The Fight Within- a woman discovers she has cancer. Therapeutic short story.

The Fight Within.

A requested story for a friend of HT

 

Mary couldn’t sleep. It was still dark outside, no sounds came through her closed curtains ; the world had not yet stirred. Mary’s mind was in turmoil. Now she knew for sure what she had suspected for some weeks. It was cancer. The wait after the test over a weekend had felt like forever. She had thought over her entire life remembering all the good bits and the bad, wondering if something she had done could have created this lump in her body.

Mary’s family were not yet fully grown, they still needed their mother. They were learning to become independent, but she felt they still needed a lot of support. Her husband Robert would be all right. Always independent, doing his own thing, he wouldn’t suffer if she went , she thought. Her life had not been quite what she had hoped for so far. She was more of a reactor then an instigator. Life had happened to her rather than she had made it happen. She had not been ambitious and had not made demands on her family. Rather the opposite was true, they had made demands on her and she had complied. What should a mother do other than look after her kids? She fetched and carried them , she gathered up their dirty washing strewn on the floor and dealt with it. She cooked their favourite meals and often felt they might show more consideration and gratitude. She was tired of nagging them; it seemed easier just to do everything herself. She had not insisted that they thanked her for the meals she carefully prepared for them or for keeping the home nice. They were oblivious to her need for recognition and she wasn’t about to tell them how she felt.

Mary thought about how she would do things differently if she survived this. She told herself that the statistics were good these days. Doctors were much more on top of cancer. Most people survived it. Strangely, the idea of telling her family that she wanted more help and appreciation was more daunting to her than telling them that she had cancer. It almost felt like a weakness in her, yet she knew it was not. Her weakness had been in letting them all do exactly what they wanted, without insisting on some return, which would make her life easier and more pleasant. They were not bad kids, they were just selfish and oblivious to a different and better way to behave. It had been her duty and her husband’s to guide the children and they had not. Her husband had grown used to her saying ‘Oh, I don’t mind’, and it had suited him to believe her. He did not take his fair share of parental duties, but as she did not complain, he continued to ignore the situation.

The small knot of resentment had grown and now she had cancer. She had heard that stress can cause all sorts of ills, including cancer, and suddenly she wondered if her bitterness was showing up in her body. It was time to shake up her life. She needed new goals and she needed help to achieve them. The only person who could change things for her was herself. She saw it now. Taking the line of least resistance was not an option now. She made a list of things that would have to change, it was not a long list, but it was a very important one.

Mary stuck the list on the fridge door with a magnet and went back to bed and slept. The following day was a Sunday. Normally she would be the one to get up and make the breakfast. On this day she slept on. At 10 o’clock her husband appeared with tray, on it was a pot of tea and some toast with butter and marmalade. He looked sheepish and embarrassed.

‘Oh, thank you Robert. I thought you were off to golf this morning.’ she said.

Mary’s son and daughter appeared at the door. They looked upset and worried . ‘Hello Mum,’ was all they could say.

Robert reached into into his back pocket and took out Mary’s fridge list. He put it on the tray, Mary noticed ticks on all the items, they looked like marks of agreement. The family had at last come together and had seen what needed to be done for their mum.

‘I’m going to fight it,’ said Mary, ‘but I don’t want to have to fight you too. Thanks for the ticks. Promise me that you’ll remember to go along with it? It is fair enough, isn’t it? All I want to do is to be able to train as…. an astronaut. …That’s not too much to ask, is it? ‘

Her smile told them they were forgiven and she hoped that all their tears were a promise of the help and support she needed.

 

 

A yoga story about compassion and sympathy

Aunt Ushma Becomes Very Ill

Compassion and Sympathy

When I was a small child I had an aunt; she was my mother’s sister. She used to live with us and help my mother look after us children. She would wash us and rock us to sleep if we were unsettled. She was always available to help in any way and never asked for anything in return. She was one of the family, so she was treated as such and not as a servant. My mother used to say to us, “You must look after your Auntie Ushma as well as she looks after you!”

