Because I had Hodgkin's in my teens with radiation and chemotherapy I was encouraged to get a special radiation therapy called proton therapy when I was recently treated for Breast Cancer. This meant I was living in another city for 6 weeks and home only on the weekends.
When I came home I realized I had been very “me” centered. This makes sense since most of the year everyone was more focused on me than usual so it’s only natural that it takes time to get used to the idea that other lives continue to move along and they don’t necessarily have anything to do with you. But it was more than that. I was very me centered trying to figure out my new path and incorporate all the things I thought I needed to incorporate but was struggling against having time for my kids, making money for the family and running my household. Where was the “me” time? I need ME TIME! Then my focused changed. I realized that while I still need time to take care of me, my focus is now on the other people in my life. I need to find my inner rhythm to continue contributing to my family and my community. I need to focus on me not for me so much, but so I am better at being the little cog that I am in this great big wheel of life.
I know this whole idea of external motivation to be true because in dark times, the times where I wanted to give up, or didn’t find the struggle worth it, my family is what brought be back. There are things I still want to teach my sons. I want to continue being their mommy and a wife to my husband. I want to get back to that person not just for me….that isn’t enough, but for them. Wow, that makes you re-think stuff doesn’t it?!
“At some point your grief is self indulgent” wow that sounds harsh. I heard these words after a local tragedy. It was perhaps a year later and people were really struggling to move on. I don’t mean we should forget our pain or not get emotional about it, but stop letting it affect our lives. At the same time be gentle with yourself. Your feelings are real and powerful. You will know when it’s time, but don’t let the grief consume you. You are far to beautiful of a soul to hide it behind grief and fear. At some point we are just feeding the grief monster and it’s time to stop. I tell my husband the same thing when he gets worked up from his job. Vent and then you have to stop feeding the anger or any negative emotion you are struggling with. At some point it is us creating the emotion and it has to stop. It is messing with your juju and you have a job to do.
I want to share a letter I wrote to my children during my chemo treatments. I hope it will speak to you and you will take this idea of healing yourself in a new direction. It can be so much more powerful when you do it for a greater purpose.