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I want to share a secret – a time when I really felt completely lost and afraid.

I realize that some of you, like me, were brought up to be brave and strong. Is this because we fear what will happen if we are not?

My 16 year old daughter got me to read “The fault in our stars”.  Amongst lots of tears and my little kids coming in and saying “Has she died?”, what was so moving was how the teenagers in the story both had cancer, were so able to sit with their emotions and it was OK to feel them.  Fear, anger, love and by giving each other the space to do that they connected and fell in love.

Now I want to share my story about when I had my first diagnosis of a brain tumour when I was 35.  I was diagnosed and operated on within 3 days. All my thoughts were focused on being brave and strong.  I had to be for my 6 month old son and partner. My God I did not want to experience any deeper emotions.

After the operation and the removal of the tumour, I went back to life just as before, resenting the inconvenience to my busy life and my massive ugly stitches down the back of head as evidence that I had been sick.   Then 5 years later a double whammy, breast cancer and in the lymph nodes.  This time I could not mask my emotions for long. Thank goodness I did not, otherwise I may not be here today.

Until we let ourselves experience true pain and take the time to look inside ourselves we cannot experience true happiness.  I got to a point where my controlled world was crashing down.  CHEMO, a cocktail of drugs playing havoc with my emotions, the inability to make a decision and outward signs – the visible signs of a sick person with no hair and eyebrows. I actually got down on my knees and prayed to God. I had not done that before.  I let go of the fear of emotion. For me this was a very rare moment to let it all out because I thought crying was a sign of weakness. I was brought up to be BRAVE.  I wrote down all the things I was thinking completely uncensored – from how could I leave my young family and financially how would they all survive.  Would they remember me when they were 18?

Looking at them on paper I could see that those crazy thoughts were not actually happening.  An overwhelming relief came over me and a  sense of calm.  I remember my Italian friend when she first heard I had been diagnosed saying “My God you are so calm and fit and you got cancer, what if I get it?” I turned to her and said “You don’t have anything to worry about, you express every emotion there is.  From anger to love, to laughter you let everything out”.

 

When I truly experienced the emotion and woke up to the realization that there are no guarantees that we will live a long life I was able to look at how do I work on being happy and enjoy each day. By showing my vulnerability I was able to change my life around.

I would love you to share your stories of where you have shown emotions.

Also I have a FREE webinar coming up … “When just surviving sucks” How to Thrive on the 24th June 7.30pm AEST.  Click here to sign up or share it.

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