A time came when we did indeed have to carry out our mother’s wishes. Aunt Ushma became very ill. All she could do was to lie in bed and drink water and sometimes a little fruit juice. Every one was very worried about her. I used to like to go and visit her and stroke her hair as it lay on the pillow beside her. She would turn her head and smile a wan smile.

“Ah, Ramu,” she would say, “How nice it is to feel your cool hands on my forehead. No one has hands like yours. I am sure you will be a great healer one day.”

Well, I didn’t know what she was talking about. I just knew I wanted her to get well again quickly, so that we could enjoy our usual pursuits, our walks along the riverbank and playing hide-and-seek in the woods. She was ill for a long time it seemed to me. She grew so thin that her skin looked like paper drawn across the bones of her face. No one could help her. The priest visited her and so did the wise woman who sold the herbs in the market. The Guru who lived in the nearby mountain was summoned, but he refused to come. Instead he promised to pray for her each day until he had news of a change for the better. Aunt Ushma finally died after several months of illness. On her last day she asked to see the family all together. She addressed them saying:

“I am going home soon, do not weep for me. I will return as indeed we all do. I hope my next life will shine with a few more jewels than this one. However, in this life I have been blessed with a good number of jewels until recently. I would like to thank you, all of you, for your kindness to me during this tiresome illness. You could not have looked after me with more care or consideration than if I had been the goddess Shakti herself.” And with that she closed her eyes and fell asleep. She never uttered another word. She died during the night.

I always remembered what she said about my hands and if members of the family were ill, I made sure I was there to stroke their brows and hold their hands. They always appreciated it and in later years I indeed found that my healing gift was called upon by many.


Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What kind of effect does an understanding smile have on you?
  • Think of a time when you felt compassionate towards someone. How did you show it?
  • When someone is unsympathetic towards you, how do you feel about him?
  • A friend is looking for sympathy, but you think she is just being pathetic. How can you deal with it and show you are still a good friend?

Introducing Guptananda

Welcome. I’m Teresa. I plan to put my stories on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading them. Although I started off writing Yogas Stories,  I write about other subjects too, and you will find different stories under the different categories in my blog. I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have. Click on the word ‘comment’ below each post to get in touch or share your thoughts. For the time being here is a short introduction to my background.

My General Background
I live in the UK with my husband where I worked as a special needs teacher in a college of Further Education (now retired). I’m also a mother of two grown sons, a grandmother, a qualified yoga teacher, psychotherapist and counsellor. I also embrace other forms of healing including energy healing, Bach Remedies, essential oils, and crystals. In my spare time I love to garden.

The Stories
In 1995 an amazing thing happened. A spirit guide, Guptananda, came to me during a meditation when I was asking for help to teach my yoga classes. I had met him once before in a meditation circle when I asked for help in understanding New Age writings. I was taken up into a blue sky and across to the continent of India. I travelled across the snowcapped Himalayan Mountains, to a cave, inside was a guru. He told me that I didn’t need to read New Age material, but told me instead to read the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagvad Gita, and that I would find all the answers I needed there. I had read them once before as part of my training to become a yoga teacher. In response to my request for help  He said “There’s no point in teaching people spiritual practices unless they are obeying the ‘laws of life’.” I couldn’t remember what they were myself and he sternly told me off! Then he told me not to worry, and said that he would help me. He gave me a story on greed, then another on chastity. Over weeks and months he gave me a set of  stories all about his own life. He told me he lived 400 years ago. The first yoga principles are the yamas and niyamas, the laws of life, similar to the 10 commandments. I’ve used these stories to help me to teach my students. The stories given via Guptananda offer the teachings of these principles in a very readable and acceptable format, suitable for both adults and children.


As time went on people began asking me to write stories. I discovered that other guides would also visit me to offer stories on other themes, for example therapeutic stories for my counselling clients and stories for Education In Human Values in schools and colleges I believe that these stories are wonderfully touching and relevant to today’s life. They have been a gift to me and I want to share them with other people. They are of particular relevance to those on the path of studying or teaching yoga, but are useful to people in all walks of life.