I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason – unless that reason is Karma. I also don’t believe that situations are put in our path in order to teach us something. I do believe, however, that we can learn from the situations that arise in our lives if we choose to.
It’s coming up on two years since my breast cancer diagnosis. I’m currently disease-free and almost done with my reconstruction. I’ve shifted gears from identifying as a cancer patient to a cancer survivor.
And yet, I’ve noticed that I still use cancer as an excuse whenever it suits me. True, I still have some residual fatigue. True, I still have some memory loss from chemo. But these issues don’t have to keep me from living my life to the fullest, unless I let them.
So, in an effort to turn the page on that chapter of my life, here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way:
- I learned how to meditate during cancer treatment. No matter how awful I felt, I found time to get it done. Now that I’m well, I have a much more robust meditation practice that I did before.
- I learned who my true friends are, or at least who was emotionally mature enough to stand by me in the face of fear. And I made new friends.
- I learned that I needed to take better care of my body, and I started learning how to do that. It remains an ongoing process.
- I learned how to ask for help without embarrassment and how to accept it without guilt.
- I learned, on the deepest possible level, that life is fleeting.
- I learned how not to over-commit myself.
- I learned how to say “no” to things I really don’t want to do, and to say it graciously and without remorse.
- I learned how to politely avoid people who drain me or give off negative energy.
- I learned that it’s not enough to have priorities unless I also live them.
- I learned what being grateful really means.
May all beings benefit.