I see the motivating posters, FUCK CANCER...
Truly, I understand the reasoning behind them and have felt the sting. Sting perhaps is too nice of a word, visceral disembowelment may be a better analogy. If possible you can feel the inside of you explode in a firework of emotion that is unlike anything in this world. Pain, fear, panic, anxiety, worry...all just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Then comes the reality of it all, suffering, treatments, financial strain, physical discomfort, loss of dignity, strain on the caregiver, strain on relationships, the social angst; you name it generally it's all there.
I think the problem is when we have this anger toward cancer it then turns onto ourselves and creates a ripple effect unknowingly. The catchy phrases of "life only gives you what you can handle" doesn't always feel appropriate either because sometimes you think you will break right in half.
There was many moments watching my parents dying of cancer I thought I would break, but you bend. To be so rigid in your thinking about what you can handle shorts yourself on how amazing our psyche is and what we can really handle. Do I like cancer? No. Unfortunately, for myself I've never experienced the type of cancer where they just remove such organ and you carry on with life. No, cancer stole a lot from life but in essence I don't say F cancer.
Cancer made me an angry person for a long time, then round two struck. I had the choice to hate cancer even more or figure out what the hell I was supposed to learn from it; again. This time around was ten times worse that the first time, the suffering. Suffering in an inherent part of life, if you're human you will suffer. Perhaps that's melodramatic but in reality you do. There are micro experiments in suffering all the time. Something goes wrong, you suffer. We have expectations that aren't met, we suffer. This suffering is meant to help you learn and develop yourself and your reactions to slight adversity.
True suffering is something that is hard to manage or cure. Any way you turn you feel as though you're drowning but there is moments of light in even the darkest hours.
Want to discover what people are made of? Suffer. Kindness effuses out of them and things you never imagined possible happens. People rally around you, carry you and help you when you don't think there's any thing left to help with.
I would be a selfish jerk had I not watched suffering and had to engage in selfless love caring for dying loved ones. In my heart I know this is true, suffering was a dark awakening to the light in myself. Even now writing this brings up many sensations that now I just allow myself to feel because stuffing them down creates problems later. It's similar to spilling something under the couch, you can leave it hidden or simply pull the couch back and wipe it up while it's still easy to clean. The longer it sits there the more it stains and the harder it will be to deal with.
Understanding why some people have this mountain to climb not just with cancer but with any real life challenge that seems so unfathomable and unfair will never be an easy thing. Saying everything happens for a reason isn't easy to grasp and if you can't see a reason then it's impossible to say that. One of the sayings on my board in the studio this week is more suitable:
"Life's best lessons seem to be learned at the worst times."
It is those worst times that we can start to garner the best lessons. Finding the gift inside the trap of suffering is the tough part. Because it is so painful that it doesn't seem possible that any good can come out of it.
The best advice I've ever been given hands down is: wait one year. Before making any decisions or big life changes give it one year to see if it is still the best option or choice. A year can be an eternity of difference. Life one year after a traumatic event is always different than you think it will be.
I Live Life Now,