On the drive home from my post op visit with the plastic surgeon, a girlfriend turned to me and said, “Now if that’s not turning lemons to lemonade!”
While in the doctor’s office, she saw ALL. You might think she got an eye-full of these beautifully reconstructed breasts. Well, maybe. But she also got to see the scars, old and new (eight incisions in total of varying lengths) and the bruising. Oh, the bruising.
As you see, I’m not sugar coating here. I, in fact, still cringe slightly at the reflection in the mirror. I was not quick to embrace the scars. And the bruises, although they will fade soon, are quite prominent now.
With each glance, a cringe. With each hug from my children or from well meaning friends, a cringe. One emotional, one physical. The physical will dim in time. But the emotional?
As I’ve mentioned before, my brain knows the cancer is gone. My brain knows that’s what’s important; it knows what matters. I also know I’m not a person rooted in vanity, so seeing the scars and bruises aren’t so much a vain attempt to want my former body back, but more of an emotional grappling of what my body has been through.
And although it doesn’t make sense on a brain level, when I look in the mirror, I feel like a failure.
Rational? No. But true? Yes. I don’t even know how to reconcile the two.
Then my friend made her comment about lemons. Lemons made me think of honey (remember, I’m the Tea Queen), which led me to a poem I read recently by Antonio Machado:
Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – – marvelous error! – –
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
What failure have I committed? Where exactly have I failed? Because I had cancer? Because I wasn’t perfect? And I was SO NOT-PERFECT that it took several months and a slew of surgeons to fix me? Is that it?
Failures, honey, lemons, scars, bruises…. I’m not positive how they all tie together, but I have a vague feeling that the answer lies under the surface of my realm of consciousness.
This time, before I try to sort out and think this one through, surely causing my head to spin all along the way, I’m stopping myself. I’m going to Let Go before I even start, knowing all is how it’s meant to be. If the answer comes to me one day, good. If not, good.
For now, I’ll share with you some of my favorite words on Failure:
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ Confucius
“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.” ~Napoleon Hill
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ~ Truman Capote
Have you experienced a failure recently? A few maybe? Happy Failures to All!!