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The Process of a Miracle Cure

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Illustration Credit: Ghost Islands by Diana Sudyka

Until my cancer diagnosis, I’d never been ill. I was terrified and nothing was helping me conquer the fear. Initially, I felt a traumatic paralysis, the fast-breathing, huddled fear of a wounded animal lying still in the brush, expecting to be struck again. This is worse than outright pain: this is withdrawing from anything that can help. This is the power of fear—to make us recoil from anything larger. While in this state, nothing flows through, and therefore, nothing cleanses or enlarges. The center remains cut off when it needs to be renewed more than ever. My life has taught me that how we first stand after doubling over is crucial to whether we will heal at all.In time, I was broken of my illusion that fear could be conquered. Instead, I began to watch the winter trees as they let the wind through, always through. Since then, I’ve learned that fear gets its power from not looking, that it’s intensified by isolation, that it’s always more strident when we are self-centered. Now, when I am full of fear, which can’t be avoided, I try, though I don’t always succeed, to break its stridency by breaking m …

Adapted from Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, by Mark Nepo. Copyright © 2015 by Mark Nepo. Published by Sounds True.

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Mark Nepo moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his No. 1 New York...

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