Can Suffering Lead to Wholeness? Cancer Survivor Mark Nepo Invites Us Inside His Miracle

By Debra Moffitt

11 08 2014-LYWW -Seattle
11 08 2014-LYWW -Seattle

Can you imagine that illness might transform and expand you? Could it even make you whole? Mark Nepo, a wise and enduring spiritual teacher explores this possibility in, Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness”.

“One of the great transforming passages in my life was having cancer in my mid-thirties,” Nepo writes. “This experience unraveled the way I see the world and made me a student of all spiritual paths.” Unlike many books that want us to believe in “happiness in 21 days”, this book embraces and tears open the heart of pain and suffering and looks at the gifts it brings. This is the essence of spiritual nature stripped bare.

Nepo reveals the utter nakedness experienced in going through the after-effects of chemotherapy, coughing up blood, and vomiting again and again in his hotel room. His wife asked, “Where is God?”

Nepo’s simple reply: “Here, right here.”

Nepo’s writing is raw, true, and real. He invites us in to see the painful places, the hurt, the suffering. The invitation beckons us to see beyond, to not become the pain and suffering, but to transcend it. Nepo shows us that we are not alone in our low times. That we may keep these moment private and hidden, but by showing us his, Mark gives us the courage to trust that there is something more, something worth knowing and understanding by penetrating the depths of ourselves to experience our wholeness.

This is not a book with simple answers. Instead the “Questions to Walk With” invite us to explore our own emotions and to dare to face the big questions that remain unanswered in our lives. There in lies the grace. This book is a big work, the work of a life time. It gives a sense of meaning and a higher perspective on life as we know it.

Excerpt from “Inside the Miracle” by Mark Nepo – reprinted with permission.

Setting Fires in the Rain from Inside the Miracle by Mark Nepo

 You see. It was time. The tube had to come out. It had drained my lung of blood for days, through a slit in my side. The doctor was waiting and I looked to Paul at the foot of my bed. Without a word, he knew. All the talk of life was now in the steps between us. He made his way past the curtain. Our arms locked and he crossed over, no longer watching. He was part of the trauma and everything—the bedrail, the tube, my face, his face, the curve of blanket rubbing the tube, the doctor pulling the tube’s length as I held onto Paul—everything pulsed. And since, I’ve learned, if you want to create anything—peace of mind, a child, a painting of running water, a simple tier of lilies—you must crossover and hold. You must sweep past the curtain, no matter how clear. You must drop all reservations like magazines in waiting rooms. You must swallow your heart, leap across and join.”

Copyright Debra Moffitt, 2015. No portion of this blog may be reprinted, reused, or copied for print or online use without prior written consent. See “About” page for permission form.

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