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Journey to New Beginnings
I was diagnosed with breast cancer after 15 months of marriage. I never asked ‘why me?’ I only asked ‘why now?’ Being a survivor is a state of mind. It involves positive thinking, retrospection although painful at times it is the only way to understand why we feel what it is that we are struggling with. Choice is the key word. I could choose to rise about the anguish or I could choose to give in to the ultimate power that the stigmas of cancer can posses and become a victim. I chose to rise above that and turn my life into an inner triumph. The valley of suffering is the vale of soul-making.”It is in the valleys of our lives, when we are suffering from a bad an experience is when we learn about ourselves; finding strength and courage. We must find the positive in everything that comes into our lives so that we can gain strength to continue. We have to surrender ourselves to let go of our fears, losses, and desires. We must allow our faith in the power of the Universe to take control. We have to learn to surrender before we can begin the journey to recovery. Our soul doesn’t control our life, our egos do. We have to give up our own will to find inner peace. Negative thinking prevents us from experiencing the positive power of the Universe – Grace. We move through life encountering twists and turns, valleys and mountains just as a river meets with obstacles, twists and turns. Moving water teaches us to be brave, not to waste time clinging to the past, and not looking back. It keeps moving forward because eventually it will reach a larger body of water. The water has no ego or fear of losing its identity or control. When we find inner peace, we become that river, we move with grace surrendering our past, we regain our identity. Grace touches our lives and we can move forward, letting go of our egos, and becoming part of something larger. By embracing my imperfections I was embracing myself. I broadened my sense of who I am and leaned to appreciate myself as a brave spirit on a mission – a mission of growth and becoming wise from the knowledge that I had leaned on this journey of surviving breast cancer. Having had breast cancer does not mean the end of life. It is only the beginning of a new and wonderful life! I was not going to allow myself to become a victim. Being a survivor is a state of mind, one that is only dictated by the person that is going through the experience. We must live in the moment. Each moment of our life is filled with richness and magic. Each second is a miracle and worthy of being savored. Living in the moment allows us to appreciate all the beauty that is unique to that moment. Our lives are so cluttered that we become overwhelmed by burdens, tasks and responsibilities. Individual moments become lost. Each moment carries with it an immeasurable amount of pleasure and delight that we should not let pass without recognition and awareness. We need to be conscious of the present and its pleasure, and then let it go.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer, or any life-threatening disease, causes a crisis. It is painful, frightening, and a difficult path.
I want to see what life is going to unfold for me. I want to see what’s coming up, and not look at the past. Life’s too short for yesterday. It moves along too fast. So when our ride gets bumpy, when we look back, we need to look up front and see if our life will jump the track. It is all right to remember this part of our history, but what’s in front of us is where it is happening. The enjoyment of living is not where we have been. Rather, it is looking ever forward to another year.
Crisis is a double-edged sword. The diagnosis of breast cancer brings the destruction of life as we have known it. It threatens our egos, and it creates chaos where there was stability. It will challenge our beliefs and response patterns.
This crisis offers many hidden benefits to those of us who accept the adventure to transform ourselves in the face of this devastating event in our life and the lives of our loved ones. It gives us the opportunity to change directions and make important changes in our life. It is through this time that most of us learn the meaning of life. We discover our mission, which will give us a greater sense of direction and purpose. Being diagnosed with breast cancer was an opportunity for me, not a certainty. I chose to take the advantage of the energy in this crisis. I decided not to surrender to the feelings of despair and hopelessness. The adventure began when I CHOSE to accept the challenge and to use this life-altering circumstance as a stepping stone into a journey that was by far greater than I could have ever imagined.I encourage you to ENJOY LIFE! See the extraordinary in the ordinary. Being diagnosed with breast cancer does close the door to your life as you once knew it. Do not allow the shadow to keep you from seeing the door which has now opened to you. Life is a gift! Make each and every day the Best Day of Your Life. Dance as if no one is watching! Sing as if no one can hear! Celebrate life and living! Share your unique self with the world. There is a purpose to every life, and in every journey we take, there is meaning and reason. Happiness comes from within us. If we allow the positive energy within – our spiritual self, to connect to that which surrounds us – the wonder of nature, we will be filled with peace. Don’t waste time worrying about things that you cannot change. You will discover a sense of direction and purpose, peace and serenity by only taking the effort to change that which you can. Release your fears and then realize what an experience life and living will become. You can transform your life in the face of crisis. Remember that CAN is the beginning of the word, Cancer.
Debbie Ziemann, RN
Breast Cancer Survivor
Surviving Breast cancer –There is a Child Within Us; Author House 2005
Journey to New Beginnings – Finding Peace Within; author house 2006