering to it. I've known for a long time that love is the answer, but I've been holding it at arms length, saying, "Heal my body and then I'll trust you. Then I'll think about doing it your way and accepting myself without strings."
Silly me. Real love is hands-off allowing and full-on embracing of exactly what is, right now, without any pressure for it to be different. Yes love heals, but surrendering to it means giving up the demand that it do so. Surrendering to this wonderfully intelligent stuff that we and God are made of means allowing ourselves to be 100% loved period - all the way, all the time, no matter what's happening or isn't. Can't you just feel how much the sunshine of this space coaxes our gorgeous, amazing and happy real self to come out and play?
Life is tangibly better on the other side of this epiphany. It's less like a doggie paddle and more like a back float. I’m still 100% human and my body is often still in an amazing amount of pain, but I can sense a light around the edges in almost any moment I choose to notice it. When I'm able to catch myself in fear or stress, my body remembers to sense the light, to trust that love is holding me and all is well. Perhaps I'm waking up to the presence of my soul, the unconditioned real me, the one that can’t be hurt and holds all my experiences with total equanimity. Whatever it is, wow is it awesome. Why wouldn’t I feel like dancing?