I just replied to a very kindhearted woman who asked me if there was anything I could suggest to her to help her elderly mother on her battle with cancer. She has an aggressive cancer, has opted for chemotherapy treatment. After offering what helped with my family and loved ones, I sat back and thought about it.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” There is nothing pleasant about seeing someone you love walk through serious medical issues. For me it was easier going through cancer, myself, than watching my parents, my siblings go through it.
I have learned and continue to keep relearning this…The most challenging difficult times of my life have reared some unexpected profound perspective. Would I wish the journey of cancer on anyone? Nope! But I wouldn’t trade my personal growth for the world.
When we become one with ours or our loved ones mortality it is highly likely that the gift of perspective will touch upon our tired worn spirits. That book “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and its all small stuff!” comes to mind. When you’ve walked through fire with someone you love there isn’t any greater lesson about what is and is no longer (if it has ever really been) important. The bills will get paid, or they won’t, neighbors may like you, or they won’t, I will lose weight, or I won’t…too many to mention, just mere examples of what struck me, and also what freed me. Maslow’s “food, clothing, shelter” plays a part here, and after those very things have been threatened for any length of time, further understanding of what defines “the smaller things” becomes apparent. It was the best of times….
Though our/their bodies may be depleted and void of any energy, joy can be found even at this time, through this and other hardships. It’s all a matter of willingness, open mindedness, and embracing the beautiful from the difficult. I was dumbfounded with how much quality time you can fit in, even in the throws of treatment, end of life. I wanted to be present physically, spiritually, emotionally. If my mind was focused on other issues (What I have since named “luxury problems”) my spirit, my best wasn’t present at a time where it was most important to me. So went the crap!
What precious thoughts, experiences today did I put in the front seat of my vehicle of life? Did I allow worry, despair, insignificant small crap to take over or did I place those things respectively in the back seat, and allow love, perspective, the gifts of life reign? While it may not seem it or even possible, it IS a choice…..