“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. 😊
Erase all Doubt!
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.
Keep the Faith
I love being an Advocate with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network! I’m blessed to be a survivor of Colon and Breast Cancer and honored to be a voice for the voiceless.
On September 25, 2018, more than 25,000 Lights of Hope – each decorated with the name of a friend or loved one impacted by cancer will circle the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Please join me and be part of this special event.
You can help support cancer research and funding by purchasing a $10 Luminary Bag on my Lights of Hope personal page:
You’ll be part of a beautiful Lights of Hope ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial celebrating survivors and honoring those we’ve lost to this dreaded disease.
This video expresses the emotion and passion most of us Advocates for The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network share; the devastating diagnosis of cancer.
Please join us in the fight to cure cancer and celebrate loved ones and friends by purchasing a $10 Luminary at my Lights of Hope page: http://action.acscan.org/site/TR/Events/GeneralACSCAN…
Together Our Voices are Stronger. Love and Thanks!
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.
I feel it, my friends do too; stress. Unrelenting, daily stress in response to all the negative energy permeating our planet. Our world needs healing, and in the passionate pleas of Michael Jackson, “There are people dying if you care enough for the living make a better place for you and for me.”
This song is a poignant reminder that we are a community of souls and are charged with taking care of one another. When people feel it’s okay to turn their back on pain and suffering, we lose our humanity.
Where we live in the world should not matter. What our religion or creed is should not matter. And this fabrication of race, should surely not matter.
We all could use some major healing in the midst of the chaos and hate enveloping the country. People are hurting and afraid. We should be coming from a place of love, not hate and resentment.
Just like Michael said: “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race”.
The sad and shocking news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain taking their lives last week reminds me that we don’t know another’s pain; no matter how blessed we believe they are.
Their tragic deaths also triggered reflection on all the pain and sadness enveloping our country in reaction to unrelenting and overwhelming hate not only here but around the world. Alcohol and drug abuse serve to mask or deal with the incredible despair people experience daily. And, for some, suicide as the final resolution.
Our world is crying out in pain.
As an Advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, friends watching my dedication to making a better world often check in and remind me to get a massage or stay away from the madness for 24 hours; being an activist is a tremendous weight and source of stress. “You see and deal with it every day; don’t forget to take care of you.”
Wise words indeed! Thanks, for the love.💗💜
I’m blessed with an incredible circle of friends and family but, that doesn’t make me immune to sadness or grief. The reality is countless people feel misunderstood and judged on how they deal with their circumstances and emotions. I don’t believe the pain in an individual’s soul can be explained; merely embraced with love and support.
Today, I pray we can all embrace our “humanness” with compassion, understanding our shared struggle in this complicated journey called life.
In times like these, a mantra I embrace is that attitude is everything. Living a conscious life with intention and purpose. In the words of Buddha:
Collectively we have the ability to create the world we wish to live in. What we visualize, we internalize and what we internalize dictates what we realize.
“You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever
the world can throw at you.”
What is my Intent?
Each and every day I choose to live my life without fear; understanding that taking chances and keeping faith through adversity is to grow as a person and citizen of the world. Fear makes some people commit heinous acts and is responsible for so much suffering in people’s lives. Fear can prevent us from speaking out when seeing a wrong or blaming some “other” for our problems.
But, living fearlessly can open infinite possibilities. Believe and realize your dreams. Reach out and understand that a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. Adjust your attitude to a positive point of view and create the life you seek.
Take the leap and have faith. Destiny lies in your hands.
My Intention for each day:
Stand up for what’s right.
Show up as a witness and speak for the voiceless.
Choose to be positive in word and deed.
Be a possibility for the future.
Demonstrate Fortitude, Determination, and Hope