Thursday, December 1, 2011

Comedy and Tragedy

My favourite symbol growing up was the comedy and tragedy masks, which represent my great love: the Theatre.  The two masks exist in this perfect dichotomy that accurately reflects life in the theatre, life as an actor, life as an artist, and, well... life itself.  If we are to look at our lives, in all instances, comedy and tragedy co-exist.  Have you ever been to a funeral where someone bursts out laughing?  Have you ever been to a baby shower and someone starts crying?  Pain and sorrow co-exist with joy and happiness everywhere we look.

Today, I've been thinking about the masks I've been wearing since my diagnosis.  I went for a massage therapy session and found myself having troubles relaxing.  It felt like if I relaxed then I'd be giving into a flood of emotion that I may not be dealing with.  The tension is my mask.  Then I started thinking, if the tension is masking all this emotion then does that mean I've just been putting on a brave face?  Am I also wearing a "Brave Face" mask? (Haha, they should sell those on World of Warcraft- +100 Armor).  I do feel like I could break down at any time if I just let myself think about the enormity of the situation.  If I think about my surgery in a week, I start to get a little nervous (and a little excited that I will finally have some relief!).  Have I just been putting on a mask for everyone to see and in reality I am just this scared little girl, afraid of what's going to happen to her?

It feels like there is a switch inside me.  It can be flicked and I am either instantly in tragedy mode or instantly in comedy mode.  Never in my life have a lived both to such extremes.  I am experiencing the true meaning of those masks right now.  My cancer could be looked at as a huge tragedy; I'm only 30 years old, just getting my life started, and I've been diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease.  On the other hand, the amount of support, love, and encouragement I have been receiving has filled my life with a joy and contentment unlike anything I have ever known.  My heart is filled with LOVE!  I am smiling on the inside!  How can I be afraid of what's to come when I am so incredibly loved?

It is that thought, the realization that I am truly not afraid, that keeps me strong.  I have God on my side.  He has brought me a huge group of people to support me through this.  Everyday I hear of more prayer groups rising up to pray for me.  There are people in England, Australia, the U.S., and all across Canada praying for me.  It is so incredibly humbling!  The conclusion I came to is that the only mask that I have been wearing from time to time is the mask of doubt.  It does not belong on my face.  When I feel myself putting on that mask, I will remember the strength that I have been given and I will cast it aside!

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