The Cancer conundrum
Cancer, after heart disease is the most common cause of death. There is no doubt that we are facing an enormous increase in carcinogens (cancer producing agents) in our environment and the rise in the use of chemicals and adulteration of food are producing substances totally foreign to our bodies, so that the ability to combat abnormal cells is seriously undermined. However, although we are all exposed to these carcinogens not all of us develop cancer. It would appear that it is a combination of environmental and psycho/emotional factors that most affects the immune system.
Abnormal cells grow in the body all the time but the immune system usually deals with them effectively and there is no residue. With cancer the abnormal cells are not stopped by the immune system - instead they are able to grow and spread. A cell that is abnormal to the system is allowed to grow and spread and even if the immune system knows that this may be detrimental to the over all system in the long run. These cells become wayward, even rebellious, behaving differently to other cells and rather than fulfilling it’s role in support of the whole, it goes off on its own. In this sense, cancer can be seen as reflecting the human condition and what is playing out in the individual person’s life.
Rather than being concerned with the welfare of the all, the emphasis is on the self. Such behaviour undermines the survival of the whole and just as the cancer cell becomes isolated, so we can become isolated from ourselves, cut off from our real feelings. This cutting off process is normally as a result of a long period of self-neglect, self-nourishing, ignoring the inner “I” of us that normally leads to feelings of resentment and a lack of trust the world around us, in some way.
An accumulation of problems or stress can create this state of inner alienation. Stress includes emotional shock or trauma such as the death of a loved one, divorce, sudden loss of one’s job or financial security. Such trauma can seriously undermine our sense of purpose or identity. In turn, this suppresses the body’s natural defence system (immune system). The two years preceding the onset of symptoms is a most critical time, particularly if strong feelings are not fully acknowledged or released but are buried inside, pushed away or ignored. Those feelings are the stagnant energy that remains within the system. They just don’t dissolve. A lot of personal work is required to move and release these feelings, as they have been held in the body for a very long period of time.
There are certain characteristics and personality traits that seem to be more prominent in those prone to cancer. Their common theme is a lack of personal respect or care, self-nurturing and/or self-loving. These characteristics include helping others to the detriment of themselves by denying their own needs and believing that others must come first; the inability to express negative feelings and especially those of anger, shame or fear; long held resentment or guilt often from childhood, that may never have been expressed; a sense of powerlessness especially when another person is emotionally stronger or more dominating; feeling worthless, unimportant, not good enough and an inner hopelessness leading to what has been termed “acceptable suicide”.
In many cases they feel let down by the world, that the world is unsafe, a non-nurturing place and they can’t understand why it is that when you do so much for others and that it is not returned in some way.
Often it is that they secretly say to themselves: you see, the more I give the less it is that I get back or if I carry on giving, the Universe will recognise me and afterwards I will be rewarded for all I gave. In many cases the cancer sufferer do not realise, or the concept is totally beyond them, that they are required to first look after themselves, love themselves fully and only then are they in a position to properly love, nurture and/or are able to look after another, such as a child, friend, lover or spouse. The cancer sufferer gets to the stage that they completely cut themselves off from their own feelings and they isolate them from themselves totally.
Obviously not all cancer sufferers have these characteristics, for cancer is not multi-faceted and indiscriminate. It cuts across all levels of society, no matter who you are. But cancer has lessons for us all – about our attitudes to ourselves and each other, about accepting and loving unconditionally, as a two way street (absolutely and in a balanced way, which is we give as much as we receive) and especially, about loving ourselves. The appropriate application of boundaries would support this process totally.
Cancer has a purpose to teach and grow you, NOT to punish you!
The cancer archetype is typically as described above - most cancer sufferers have these characteristics, some having more of that others. This is normal. The process of cancer as it grows in the body is to teach you. you can resolve this at any point in time and reverse the disease process, for it is you who put it there in the first place. Please read this in conjunction with the subconscious mind and quantum physics on this website. Now you will understand how you did this unconsciously. Because you have been giving and doing for others, making others more important that yourself, perhaps being overly responsible for others, making the feelings of others more important than yours, neglecting self, etc., the cancer cells are triggered in your body and grow and grow sapping all of your energy until eventually you are forced to go to bed with it - just because you cannot do any more - you are exhausted.
