My life is so blessed and wonderful, but unfortunately I became sick with cancer. It’s hard to believe that cancer has been a blessing in quite a few ways. I’ve slowed down and stopped worrying about the minute details and the frivolities. I spend time with people I care about and remember to tell them I love them. So, does cancer mean that I’m no longer blessed? There are enough people out there who believe that cancer is not exactly a blessing, probably most people. They might ask: Why did I get cancer? Why me? Was I not good enough? Not careful? Did I not eat the right foods or exercise enough? I don’t want to judge, but those are the wrong questions.
Another question that many people ask at one time or another is: If G-d is great, why does He let people suffer? Why would a perfect G-d let bad things happen to good people? Am I bad? Did I not do enough to satisfy G-d?
As we were taught in elementary school, no question is a dumb question, but questioning can lead us down a dangerous path. Questioning life events or even dwelling on them can lead to some very shunned topics of discussion. Depression. Anxiety. Afflictions or conditions that aren’t always accepted as physical ailments. People with cancer suffer from these and let me tell you that even behind the happiest, pinkest, cancer survivor is a person with fears, mourning of loss, and sometimes depression.
I’m writing about this now, because I’ve shared my journey openly and honestly. It wouldn’t be a full story without this subject and beyond it’s inevitable existence, there’s also potential for an intense joy and fulfillment. The gratification of the joyful part is reliant and intertwined with coming to accept, realize, and experience the fear, the losses, reality, and agony of the bottom line. The absolute truth is that everybody dies. I believe that living life to the fullest is arriving at the point where if you absolutely had to die tomorrow, you could go with smile, and be able to say, “Death, you do not scare me.” I can go tomorrow, if I have to. There is nothing that embarrasses me. There is nothing in my life which I’m ashamed of. Just yesterday, I was with someone very dear to me, and she said, “I wish I could do such-and-such, but I’m just too embarrassed.” There should never be anything worth doing in your life, which could conceivably lead you to feeling embarrassed, I told her. We can reach a point in our life where we feel so comfortable in our own skin that we can only feel compassion for those who don’t. If my heart is ultimately void of judgement of others, I abandon the need or desire to fear judgement of others. Freed from fear and trepidation of judgment from your peers, embarrassment can no longer endure.
I’m not well traveled or sophisticated. Cancer has opened a window of thought to me. Cancer did NOT give me any wisdom! Cancer has changed the way I live my life. It may have taken away certain chances and opportunities, hopes and dreams, yet cancer altered my self view so much that I no longer interconnect with the pre-cancer me on many fundamental elements. I can love G-d for all the seemingly painful and horrible things that happen on Earth without judgement because I can accept that there is a larger picture, something much greater than my understanding of the small zoomed-in pixel of my life. We are encouraged and compelled to think outside of the box. I hope to share a different view than the ordinary, but how is one to know what is extraordinary for one and completely banal to another? I aspire to extol and hype my self proclaimed Secret To Happiness. I pray I haven’t become the 21st century version of the broken record. I know I repeat it often and I’ve lost my inhibitions to be embarrassed or ashamed about my main message and it’s accepting what you have, no matter what it is, and enjoying every drop you can squeeze out of it.
With acceptance, forgiveness, and love filling your life to the brink, you will never be ashamed again. You won’t have room for all the other noise that is anger, sadness, envy, and regret. People fear impending death throughout their lives and it can even stop them from living it to the fullest. The only fear you should have in life is wasting it. Don’t spend precious time on all the noise like shame, embarrassment, and fear, which disables people from making each moment the greatest it can be.
Death can be an earned right after living a fabulous life full of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and joy.
To be continued….