A well-meaning friend responded to my recent treatment status with, “That’s sad.” My immediate reaction was frustrated anger. Thoughts about that…
On some days, I drop into sadness but my choice to reject lifelong maintenance chemo is anything but sad. She didn’t see that. THAT’s sad.
From a healthy person’s perspective (and I can speak from there because I’ve been there most of my life), it’s sad that I won’t accept medication that’ll hopefully make me better and that I’ve chosen to potentially shorten my own life.
On the other hand…
Often, we make the biggest and best changes in our life only when faced with massive obstacles. They force us into living consciously, to change some habits and to question everything.
I’ve been handed this opportunity to open my mind, make changes to some beliefs, and prioritise life choices.
I feel some pity (briefly) for everyone else who won’t have an opportunity to do the same. Then I think 3 things.
- Maybe they’re better at listening to the small voice within and don’t need a big fat signal to make changes:-)
- Maybe they chose to have big challenges in another life.
- They’re on some path that I won’t ever understand just as they won’t ever fully understand mine.
Rejoicing over the presented challenge
So I rejoice that we’re all different. That I get to wake up from the generally accepted way of living and choose whether I really want to spend the majority of my days behind a desk or with whom I spend my time or what I read or say or contemplate. And then take just the next step to make the changes I want. Just the next step. It’s that simple (not easy, but it’s a choice).
I hear people complaining about their lot. I don’t even think they hear themselves; even the words are on autopilot. Once I became aware of my own complaining and stopped unconsciously doing it years ago, I began judging others for it. While I’m not altogether cured of judgement in all areas, I’m improving and leaving it is becoming easier.
Now, I just look on and think, ”That’s their path”. From The Four Agreements, I’m putting “don’t take anything personally” into practice. I’m really in infancy stage but already, life is easier.
It would’ve held a grudge against my friend for being so narrow-minded but I’ve managed to let it go after a few days. That’s big for me.
I’m realising I’m not responsible for anyone else’s reactions – those happen depending on that person’s life experiences and have nothing to do with me. As long as I can live with what I put out there, that’s all I need to control. Such a relief to let go. It might sound callous at first. Think about it. If we each took responsibility for acting with integrity and understanding that everyone else is on their own “mission”, how much we could relax about life.
When you feel yourself judging a situation, I challenge you, at that moment, to tell yourself another perspective exists which may be closer to the truth. I challenge you to come up with another possibility. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. I challenge you to deny that you feel lighter and not so attached to your perspective. It might not happen the first time but when it does, a light will go on. Promise.
I challenge you not in an effort to make you see things from my perspective:-) but to feel that light go on because I think it’s an awesome release.
If you complain to me and don’t genuinely intend taking any well-meaning advice from anywhere to make any change, you’re still ok as you are, unjudged. I might well choose not to waste my precious time listening to it and tell you so but don’t take that personally. It’s nothing against you.
If you think this is a load of rubbish, that’s ok too. I don’t mind. You being different from me makes life interesting.