We don’t have earth shattering, life changing, situations happen to us without learning a thing or two from them.
When cancer, chronic illness or personal crisis come to visit us, they come bearing gifts in the form of the life lessons that we most need to learn. It’s important to keep this in mind so we can master the lesson without having to repeat the “class” with perhaps a less desirable teacher next time.
I’ve often reflected on what my lessons from cancer were – and there have been many. I used to sit in quiet meditation and just ask, “Why are you here?” and then I’d journal what came up for me.
I was never afraid of my cancer, I was afraid of not learning what it came to teach me.
It taught me the difference between running for life and running from my life.
It helped me get clear on how I want to spend my time and who I want to spend it with.
It taught me that there is more to self-care than bathing.
It taught me to let other people carry – and fix – their own stuff.
It taught me that relationships are about mutual love, respect and support and not about rescuing or fixing one or the other.
It taught me that love isn’t holding someone hostage, it’s letting them be free to live life their way.
While I never actually thought anything was forever (I mean that’s a really long time!), cancer confirmed and now I know that to be a fact.
It taught me that when we stop growing, we start dying.
It taught me to stay out of other’s inner battles.
It taught me the true value of self-respect and the true cost of not having it.
It taught me that love isn’t keeping or leading or pushing or holding… it’s walking beside, it’s noticing, it’s allowing but not enabling and it’s extending a hand when one is needed, but if more than that is demanded or needed, I’m not a life-preserver.
The greatest love and support I can provide to another is to be myself, own my stuff, do my work and share what God has given me to share.
More than anything, it taught me that everything really is ALL small stuff.