Now what happens is that you are forced to have others look after you and take care of you and nurture you. Most if not all cancer sufferers do NOT like this as it takes away their independence, their ability to do for others, their ability to give to others, their ability to nurture, care for or make more important than themselves. They are now forced to learn to receive, to be cared for, to be nurtured and to place their needs over and above others as they now have to look after themselves and their health. All of this is a direct result of an imbalance in your life - you gave and did not receive equally, you do not express your feelings but rather hold them inside (eating away at you - i.e. cancer), you did not place yourself first and then others, you did not love yourself first and then others, you did not nurture yourself first and then others. Bring this all into balance in your life and the NEED for the dis-ease will go away and you can heal yourself. What is usually missing or under used in many cancer sufferers is boundaries and proper boundary setting as opposed to putting up barriers and cutting yourself off or isolating yourself. All of this can be learned - it is a skill. You were never taught this. If you knew you would have done things differently and not manifested this cancer in you. It is by no accident that such things as the teaching of emotional intelligence, spiritual teachings, self empowerment courses is in big demand around around the world. There simply is a huge lack of it everywhere. The cancer forces you to reevaluate your life while you are lying in bed. every cancer patient goes through this. You can shorten it and heal yourself. We can and do help.
Many cancer survivors have spoken about it being connected with a lack of self-care and saying that their healing only came about as they began to honour themselves more deeply. Cancer has the wonderful ability to give us a chance to re-evaluate ourselves, to take stock and be more honest about our feelings, and to clarify our priorities in life and where we stand in relation to another.
It is important to remember that cancer is not contagious. It is not something from external forces or an external environment that overtakes our body, such as a flu infection - it comes from within us! The abnormal cells grow within us without being stopped by our immune system. We have allowed it to develop within us, just as we have allowed our external environment to continue being unchecked by us. Is Cancer cells are a part of our make-up, just as any other cell in our body and our external environment is a part of what we have created around us. Now should we decide that to reject the cancer within us in the same manner that we have rejected ourselves emotionally, we are not able to encourage the healing for us. By opening up to love (including loving the cancer for the learning it has brought us from a very deep place within ourselves) and by conveying that message to our heart with an acceptance that it as an expression of ourselves, we can allow healing to take place.
The strange thing about cancer and most diseases - is that you can be medically healed using today's medicine, but if you have not healed internally the cancer invariably comes back and its purpose is now to force you to re-look inside and heal that. You can do it - many have, so can you! It is your divine right!
Breast cancer is rife in western society. As highlighted above about cancer and the environment, there are also psychological and emotional issues at play. The number of breast cancer issues that have arisen also indicate and point to the fact that there is emotional conflict that comes about when a woman changes position from the traditional homemaking role and enters the work force.
Sometimes called the “feminine wound”, breast cancer also tends to indicate a conflict between being an object of desire and a nurturing mother, or being both assertive and receptive. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Does the rise in feelings within you as a female cause you confusion?
- Do you enjoy your breasts or do they repulse you?
- Has your femininity been abused or rejected?
- Do you feel that you have failed as a woman or mother?
- Are you being nourished or cared for?
- Do you accept, love and nurture yourself?
- Do you feel un-nurtured by your parents and others?
- Do you feel unsafe being a female?
- Do you think woman are weak?
This is a very complex issue that usually requires deep inner introspection and discussion and complete honesty with yourself in order to find healing. Once found, there is a richness that makes the journey worthwhile.
The incidence of cervical cancer is second to breast cancer. It can indicate conflicting feelings about sexuality, particularly resentment, hurt, rejection and/or fear. It is linked to sexual activity where participation does not equal enjoyment. There may be feelings of disgust at or by sex alongside a belief that we have to perform a “duty” by complying and putting our partner’s needs first. It can be due to being a victim of sexual abuse, leaving us feeling dirty and/or violated, or there may be a deep longing and desire - a yearning for sexual activity that is socially unacceptable and thereby creating shame.
