We can choose to let fear be a noose around our neck, holding our breath through life. We can choose to hold onto what we believe we can control, saying no to experiences that may seem risky. We can choose to be satisfied, but less than passionate. Or we can choose to cut the cord.
To build healthy individuality, we must undertake the task of understanding ourselves and our feelings. This involves self-disclosure. For us to truly understand ourselves, and to stop being concerned about others' opinions of us, we ought to be able to disclose what our true beliefs are.
Lola taught me how to handle adversity and Lucy taught me how to love unconditionally. Lola taught me to laugh and Lucy taught me to cry. She taught me that it's okay to love someone so much that when they finally die, you feel that your heart is broken.
I am someone who attaches easily and strongly, never gives up, and pushes through many obstacles, even if I tire or get scared or hurt. Perseverance comes naturally to me. Letting go does not. And herein lies where I've gotten my biggest life lesson.
I have never been a fan of "contrived" dating -- you know, any method that forces fate's hand when it comes to meeting someone. And before you feel compelled to tell me that I'll die alone, please don't. I'm not saying it doesn't work, I'm just saying it doesn't work for me.
While I truly believe that the choices we make and even the thoughts we think all matter greatly and affect the outcome of our existence, I also believe there is also another force at work and our role is actually more of a co-creator in our own lives.
Today, I still need my scooter and wheelchair to get around. But something inside me has changed. I have a sense of freedom that is in some ways more powerful and sustainable than what I felt when I could walk and dance and run and play.
I always wonder why the universe gives us these gifts when we let go. Don't we need them a tad more when we are desperately searching and in need? Perhaps it's the universe's way of teaching us the lesson of letting go.
Memories are like gold nuggets, nuggets with sharp edges that eventually wear smooth. During the first year or two of grief, memories may be painful, only highlighting the loved one's absence. However, over time, a shift begins to occur.
So I'm writing a new book. I haven't completely given up on the first book. After all, I have a number of people who are counting on me to write that book. But for now, my focus has to be on where my heart and soul are taking me.
In the context of mindful living, slowing down does not imply taking a vacation every other month. It is what we must do every day. It means taking the time to do whatever we're doing. It means single-tasking rather than switching between a multitude of tasks and focusing on none of them.
Here's what I'm working on: making the "new normal" of life beyond cancer just plain normal. Whatever your struggle, I know it's possible to move beyond constant comparisons between what was and what now is with the right tools. Here's what it's going to take.
This was the reality of the situation. This was the truth of the here and now. I couldn't be with him out there on the dance floor, so I had to reframe the situation and enjoy the experience in a completely different way.
We might think that admitting fault is weak or that it lets the other person off the hook for his or her faults. But actually, it takes a strong person to admit fault and it puts us in a stronger position with others.
I have taken pride in my ability to plan. Whether the plan is big (when and how to buy a house or get a graduate degree) or small (where and when to go on vacation and the details of what to do), planning plays to my strengths. Scope it out, write it down, follow the script.
I remember her care by caring for others, accepting their care in return. By being present in life the way she is unable to be, this is how she lives. We honor her with peace in our heart in the place of our wound.
The pressure's off as far as Katie's graduation gift. I've already given her the best present money can't buy -- I'll be okay. I'll be great, actually. We hit it out of the park, the three of us. My husband, Katie, and me. What a fun 18 years!