“I was just diagnosed with stage four cancer.”
The air in the room immediately deflated. While I do not know this person very well, I still sat there in shock-as did other people in the group. I couldn’t believe it. While I am not a medical expert, I do know enough about cancer to know that a stage four cancer diagnosis is not good.
What struck me the most about what he shared with us though wasn’t necessarily the news itself-which obviously was jarring and sobering, it was the message behind it.
As he talked he displayed a courage and strength that moved me and inspired me.
He talked about his goal of NOT getting caught up in the tornado and hurricane of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and control. I don’t know about you but if I received that diagnosis I don’t know how I wouldn’t be a complete disaster!
I mean, when I woke up that morning I was stressed about finances and taxes and had to tell myself to relax many times, so that it didn’t completely “take me out” during my day. And, as I write this I’m still stressed about these things, even though I know that ultimately everything will be okay!
But here he was walking in the strength of true acceptance and the mindset to focus only on the things he could control, and not on the things that he had no control over.
So, he told us he’d going to visit the oncologist and determine his plan of action. Then he’s going to go skiing soon and then enjoy each day as it comes, one day at a time. What may happen tomorrow is not on the radar-as living in the moment, being present and accepting what life brings each day (even if he doesn’t like it) is the only way to find peace and serenity in general, but especially in this season.
Maybe I’m writing this post more for me than for you...yet, as I worry about what might happen two weeks from now, or two months from now, I know there are people that I know and you know who may not have a two months from now. Or there may be people who, if their biggest worry two months from now was how to pay some bills, would consider that an amazing victory!
So, I am taking a cue from my friend-and am working on focusing only on:
- The things I can control
- Letting go of the things I have no control over
- Accepting life on life’s terms
- And walking in the knowledge that there is a God and I am not Him, and what I need to do is follow Him.(Yes, I know some of you may not have a spiritual belief system, and if you don’t take what you like and leave the rest behind!)
What do you need to let go of today? What do you need to embrace today?