Saturday, January 18, 2020

Books for wholeness | Author Sophie Sabbage

from The Cancer Whisperer by Sophie Sabbage

"The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep."
Henry Maudsley

Back in November I posted a shorter version of the below on my social media accounts for Lung Cancer Awareness Month and have been meaning to include it here as well.

I want to start sharing some of the books I have found helpful in my recovery, a steady stream of books that seem to keep coming into my life each at the exact right time. I was going to put 'Books for healing' in the title, but these days I prefer the term 'wholeness' and putting the focus on (already) being whole and healed.  

Among these books are a couple that upon finishing leave you feeling almost complete and as though they had unlocked the secret to life, the universe, everything - years ago I felt that way when reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, a book that seemed to make all other self-help books redundant. More recently books such as Michael A. Singer's The Untethered Soul and A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson have had this effect. And it has become clear that I need to read those kinds of spiritual texts on a daily basis, in order to fully absorb and consolidate the teachings, and that I enjoy reading 'variations on the same theme' by different writers and masters. 

There is a sub-section in this category: books that are specifically about cancer, though obviously go beyond that, and while I am a bit unsure as to how much I want to read about cancer - inevitably you come across statistics or other details pertaining to your own situation that you then try to erase from your mind - I still have a few of them.

One of those 'cancer' books is The Cancer Whisperer by Sophie Sabbage. She has stage IV of the same type of lung cancer that I was diagnosed with, but with a different mutation, and has miraculously overcome several rounds of brain metastases. Her book is part memoir, part self-help, part spiritual guide. She writes eloquently and beautifully, with wisdom and authenticity and a rawness that will resonate with anyone on a similar path. I can open it on any page and find something that will connect me to that inner source of strength we all have.

The book also acknowledges the role grief may play in lung disease. I was familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine, and while it was a huge shock when I found out I had lung cancer, a part of me felt it made sense, as the lungs are the seat of grief in TCM and I had never worked through my grief following my dad's death from cancer when I was a teenager (he died within weeks of being diagnosed) and other trauma. Sophie has a lot to say about this topic. She gave a TedX talk about grief and loss in her exquisitely poetic style that implores us to express sorrow.

Hers is a book for anybody dealing with cancer (not just lung cancer) and their family and friends, and it would also be of value to people who are not affected by the disease. She wrote it not long after her 'terminal' diagnosis - an incredibly generous thing to do.
I first got it from the library, but then bought my own copy, as I knew I would want to return to it again and again. Her other book, Lifeshocks, is also worth rereading. She continues to inspire me, and it is wonderful to see her thriving.