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Diagnosis and Destiny: reflections on my horoscope this week

February 9, 2012

My weekly astrology forecast this week reads that chronic, long term issues can become much more clear to you now, and once you see the root of something, it’s just a hop and a jump to the healing that ensues.

I am nowhere near understanding the riddle of my diabetes.  Why did my pancreas shut down when it did?  What psychospiritual event trigger this physical response? What message was my body sending me?

The timing of my diabetes has never ceased to fascinate me. While in retrospect I was having mild symptoms for a good two years before my diagnosis (despite normal blood tests), the actual major symptoms began very suddenly, during a time when I was feeling profound emotional and spiritual joy. In fact, the symptoms began the day after I had articulated exactly what dream-life I was working towards: own an urban homestead, run a holistic café and performance space, work part-time as a music therapist and musician. That dream was at my fingertips. I knew it was to be. The next morning, I woke up and couldn’t see very well. When the extreme dizziness and fatigue set in a week later, I assumed it was a physical response to my new-found bliss. When the dizziness, fatigue and inability-to-see became too crippling to ignore, I sought medical attention. Then I found myself in a hospital. Diabetic. Insulin. Needles. Meters. One giant Fuck-You from the universe. Only I couldn’t see it that way. There was truth to what was happening to my body, and I had to accept it.

The dream of living off the land, running my own business, and being a happy hippie instantly went underground. It had to. For the first time in my life, I was having to consider grown-up realities like insurance and benefits, and the very notion of “health” itself. And after all, was that dream not the very thing that had triggered my body to break down so suddenly?

I have re-learned to feel that joy. I have grown since my diagnosis in profound ways, and the joy I have re-inserted into my life has been much more grounded, much more rooted in reality, in my body, in my own truth.

And despite what a killer-awesome-beautiful-amazing year I had in 2011, 2012 has gotten off to a rough start. I’ve felt less inspired by my graduate program, I’ve felt less enamoured with my new life and community in Kitchener-Waterloo, I’ve felt longings for other communities I’ve built in Montreal and across the States that I hadn’t felt at all in my first months living in Ontario. I’ve questioned the choices I’ve made. I’ve lamented doors closed. I’ve felt frustrated, trapped, and uncertain of my purpose.

Last weekend a lot of that came to a head. I went for a long walk in the abnormally-warm winter sun, thinking about where my heart points me. And I returned somehow to that initial dream again of owning an urban homestead, of running my own business, of working part-time as a musician and music therapist but trusting my entrepreneurialism and my love of life to sustain me in other ways. And I felt my heart reignite.

There’s something about being a grad student that can be frustrating for those of us who like to get-stuff-done, who want things now, who are really really thirsty to be in the workforce. We have to wait patiently while we take time-out to learn new skills, acquire credentials, go deep into a process of learning and intellectual growth. I accept that. But entrepreneurial-Sarah is aching to be rocking-the-fuck outta her life-purpose. It is easy to focus unhealthily on the uncertainty of what comes after graduation, so much that it distracts you from the significance and meaning of what you are doing now.

Returning to that dream of being self-employed has been extremely powerful, and has carried me out of the funk of January, 2012.  It was a vision that took an enormous amount of courage for me to articulate two years ago, and that was before I had things like insurance and medical crap to worry about. It was a vision I simply had to let go for a time, because it was too painful to understand the relationship between that dream and my expired pancreas. I’m not saying it’s something I’m totally committing myself to now either. But having a picture of where you’d like to be headed, a picture that makes you so damn happy in your heart, is enormously inspiring when you’re looking down at the small steps you’re taking now and asking yourself, “why?”

I went to a yoga class last night, where the teacher led a session based on the theme of radical self-love. Throughout the series of poses, she challenged us to accept ourselves “radically,” in the moment, to fully embrace who we are right now. It was a great class. And when I returned home from it, I realized I’d left my glucose meter there by accident. (Yes mom, I have a backup!)

Interesting that, in a process of embracing radical self-acceptance, in a week where the stars tell me that the meaning of my chronic health condition will become clearer, I leave behind my glucose meter, the very symbol of the chronic role diabetes plays in my life.

I’m not abandoning my diabetes management (though I have of late been becoming gently more mindful of how much I let diabetes define me. It’s a delicate process. Almost two years now of living with Type 1, I feel ready to let it take a more balanced portion of my identity-palette. But that’s another post). But I am still ever-learning to welcome back what I feel I lost when I got diagnosed. I’m no closer to understanding why my pancreas shut down the moment I accessed a kind of joy and bliss I’d been working towards for years. But I am gathering clues. Working towards radically embracing those clues. Working towards radically loving the moment I am in, embracing that, as this Sufi poet writes, God circled this very spot I am standing on long ago. I don’t know if I see the “root” of what my chronic health condition means (as my horoscope promises I will), but the fact that the very dream that on some level triggered my diabetes (I know medically that’s a stretch. Work with me.) has returned to me and has filled my heart with radical joy – somehow that all feels meaningful. I know it to be meaningful.

And that’s a great way to kick off February, 2012.

Blessings on us all as we spiral towards Spring!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Katherine permalink
    February 15, 2012 2:58 pm

    Love you Sarah! See you SOON!

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