Brittany Maynard is 29 years old, and was recently diagnosed with the most aggressive form of brain cancer known. After surgery to remove part of her brain tumor, it grew back even bigger. She has been given 6 months to live by her doctors, and has been counseled about the progression of the disease and the extremely painful dying process she is most likely to face. After furious attempts to try to find a miracle cure, she has come to the decision to take a lethal dose of prescription medication surrounded by her family in order to pass without the enormous pain and suffering she will endure if she lets her illness run its brutal course.
Here is the web version of the People article with the video included:
It is kind of mind-boggling. The whole thing. The fact that this story is in People Magazine. Okay, it is shocking, so that fits in with the sensational journalism. But it is her love that is shocking. It is the best example of “love over fear” that I have been exposed to in a while. You can see in her mother, her husband, her stepfather’s faces that they are beyond the deepest depths of sadness, but Brittany has a whole other energy. She is definitely a teacher for her family and the multitudes of people she is touching through this media exposure. Her profound peace is tangible…it is so beautiful.
She is a living example of the reminder of what matters. Her message is to "pursue what matters, forget the rest." And I can’t help but guess that she must be seeing a bigger picture, a picture we don’t usually allow ourselves to acknowledge. The understanding that our five senses have a very limited reception of the reality that we are actually in. That we are part of a connected web, that we are all individual pieces of one unifying force. Every human, every animal, every plant, every mineral, every atom in this universe and all the universes we only have a hint that exist outside of our Milky Way… That we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and that we have changed these skin suits over and over and over more than we can even imagine. That death is just a transition from one state to the next…it is not an ending, it is actually a portal from one form of being to another. No energy is lost or extinguished.
To believe in this, to have a sense of this, to have a spiritual understanding that there is more going on than just our physical bodies, or even that our physical bodies are manifestations of spirit and we are part of a spiritual play that is unfolding is all well and good in theory. Its easy to read a book like Anita Moorjani’s Dying To Be Me, and nod our heads in agreement that there is way more going on than we know and that there are spontaneous remissions of terminal illness on a regular basis that the medical community can not make heads or tails of. It is not outside our cognitive constructs of what is ‘reality’ to pray or go to religious functions and supplicate ourselves to our own cultural versions of “God.” But to be forced to deal with our own unexpected impending death, and to be able to access a trust in the belief that there is more than just this gross physical plane…seems to me such an expression of actualized love.
I’ve heard the expression ‘the opposite of love is not hate, it is fear.’ Brittany’s mental and emotional state in her circumstances feels like the embodiment of that love to me. She is consciously choosing to not be in fear, to make her last moments count and not use them up worrying about not being ‘Brittany’ anymore. To follow her passions, to be fully alive during the time she has while her body will support her in doing so.
My take-away from seeing Brittany’s story, is the several questions she is asking me with her smile: “What matters to me?” “What is truly important?” “What do I need to do to live my life full out, now?”
I sit here and ponder and feel these questions deep inside of myself. I am meditating on these and getting my answers. And I pose these questions to you, dear friends. And I challenge you to ask yourself these most potent questions of yourself. Really listen to the answers that come forth from deep inside of you. Then take action on them with the understanding that our truth emerges ever so gracefully when we are in the present moment and live in love.
Thank you Brittany. Thank you for sharing your piercing truth through your eyes with me and everyone else who sees your pictures and hears your story. Thank you for bringing me back to what matters.
Here is Brittany's website:
- See more at: http://nicole-breitman.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/blog/2014/10/living-love-over-fear#sthash.opXjRIyq.dpuf