The art of not-knowing
Thank goodness my grandfather didn't wait so long. When he arrived he was on the brink of renal insufficiency due to an enlarged prostate, and very anemic. Further kidney problems were avoided by immediate treatment and he will not need hemodialysis. But what is causing the anemia is still a mystery, and yesterday we received tough news: he has prostate cancer.
My mother is a doctor (pathologist) and I have been absorbing a big part of her worry, sadness and stress. Sometimes I feel she is trying to master the art of envisioning all possible worst-case scenarios. And she discusses such things with me, which makes me feel bad because there is nothing I can do. Nothing I say comforts her and whenever I try to be optimistic, she accuses me of being flippant and shallow. I feel crushed by a ton of rocks, completely powerless.
We need to know. We need to know our disease so we can cure it. We need to know our mistakes so we can avoid falling into the same traps. We need to know who are our enemies and who are our friends. Knowing is important, knowledge is power. But I have begun to think that, sometimes, excessive knowledge can distort our views of things. Because we are so sure that we know, we don't allow any new idea into our minds, any fresh breath of air into our lives. We don't let life surprise us. We refuse to believe in anything that challenges our views. It makes us mentally stubborn and pessimistic (or overly optimistic in some cases), and worse: it doesn't help.
I am worried about my grandpa, of course I am. Many times we was closer to me than my own father and he is so important to me! When I first heard he was sick I thought about doing a reading. But I quickly ruled out the idea when I realized my heart would never collaborate with the reading - it would try to bend the message. So I decided I didn't want to know, and I still don't. I have decided to focus on doing instead - visiting him, giving him my love and support, exercising hope and trust. Help him to find peace of mind, to discover his own hope. Something inside me tells me that he will overcome this disease, and I want to follow this light.
I wish I could pass some of this to my mother, and I wish she wouldn't take it so badly. I am not being frivolous, I just don't believe negative thoughts can help. We need to prepare for worst, but not make it the center of our vision, lest we stop seeing the good that can still happen. I trust my grandfather's doctors enough to know they will be serious about their job... so I can be the one who will bring a smile to my grandpa's face when I see him. He already has enough reasons to frown.
I wish my mother would step away from grandfather's treatment as a doctor, and return as the daughter. She says it's impossible: "I am a doctor, how the hell am I going to 'not-know' when I do!?". I realize it's not easy. Like people who get addicted to card-reading, once you have an open door to a certain knowledge, it feels impossible to close it. But I believe we must exercise shutting it sometimes, specially when said knowledge will plant negative things in our minds.
We act based on what we think, and that is how our thoughts shape our reality. We need to be careful about what kind of seeds we are sowing into the fertile earth of our minds.
The Playing Card Oracles © Ana Cortez & C.J. Freeman