My journey wasn’t about finding a cure; it was about surrendering to Spirit.
As a speaker and singer, I depend on my voice for my livelihood. Aside from my educational company where I might speak with 500 students a week, I serve as the associate spiritual leader of my Unity church. I am also a wife, mother, and grandmother who usually has something to say about just about everything.
Two years ago, I made a life-altering journey through surrender, acceptance, and faith that changed me at a cellular level.
From Discomfort to Diagnosis and Fear
The journey started slowly. At first, I thought my summer allergies had gotten out of hand. Then I started losing my voice. Medicines and other remedies didn’t help, and my throat felt worse. I was preparing for two weeks of travel and thought the trip would help, that a different environment would relieve my allergies and discomfort.
Instead I came home exhausted and barely able to croak out a few words without pain.
I was shocked to learn that my vocal cords were the cause; there was a cyst on one and a severe rupture on the other. The doctor told me the cyst was likely permanent, but with time and therapy the rupture could heal, allowing me to talk and maybe even sing again, albeit with a limited range.
My doctor talked about the benefits of massage and meditation before giving me a modified menu of foods I would be allowed to eat. I was confused. She explained my symptoms did not originate in my throat but could be traced to acid reflux disease that was burning my vocal cords. The cause? Stress and lack of self-care. How could this be? I wondered. I teach classes in self-care!
The initial part of my treatment meant not making a sound for three weeks. There was no escape, no distracting chatter, just endless hours of self-blame, sadness, grief, and intense loss.
Blanketing it all was the gut-wrenching fear that I would never heal or work again. Then what? I was most haunted by the question that ran through my mind like an endless loop, Who am I if I can’t talk or sing?
I remembered not who but what I am: Spirit clothed in human skin—living, moving, and having my being within God.
Surrendering to Spirit
I allowed it all. I let the feelings wash over and through me in waves, knowing the only way to get to the other side of this was to walk through. I cried and felt sorry for myself.
I let myself feel every feeling and think every thought until I arrived at total surrender.
I remembered not who but what I am: Spirit clothed in human skin—living, moving, and having my being within God. I unclenched my fists and breathed deeply. I relaxed. I repeatedly moved my awareness from the spin in my head to the source of my being, opening to new inquiries. How could this experience be for me? What could I learn?
I stopped praying for something to fix me, and I began to shift. I counted my blessings. I sent waves of gratitude through my body, thanking every organ and every cell for keeping me alive and thriving.
A New Prayer: Gratitude and Joy
I found myself remembering the joy I felt in teaching and singing, the absolutely connected sense of purpose I valued within every word and every song. I let those feelings of joy radiate throughout my body.
I began to believe I would speak again, and regardless of whether or not I could ever teach or sing again, I knew I would be well. I embraced this awareness and allowed the loss. I meditated, prayed, and followed every instruction from my doctors. Eventually I could talk again while continuing vocal therapy.
The time came to recheck my vocal cords. After taking a video recording, the doctor asked me to use my cell phone to record her findings. As she showed me the images she had taken, she explained in her 28 years of practice she had heard of only one person who healed a vocal cord cyst. Hitting play on the video, she said, “Now I know of two.”
I couldn’t believe what I saw—aside from a small spidering of veins where the core of the rupture had been, my vocal cords were totally healthy. The cyst was simply gone.
I look back with wonder and gratitude for what I learned. My journey wasn’t about finding a cure; it was about healing on a level beyond my body. It wasn’t about talking and singing again; it was about embracing silence. It wasn’t about winning a fight; it was about surrender.
There are no words to express the gratitude I feel in being allowed to step back into the life I had, but I no longer take even one word for granted. And when I sing now, in a voice even stronger than the one I had before this experience, I feel the flow of divine life itself expressing fully through me.