One year ago this week I was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. It is the crash landings in life that bring us to the realization that we may need to choose a different course. Reflections of my journey reveal a deeper awareness of who I am and all that I am capable of achieving.
Having now faced the possibility of death intensifies and gives power to the second half of my life. One of the many gifts I received from cancer was the strength to overcome fear. To reevaluate what is important in my life so that when death knocks at my door again, I will move through the tunnel of light with no regrets. Once you fully appreciate that every experience in the material world is finite, you realize how amazing life is. We take for granted things we have no idea are so fleeting. When age forces us to see how much is now gone, we are shaken to realize all the things that are over and will not come again. But then something happens … we come into our own and realize life can be whatever we want it to be. This freedom has allowed me to slow down and give sanction to embracing my dreams. From that has come mental and physical healing.
The lessons to be learned in life have to do with the fragility of the human heart and the graciousness of the human spirit; the suffering involved in simply being human and the struggles to survive the experience; the joy and laughter when our families and friends are well; and the tears and sadness when love and lives are over.
Today, I am challenged by the universe to match my talents with compassion, my intelligence with humility and my intellect with wisdom. The grace period of my youth is over. I am standing at the front of the line, ready to embrace midlife and the wisdom that emanates from it.
At this point, my greatest potential failure isn’t that I won’t move on with my life, it’s that I won’t use the totality of my imagination to empower me to live the most creative and fulfilling life possible.
With this thought my soul continues to expand as I embrace new adventures, love deeper than I thought possible, connect more intently, simplify and surrender the things that no longer matter.
As I move into "Phase 2" of my life, I do so with a happy heart and the confidence that comes from knowing the best part of my journey is yet to come.