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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finding Truth


Finding Truth

Experiencing cancer took me into a time both strange and scary.  Before I knew my exact diagnosis from my surgery results, I faced the reality of having an illness that might kill me.

I have been lucky.  My apprehension of the illness, my experience of pain and my endurance of radiation treatments are all behind me now.  I have been lucky.  The surgery removed the malignancy; the radiation gave assurance against recurrence.

While I was in the midst of this, I recognized the insignificance my everyday concerns and worries.   I recognized a need within myself to refocus my energies, to pay attention to what nourished my essential being, to avoid that which drained and diminished me.

The illness made inner wisdom easier to hear, as my world shrank, as I conserved strength and tended to my own health.  I recognized that when I am well, I tend to say “Yes” to requests to help, to organize, to participate.  I find it difficult, nearly impossible to say “No.”  My compassion, my need to be needed, my guilt, my desire to be unselfish propel me to share in activities which seem to require only a contribution of time and a bit of energy.  The truth is more often that these involvements take far more time and energy than advertised.

I know this and yet, again and again I allow some unwise part of myself to whisper “Yes,” even though I know that I give time and energy to tasks, to people, to relationships that deplete me.  I cling out of guilt or an assumption that I am responsible for the job, the person or the relationship, that I must take on the burdens or the choices of others, that I am essential.

One of my oncology nurses told me that no one is irreplaceable.  We are each like a finger dipped in water.  When the finger is withdrawn, the water resumes its shape with no trace of where the finger once was.  Truth and wisdom.

I am at home recovering, still tiring easily and needing all the energy I have to help myself heal and gain strength.

I have clarity about what is right for me and what is wrong for me.  I am re-learning to value my inner wisdom, to trust my perceptions, to count on myself.  And I am learning to say “No” to situations that I previously acquiesced to out of my need to be liked, to conform, to be valued or out of a fear of reaction from others.  I am learning to say “No” to what is wrong for me or is the wrong timing for me.

Surviving, becoming healthy are my priorities. 

I trust these lessons will echo through the rest of my life helping me to stay on my pathway, to discern the wisest choices and the best uses of “Yes” and “No,” to find my truth.


Steve said...

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight. Your experience echoes much of what I have heard from others with similar stories. The small and insignificant consumes tremendous energy. Yet, learning to say no is not an easy task.

Recover well and I look forward to seeing you in a few months.

Carol Steel said...

Thanks Steve. Learning to say no is a lesson I have to re-learn from time to time. Looking forward to seeing you in a few months.