More about Grace


I was discharged from Beverly Hospital last week with antibiotics for pneumonia, and now steroid cream from Dana Farber for my neck, chest and face where they think the daily radiation could have caused the rash once my fever spiked so highly.  The dreaded feeding tube goes in on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  I have persistent ringing in my ears from the chemo.  Remember the paste that used to come in tubs when we were in Elementary School?  The thick white stuff?  It feels like there’s constantly a ½ a cup of that IN my mouth ALWAYS.  My tongue has a thick white coat of mucusitiis on it.  I didn’t know what it was either, and I don’t recommend googling it.  Moving on… Yesterday I was talking to my friend Lauren about where she was going to take her annual Thanksgiving Day yoga class.  “Your class was so good last year.”  I had taught the 9am at Ananda Shanti in Manchester and it was the first time I had led any sort of “meditation.”  I use the air quotes around “meditation” because it was less spiritual- more thinking- a hybrid of questions that I had come up with from talks with my super smart and Spiritual friend, Petey and briefly reading some Tony Robbins shit.  But I had thought a lot about it and it sounded like me, was something I fully owned, believed, and could seamlessly weave it into a sweaty, physical practice.  Last night I started thinking about the questions that I asked students to answer and decided to answer them for myself, now a year later.  Some things remain the same, some have changed… Who do you love?Easy.  I asked the question while everyone’s eyes were closed and I was watching people’s faces.  As soon as I asked it, everyone, EVERYONE smiled at least a little bit.  So awesome.  It’s a great question.  Who do you love?  And people who are no longer a part of your life anymore should make the list too- if they’ve passed away, or the friendship has faded- if you love them, they’re in… and animals… anyone.  I love Mike, Sam, and Kada.  I love my family, my friends I talk to everyday, my friends I talk to once a year, my Cala’s family, my yoga friends, my little tribes and communities that I have set in place.  I love the person whom I call my soulmate because without him emotionally slapping me awake from my catatonic “no feelings” past, I would never know how to give or receive love. Who loves you?All of the same suspects as above… Except now with cancer, I’ve realized that there are a lot more people who care about me than I had thought. What do you love?I love Veuve Clicquot and Mumm Napa.  I love them by themselves and lately all I can fantasize about is drinking them while eating an ENORMOUS crisp salad with bread and cheese.  I love tequila and nachos thick with toppings… pizza too.  I love splitting burgers with my friend, Scottie and dunking my fries into Mayonnaise AND ketchup.  I love the calamari at the Franklin, the pizza and oysters at Short & Main, the Caesar salad at Legal Seafood, the steak and eggs at 5 Corners and fried clams from Farnhams.  Can you tell what I’ve been thinking about?! Jesus.  It’s like I’m away for the summer at Fat Camp or something…  AND I love yoga, cooking, running, swimming in the ocean, and walks with friends and walks with Mike.  I love throwing parties and writing speeches. When was there a time when someone has done something wrong by you?I don’t need to air someone else’s dirty laundry in MY blog, although I’d really love to.  But you get the idea behind the question.  We are all warm and fuzzy thinking about love, but that’s only a part of life.  People do fucked up shit all the time… intentionally and unintentionally.  And someone has done something to you recently or not recently and you remember it.  I remember it. When was there a time when YOU have done something to wrong someone else?This is where I’m stuck.  This is where my throat hurts and I’m in lock down position with my shoulders up to my ears and my jaw is set.  Again, I’m not airing all of my dirty laundry here.   It’s not appropriate.  But there have been things that I’ve done and people that I have hurt. How can you offer grace to the person who has done something wrong to you?And usually with this question, there’s a softening of heart.  You’re angry for the wrongdoing, you start justifying, and building your case, but then when the word “grace” appears, you realize someone has got a point and maybe you start to ease up a little bit.  Because USUALLY it’s not that big of a deal.  And USUALLY it’s forgiveable, or at least “move-onable”.  And holding onto hate or anger or fear isn’t helpful to anyone, including yourself.  And because someone, somewhere along the way has given you the same “pass” when you weren’t being Little Miss Perfect. And that’s where I ended the practice: To offer up the word I love the most in the whole wide world, “grace.”  And it was good.  It is good.  But it could be better… at least it could be better for me if I’m actually taking this “meditation” wholeheartedly.  Why didn’t I ask to offer the same grace to oneself?  It would have made sense with my line of questioning.  Can you offer YOURSELF grace for the things that you have done wrong?  Fucking Hell.  Can I?  Even if I can’t forgive myself, what am I holding on to that is holding me back? Maybe it is forgiveness.  Maybe it doesn’t matter how I define it but that “it” is there… and it doesn’t need to be because it no longer serves me and it’s in the past.  And I’ve learned.  And I’ve changed.  And I’m moving forward in a positive direction.  I don’t need this toxicity in my body.  That’s where cancer can grow.  Let it go, let it go, let it go Jaime.  If Amazing Grace is my favorite song, why can’t I ACTUALLY apply it to me?