The number one lesson cancer taught me is “self-love.” I thought I loved myself all these years but looking back at all the abuse I put my physical body through, it didn’t seem like I did. I did not smoke cigarettes or take drugs or drink alcohol, but I didn’t make the best choices when it came to taking care of “me” either. Even when I was tired, I kept going, sometimes drinking coffee to keep myself awake to get the things done, that I thought I was supposed to do. I said “yes” to people when I really wanted to say “no.” I overbooked myself. I took too much “shit” from people instead of standing my ground. I was a people pleaser/peacemaker. It’s good to be compassionate to others but we have to draw the line somewhere, and let’s be honest, some people are just assholes and there aren’t enough hugs to give them that will change their behavior. I ate too many processed foods and not enough fresh vegetables. I listened to doctors instead of listening to my inner voice. I compromised way too much.
The good news is I finally woke up before it was too late and learned that lesson — to love myself enough to put my needs first. I now rest when I need to. I eat healthy organic foods. I say “no.” I stay away from drama. I focus on everything that is good in my life.
My health is better. I am happier. And the world didn’t end because I stopped trying to “fix” everything and everyone. I can be supportive without getting myself sucked in to whatever is going on with someone else.
How about you? Is there a lesson you learned after getting your cancer diagnosis?
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