Sometimes things happen in our lives that evoke fear and make us doubt the very existence that we all share. Why am I here? A question all of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. As we grow and change throughout our lives we have to allow the definition of our selves to grow and change with us.
I am a cancer survivor. Whew. That is the first time I have said that publicly. It is both a little scary and liberating.
I have graciously been given another opportunity to look at my life and wonder what the purpose is. When things like this happen our natural reaction as humans is to find out what it is that we are thankful for even though our world seems to be crumbling to the ground.
I am very grateful that my doctors were able to get all the cancer out in one surgery and the recurrence rate is very very low. The emotional toll is life altering and the recovery from the surgery was long. I was determined to not let this define me even though it has changed me. It was only when I stepped back that I thought about this strengthening my message. I had a stack of cards 50+ high filled with encouragement sitting on my desk . Thank you cards to write for people who brought us food, visited me while I was in the hospital, helped me clean, take care of clients, sent flowers, sent me well wishes of all kinds. People are innately amazing and compassionate people. This should have come as no surprise to me and yet I was still overcome by it. The amount of compassion and love that I felt over this whole ordeal has been humbling.
Sometimes it takes something like this to realize how lucky we really are. I look into my son’s eyes and know that his mommy will be here to watch him grow up. I am thankful and appreciate his smile, laugh, and silly adventures so much more. I appreciate my husband’s bad breath in morning when he kisses me as we wake. Stopping to pay attention in a world that is full of distractions and excuses not to live presently. To be thankful for those moments that allow us to feel. A basic human emotion that we sometimes curse. All these are signs of being alive which I cherish so much now.
There is a certain amount of blame and shame that comes with a cancer diagnoses. What could I have done to prevent this? My doctor’s answer: “Nothing, sometimes it is just bad luck.” Bad luck. I believe everything happens for a reason. Finding this and striving toward it has made it worth it. It is not a new thing. Something that has always been at my core, but now I can give myself permission to celebrate those things about me that I want more of: Grace. Benevolence. Compassion. These are now a part of both my personal and my business message. Be gracious to others, sure. More than that, be gracious to YOURSELF. You must love the imperfection in yourself in order to love all of you.
Brene Brown, one of my favorite speakers and authors said. “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.” I suggest you listen to those. I am doing my best to do so. With Grace.
Romantic. Gracious. Carefree.