When we’re floating along the calm ocean of spiritual experience we imagine it to be plain sailing all the way. We are mistaken. When we reach a plateau of Awareness and inner peace we believe it to be the summit. It isn’t. When we’ve hit lots of home runs and are confident of our spiritual strike rate, we are suddenly taken aback by a curve ball. And so it was last Tuesday! I’d better explain.
For the past two summers I’ve ‘suffered’ from a chapped and often cracked lower lip Initially my local doctor, said nothing to worry about and gave me a hydrocortisone cream to settle it down, which it did for a few weeks. It didn’t last, so I resigned myself to the fluctuations of a lip problem that was probably minor in nature.
Until last week that is when my doctor sent me to a dermatologist who within seconds diagnosed my lower lip as a victim of a precancerous skin condition. In her pristine white coat and emotionless face she delivered her conclusions with cold efficiency. My poor wee psyche was stunned, spluttering a few irrelevant questions in her direction to try to gain a foothold in my quickly vanishing inner equilibrium.
Being a bit of a hypochondriac, a story in itself, I was programmed to hear doctors proclaim, ‘Nothing to worry about Dylan’. This time the old tapes didn’t roll, replaced instead by a clinician’s non-bedside pronouncement. After hearing the gory details of what non-treatment could result in, I was referred to a maxilla-facial surgeon here in Lincoln, who would more than likely recommend an innocent sounding procedure known innocuously as a lip shave!. it is a misnomer – the removal of my lower lip’s surface layer of skin and the creation of a new lip by stretching excess skin from within my mouth to create a new smiling me.
On the way out my dermatologist friend finally added a ‘nothing to worry about Mr Morrison’, as she handed me a tick box form to record my irrelevant impressions of my consultation experience. Too late the damage was done. My old sub-personalities who see death behind every lamp-post had kicked in, transmitting pictures of a grieving Zan and a whining wee black doggy frantically looking for her departed master. Oh, the power of fear! It truly is awful in its vice-like grip on our sense of being.
A week later, I’ve regained some sort of perspective on my new pre-cancerous friends living on my lower lip. They are messengers – transmitters of a call to growth and healing. How bizarre that a prodigal prophet should have his lips tell him something isn’t right. Sounds like a bit of a sick Cosmic joke, but there it is for all to see. Time to break camp, leave behind my spiritual ease and take the next climb up Jacob’s ladder, that stairway to heaven that leaves no stone unturned.
I’m listening to my body and the inner wisdom that I believe is there for all of us to tap into. As I seek to journey into my core Self, frantic, fearful little messages try to knock me off course with threats of an early demise. Flap as they will, this is a time for growth, for an expansion of consciousness, for a new awareness of how much we shy away from our destiny as images of Divine Love. So, I’m listening and waiting. All is well and shall be well, is my mantra of choice to steady the ship of my fragile psyche-soul, as we navigate the unknown seas that stretch out before me. To be honest, I was expecting such a catalyst to further growth and the healing of old memories that lie within. Recently, I’ve had a number of incidents with ‘officialdom’ of various shades, that have released an anger deep within me that I thought had been dealt with a while back. I should have known that Divine Love, the surgeon of my soul would come along and do a lip enhancement, to remove the roots of anger that so easily sharpen my words for war.
My desire is to open all to the prescriptive gaze of both Self and Source. I’m seeing it all as a rollercoaster ride, with its ups and downs but one that will serve me well. My good friend and zen student, Matthew Sammut, has encouraged me to write of my journey through this little Shadow Valley in order to encourage others. Either all our God talk and spiritual experiences help us or they don’t. I choose to go within, to a realm more real than the clinician’s black and white pronouncements. There I hope to hear the messages waiting for me on my inner Voicemail. The roots of my anger and damaged lip, and the Wisdom to do what needs to be done.
I’d value all your prayers and healing energies along the way. Let’s see what Divine Love conjures up from the curve ball pitched at my mouth. Hopefully a more authentic and compassionate Irishman whose words heal and restore rather than wound his fellow-man.
Blessings to you all