The vagina is the hidden entrance to a woman’s being and is an expression of her feminine nature. This is a part of the woman’s body where she can experience enjoyment and pleasure and/or feel exploited and violated. It is sensitive and tender and can be easily damaged by force or brutality. This is also where conflicts with sexuality can manifest due to issues of past sexual abuse, sexual rejection, a fear of being out of control, guilt or shame over past acts and/or a fear of intimacy. All these are factors that can contribute to cervical cancer!
Skin Cancer (Melanoma)
Melanoma occurs on the skin. Skin represents your boundaries. The skin tells us where you end and the other starts. Any invasion of your boundaries, whether they be about not being respected by others or that you are not respecting your own boundaries, it always manages to reflect to you that boundaries are a problem. Where Melanoma flares up as an inflammation of some sort, it tends to indicate that there is anger around boundaries being invaded and that you feel powerless to protect yourself. The area of the body where this occurs usually gives a clue as to what the issue may be.
Melanoma implies that your boundaries are being penetrated. Have you been particularly affected by stress, emotional tension or inner conflict, leaving you unprotected or exposed? There may also be issues of self-dislike or a lack of self-care, complying with other people’s wishes and not heeding our own needs, or deep-rooted conflict over physical contact and/or touching.
Carcinomas are cancers of the epithelial tissue and adenocarcinomas are cancers of the glandular epithelial cells. Since epithelial tissue covers the surface of the body and lines the internal cavities, carcinomas include cancer of the skin, breast, liver, pancreas, intestines, lung, prostate and thyroid gland. This cancer may be spread to other body parts by the lymphatic system.
Positive thinking on it’s own will not solve all of your problems, however it is one of a series of things that we all have the power to implement, which will get us on the path to leading the life we want.
There are many ways in working with cancer; through creative visualisation, deep relaxation and meditation, with diet or many complimentary therapies available.
Being able to share our feelings; whether through counselling, group therapy, talking to a friend is a vital aid in healing cancer.
When we acknowledge the alienation, the disconnection from our feelings, we can bring those isolated parts of ourselves back into the whole – understanding the function and part of our body that is affected helps indicate which part of ourselves is being ignored or pushed away.
The Healing Process
For the healing process to take place, the number one attitude that is absolutely essential is one of “I WANT TO LIVE”. Those who develop a fighting spirit, mental resilience, vigour and who do not reject themselves, appear to have a greater survival rate. It is essential to strengthen the functioning of the immune system, which also means strengthening the will or the desire to live. It also means finding what is meaningful and looking deeper to discover the real purpose of your life.
The healing process therefore means going back and finding what happened that “killed off” one’s sense of enjoying life, of being here, of fulfilling ones purpose, which is to grow and experiment and develop ourselves fully, in doing what it is that we really enjoy doing. Once we have achieved that then we can share it with a partner and the world, in a joyous and feeding way.
Please note that there is a journey in healing cancer. This is the same for any dis-ease. The journey always has ups and downs along the way. These dips in the journey are to facilitate a learning process to take place within ones’ self, to gain deeper insights, to discover what it is that we have missed, how we have put ourselves down, how we have isolated ourselves and most importantly, what it is that we have cost ourselves in terms of love, life, joy, fun, being here, laughter, independence, growth, self-discovery, etc., etc. The journey is always rewarding and enlightening.
In my experience the discovery of the cost for the cancer sufferer has always been huge and never worth it. Once their purpose in life is discovered, their role in the dynamics discovered and a way out is found and then suddenly it dawns on them how to heal themselves. We can and do help. Once this is discovered, the cancer sufferer normally just wants to move on and sort out matters. This is when magic can happen, both emotionally and physically.
Recognize that all of the above does not fit 100% to each and every cancer sufferer. However, there are large parts of the above that fits most cancer sufferers. It is up to you to find those and work with it and when you pursue it, you will find your own healing.