“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
~ Mary Oliver
I saw a new lyme doctor yesterday. Why a new doctor? It goes like this:
The first doctor I saw diagnosed me but wouldn’t treat me because ‘lyme was contentious and he was trying to fly under the radar’. My second doctor treated me aggressively with antibiotics and herbs, saving my life. The AMA put restrictions on his practice and prevented him from offering treatment to lyme patients. My third doctor – highly respected as a lyme physician here in Australia – had one appointment with me, where he prescribed a new and intense drug regime, shortly after which he took leave of absence for health reasons. I waited and waited for him to come back to work, and then found out in late December that he was no longer treating lyme patients as their immediate physician.
Meanwhile symptoms I’d not had for a long time had flared up, new problems had emerged, and I was keen to find someone who knew what they were doing and who could offer me continuity of care. After realising there was no-one in charge of me and not likely to be for some time I’ve been winging it, with a little help from my kind and courageous GP, and my own intuition. Winging it, I think I’ve done quite well, but still, I’m no doctor.
As you might imagine, I woke apprehensive. Discussions with other doctors had suggested that this year I’d have an even more harsh offering of drugs to take. That this year would need to be hard-core to make up the ground I’d so recently lost. I’d been told I’d need to see this new doctor and follow her own strict protocols as well as conventional lyme protocols for at least a year to get results.
I’m so tired of the pain, the brutality, the isolation imposed by both the disease and the treatment. As I lay in bed yesterday I offered up a prayer to the Universe. Let me get my answer today, I affirmed. I promise that whatever I am shown, I will honour that path.
In my mind I’d already decided that this doctor would be the last one. Intuition had led me to her. I’d already been given guidance in my channelled sessions that this year I would eventually forgo drugs. I would eventually forsake the last vestiges of traditional medicine, and I would find a way to heal, thoroughly and well.
This is it, I thought. My last roll of the dice.
But it didn’t feel like luck. It felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, from which I would either fall or fly.
Paradigm shift. They were the words that kept playing in my head. Those words and the fragment of a Mary Oliver poem, Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I knew I was missing something. Some vital thing. A key that would unlock this whole mess. A clue that would break me open and in the same breath begin to piece me back together again; gently, gracefully and with meaning.
I sat in the doctor’s office and we talked shop. Drugs, stats, bloods, symptoms, history. The usual. All the things she’d asked for.
‘You’re psychic,’ she said, reading my file, where for once I’d been bold enough to list that as my occupation. ‘That’s a real gift. Intelligent too, I can see. No-one would have developed this complexity of treatment protocols for themselves without deep intelligence.’
She looked at me, and held my gaze. ‘This isn’t my usual approach. But I assume you’re good at what you do too. I can see you have most of this under control. I don’t need to spend time discussing diet and nutrition with you. You’ve done most of the things I would recommend. I can see how sick you’ve been. How sick you still are. And you and I both know I can’t heal you – that healing comes from some other place. So, what do you need to heal – quickly, easily and with grace? How could you love your dis-ease?’
This wasn’t how I’d expected the session to go. I’d expected that she would tell me.
‘It’s funny,’ I said to her after pausing to gather my thoughts. ‘I fought so hard not to be psychic. But lyme stripped everything else away from me until it was the only thing left that I could do.’
I thought a bit more, and a realisation came to me like rays of light penetrating a deep dark forest. ‘You know,’ I said, leaning towards her, ‘when I do my psychic work, no matter how ill I might be, I move into a different space. A higher vibration. For that time I operate as if I don’t have lyme. And the effect lasts for a few hours afterwards, before I eventually come back into this disease state.’
She kept looking at me, holding that space for me, and suddenly I knew. Words tumbled out of me…
‘I’ve been so ashamed to be who I am. To be psychic. I’ve felt so guilty that I did not turn out the way my parents and teachers expected. The way society expected.’ I knew it to be true as they were coming out of my mouth. Guilt. Shame. Judgement. Such low vibration words. The complete opposite of the way I felt when I was firmly in my truth, owning my gift and living as a psychic, a shaman, as a spirit woman, guide and teacher. There I was open, I was light, I was in flow and everything in the world was beautiful and good. I was everything and everything was in me, and it was all as it should be. Peaceful. Blissful. Oneness.
There was more. I realised that I’d always held an expectation that when I eventually became well, that I should go back to my corporate life – the life in which my family and I had been so invested.
How could I ever be well when being well would mean walking away from my soul truth and my integrity to go back to living a life path dictated by others?
The shift in me was strong and immediate. Peace surged through me and calm lit every cell.
All I needed to do was own who I am. The beauty and the power and the strange rightness of this life. Of my skills and talents. Of my passion and my gift.
We both decided I need a light amount of drugs for a mop-up of one of my co-infections. A little retweaking of this and that, some healing and rewiring at an energetic level. I’ll keep using my herbs and essential oils. I’ll keep using my meditation and energetic healing. We’ll play it by ear, listen to my body’s own wisdom and see where that takes me. There’s some rebuilding to be done, some repair. But it is all fixable. It’s already shifting.
Finally, I have found a doctor who speaks my language and who can respect and mirror back to me what I most need to hear.
When I got home there was a message in my inbox. Dana, my PA, had forwarded me a poem sent by a lady called Illona. Thank you, Illona. It was so very timely.
It’s no coincidence that it’s also a Mary Oliver Poem.
I present the message in its entirety below:
Message: Nicole, I see this so much as who you are:
Today again I am hardly myself.
It happens over and over.
It is heaven-sent.
It flows through me
like the blue wave.
Green leaves – you may believe this or not – have once or twice emerged from the tips of my fingers
deep in the woods,
in the reckless seizure of spring.
Though, of course, I also know that other song, the sweet passion of one-ness.
Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.
And still, even in these northern woods, on these hills of sand, I have flown from the other window of myself to become white heron, blue whale,
red fox, hedgehog.
Oh, sometimes already my body has felt like the body of a flower!
Sometimes already my heart is a red parrot, perched among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.
— Mary Oliver
Oh my goodness how that validated everything I had seen and felt and known earlier that day. It was as if the Universe herself had turned up in my inbox to reflect to me the truth of that insight I was finally brave enough to own in my heart.
There is such wisdom and grace in the world when you open yourself to it.