Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, shaping our lives and image of ourselves based on outside input and descriptions others have deemed to be true. From birth, we take on the totality of remarks and declarations outright or subtly put in our heads. Whether it’s from parents uttering – “oh, you’re so pretty” maybe trying to build up our self-esteem or to teachers concluding “you don’t really have a head for numbers” in an effort to shield us from what they perceive as a possible failure.
These early definitions paint a picture we add to as we approach life and try to sort out how we fit in and what we’re capable of accomplishing. We are socialized by our peers, teachers, and loves. What we hear we sometimes assimilate to and believe.
I used to call myself a late bloomer, but a therapist corrected me saying “No, you come into things in your own time.” That perspective totally changed the way I thought of myself and opened my eyes to the fact that I was basing my definition of self on what others deemed as “appropriate” timing or behavior. I had been primarily judging myself by letting society dictate, on some level, my worthiness.
Maybe, if we stop letting others define who we are, we might just find the person we were meant to be.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
This quote by the late, inspirational Maya Angelou touches me because I subscribe to this attitude of rising from whatever challenges come before us.
My fight with cancer proved an opportunity to find out who I am and what I can rise above.
During my journey the more I shared my thoughts and feelings the more my heart was warmed and my spirit lifted by messages of encouragement and support. As I went through treatment I often expressed to friends and family that God loves me so much he gave me an opportunity to evolve; go to the next level on my life journey.
Being a cancer survivor I feel more empowered and determined to come out on the other side of whatever obstacles come my way with hands in the air celebrating victory!
A common denominator for us all? – Emotions. I’ve learned over time to respect all my feelings. We have them for a reason and it’s okay to not have a perpetual smile on your face. It’s all about degrees. Without sadness, we wouldn’t appreciate the joy in our lives. I saw the Pixar movie “Inside Out” and loved it! It’s not just for kids, adults as well can learn a lot about how emotions affect us.
My heart went out to Sadness. For her, situations always seemed to go wrong. I’ve always felt that we’re conditioned to believe the only acceptable feeling is joy and the others, anger, fear and disgust are to be avoided. Even in the movie, Sadness tends to get a bad rap, but we need her. Plus, she’s so darn adorable!
I always try to remember that it’s okay to be sad sometimes. Just don’t forget to get back up again and celebrate joy!
I wrote this post 3 years ago to the day as a declaration of faith and gratitude as I embarked on this empowering and spiritual rebirth Cancer journey. Today, I stand as testimony that Love and Positive Energy can overcome all challenges in our lives but first, we must believe.
I’d like to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and appreciation of my previous post, “It’s a Beautiful Day!” I start chemotherapy for my Colon Cancer tomorrow and it feels great going into it with positive thoughts and energy.
I claim there will be no side-effects from the treatment. I know some might think that’s being a little optimistic but how many people do you know with two unrelated cancers at the same time? Huh? I’m that special. Not at all typical and neither will be my experience. 😊
Sometimes I have to remind myself, DonnaMarie you are capable, willing, and engaged but, don’t take on more than you can achieve effectively.
The truth is we all benefit when we care about our neighbors and see ourselves as part of a community. If you can help – do it – lend a hand, you never know when you may be the one in need. We can solve problems together by becoming aware of and addressing the issues that affect our lives. I believe we ultimately exist to leave the world a better place than we found it.
It makes me chuckle whenever friends remark, “You’re everywhere!” I am very involved in politics and advocacy in my community and feel it’s important to do everything I can to affect positive change and a better quality of life for everyone. However, my charge is to remind myself when feeling stressed out by current events and commitments that I can do anything but, not everything.
As a cancer survivor, I’m very passionate about life and its fragility. I’ve been blessed so it’s important for me to pay it forward. I strive to be aware and knowledgeable about what’s going on personally, not just reading about it or listening to what pundits have to say. As I tell my sister all the time, what you see and read doesn’t do justice to the hard work and engaged reality of those of us on the ground; interacting and being strategic about confronting real-world issues.
So, today as I sit here reflecting, I’m reminding myself to breathe in, breathe out and learn how to live with the nature of balance.
An awesome friend shared this serene, jazzy, cool and funky piece of music to serve as a respite from the day to day crazy. I told him this will be my go-to number when the world pushes me to scream.
I hope we are all taking moments to breathe, meditate, and count our blessings. Our spirits are more infinite than this temporary corporal home. In order to do what we need to and stand up and fight for humanity and justice, we need all the energy, love and positive vibes we can muster.