Q: I was recently diagnosed with cancer and everyone keeps telling me the same thing…”Try to be positive.” They make it sound so easy and it frustrates me because they have no idea what I am feeling like or the fear I have to face everyday. What are some ways you remained “positive” during your journeys with cancer?
Linda: I love this question, because I do believe in the power of positive thinking, but I also know how scary and vulnerable we are when we have any type of dis-ease.
It’s very hard to stop negative thoughts and scary stories from running through our heads when a doctor tells us, “you have cancer.” I know because I had it told to me twice.
To have a positive mind takes some work, but it is worth it for the well being of your body and your soul. I offer for your consideration these things that were very helpful for me:
* Do not judge yourself if you have a bad day. It’s more than okay, but than just say, “tomorrow I am going to be extra kind to myself.”
* Let people in…your family, children and friends love you. It is important for them to feel like they can do for you, even in small ways. It’s also a way of allowing yourself to be loved.
Something I have learned is that many cancer patients are good at giving, but not as good at receiving.
* Surround yourself with positive people. If you have family members or friends who are filled with fear and bring your energy down, you have to avoid them. Your mood is a big part of your health right now, and good health should be your number one priority. It is time to put your well being first.
* I walk. Walking is meditative for me, and when I do it with head phones on and listen to music, it makes me want to sing and dance and I feel even better.
* Journal! I know a lot of people do not like the thought of writing, even though you have probably heard many times that it’s a helpful tool…but let me offer you another reason: Our thoughts are so powerful, and when we are not aware of some of the things we are afraid of, sometimes we unconsciously bring these things into being. Writing is away of coming face to face with what may be blocking you from feeling better. Very often the thing that we are afraid of becomes a lot less scary once we can actually face it.
* Last, but not least, (and this can be hard for many), remember who You are, and that You are NOT cancer. Continue to see the future, dream, and have faith in yourself over all others!
I hope this helps and if you have any other questions or responses I would love to continue our dialogue.
May Peace, Health, and Love be in your future, now and always,