Today I had a portable catheter inserted under my skin just below my right clavicle bone. A tube now winds its way from its base into the right atrium of my heart, ready to receive the chemo treatment directly into my blood stream.
The radiologist at the clinic who inserted the catheter showed it to me and my wife before the brief operation. And as he explained how simple the procedure was, and how valuable it is for the ongoing delivery of treatment, he reassured us that there was nothing to worry about having the catheter inserted, and that it would be easy to maintain over time.
My chemotherapy starts tomorrow and these curative liquids, that I will refresh each week, will be connected to my blood stream via the catheter on a 24/7 schedule. I know of a man who has to drive 250 miles for his chemo renewal procedures, but I will only have to drive about 4 miles from my home for these weekly routines. I’m grateful for this shorter driving distance.
The distance between my body-problem of cancer and my solution of chemotherapy seems to have been shortened a great deal for the near term.
And as I describe the above, the following dialog between me and my Inner Coach emerges.
Coach: Let’s draw an analogy between your body-problem of “cancer vs. cancer free,” and your spiritual-problem of “fear vs. faith.” What are the toxic tumors in your spiritual life?
Norm: Past pain, regrets, and bad memories that trigger Fear in me are the toxic tumors.
C: And what’s the chemotherapy for these tumors?
N: I don’t know what the physical chemotherapy compounds consist of right now, but I can say now that the “chemotherapy” for my spiritual-problems is found in this view of the Personal Engagement Map:
Zone 4 Choice = 1. Need –> 2. Intent (of Faith + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Courage) –> 3. Behavior in Zone 4.
Layer 1: An Event triggers the energy of a fundamental, ongoing Need in me. (My inborn needs for Freedom, Power, Belonging, and Creativity.)
Layer 2: I then choose the Intention of Fear or Faith to meet the need. If I choose Faith, I can express Gratitude, Forgiveness and Courage. But, if I choose Fear to protect against loss and pain, I move into Zones 1, 2, or 3.
Layer 3: I can then take action with the skills and Behaviors in Zone 4 to meet my need with creative solutions.
C: So, the inner Layers — 1: Needs, and 2: Intention — are hidden from view, like your esophageal tumor was hidden until you had the tests you have described?
N: Yes, and I believe that at least 80% of the energy of a personal choice is hidden, while only 20% is observable at the outer, behavioral level.
C: So, the pain and loss expressed by outer behaviors is a symptom of the inner, root causes?
N: Right. And I can detect those inner causes by asking the right questions to connect the dots backwards. When I talked to my primary care physician in August, and told him that I had daily pain swallowing solid food, he immediately suggested getting an inner, endoscopic view of what’s going on in there.
C: OK. Back to your intention of Faith. Does choosing Faith to meet your needs start the “injections” of Gratitude + Forgiveness + Courage?
N: Right. And there are many ideas in literature, and in scripture, that speak to this. For example, here’s a quote from Martin Seligman from his book, “Authentic Happiness” on the topic of Gratitude and Forgiveness:
Insufficient appreciation and savoring of the good events in your past and overemphasis of the bad ones are the two culprits that undermine serenity, contentment, and satisfaction. There are two ways of bringing these feelings about the past into the region of contentment and satisfaction. Gratitude amplifies the savoring and appreciation of the good events gone by, and rewriting history by forgiveness loosens the power of the bad events to embitter (and actually can transform bad memories into good ones). (p. 70, emphasis added)
C: Then you add a “third way” — of Courage — to the formula?
N: Yes. The Courage to create and to take action creates the circulation of spirit through my system. And this almost always results in a new and better solution than I had before.
C: So, as your Faith energies increase, you are also decreasing or starving your Fear energies, or tumors.
N: Yes. At least my Fear tumors are not being fed to grow.
C: So, you then have a Zone 4 access route for direct injections of this formula on a 24/7 basis?
N: Yes, I believe I do. And if I’m mindful, by using my inner Voice of Choice in the events of my day, I can keep this energy flowing.
C: So, it seems that the distance between your spiritual-problems and your solutions is also shortened.
N: Yes, and I’m grateful today to know that. Let’s continue this dialog with more precision, later.
[Note: An advanced view will include: 4 Zones, 3 Layers, 3 Highways, and 7 Levels -- or the PET/CT scan level of personal choice.]
[GTG-6.1 How do I engage?]