“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Good morning, Lovely You!
As often happens when I tell my story of beating cancer over 30 years ago, I recently found myself really thinking back to those days so long ago. I was in my early 20s when I was hit with the news. I was so young, I didn’t really even know who I was at that point. I didn’t know whose life it was I was trying to save.
Do you know the person you are trying to save?
As we dig deeper into the topic of enlightenment, I wanted to spend some time discussing becoming enlightened in a very personal way, and that is discovering who EXACTLY it is you are.
The interesting thing about cancer is, on the one hand, it is the most terrifying ride you will ever be on. On the other hand, it is so completely freeing and liberating and helps you discover your purpose in this life.
And if we can get very real, I believe much of the time cancer develops in people who are not living the life they want to live – living a lie. That is why I chose the quote from Anais Nin. To spend your life living in a way that doesn’t suit you, doesn’t support your values, likes, dislikes, needs, wants, etc. is really asking to become ill in one way or another.
Cancer is a wake-up call of the HIGHEST magnitude. It is an alarm bell ringing signaling that we must CHANGE. And sometimes this change is to STOP and discover WHO IT IS that we really are. WHO is it that you are trying to save?
To save that other person’s life, the one who got you sick in the first place, seems a bit… well… unpractical. You’re just asking for a few healthy years and then the cancer comes back.
No, to really heal from cancer, you’ve got to uncover WHO you REALLY are.
How to Discover the REAL You
Most of us spend our lives living for other people. We grow up wanting to make our parents happy and wanting to be liked in school. When we get older, we spend our time and energy trying to be attractive to the opposite sex. We land a good job and do whatever it takes to move up the ladder and get along with our coworkers.
At some point, many of us wake up and don’t even know who it is looking back at us in the mirror.
And then cancer strikes.
And we find ourselves fighting for our lives.
Except for many of us, our lives don’t feel too good.
Our lives don’t fit too well.
Our lives made us sick in the first place.
It’s time for real enlightenment. It’s time to discover who you really are; whose life it is you are trying to save.
So how do you do that?
This isn’t an exercise into discovering your favorite color or holiday or whether you look better in solids or prints.
This is much deeper than that.
This is about blooming; about becoming the person you were born to become.
Here are some ways I have found can help you uncover the REAL you:
Who are You in Your Private Moments?
Most of us are a conglomeration of different personalities that we put on, depending on the company we are keeping. But who are you when you are alone? When no one else is pressuring you to think a certain way or feel a certain way, who are you then?
In order for you to know these answers, you may have to start spending more time alone, and that’s a GOOD thing. In your alone time, begin to notice what kinds of thoughts and feelings you have. What do YOU like? What DON’T you like? Make the time to get to know you better.
What are Your Core Values?
Your core values define your code of conduct. These are principles that most people hold close to their heart. Your core values play a major role in how you communicate with others, how you make decisions, and how you live your day-to-day life.
Core values are things like:
- Dedication to good causes
- Making the best of a bad situation
- Not judging others
- Personal accountability
What are Your Dreams?
When I ask this question, so many people answer with things like, “I wish for my children to be happy,” or “I would love if I could pay off my dad’s mortgage.”
When I say what are YOUR dreams, I mean for YOU. What do you dream for YOU? You want to live another 20, 30 or 40+ years, why? What do you want that new life to look like?
Do you dream of starting a new career? Do you dream of traveling? Do you dream of starting a non-profit? Do you dream of learning to play the guitar well enough to jam with others? It can be ANYTHING, but it must be YOURS!!!
What are Your Likes and Dislikes?
This one is fairly self-explanatory, but I need to remind you that the REAL you is VERY opinionated. No longer are you the person when asked, “Where should we eat tonight?” that says, “Anywhere’s fine, you pick.”
Spend some time really thinking about what you like and don’t like. This can be regarding insignificant things like food and weather, to much more significant things like how you like and don’t like to be treated.
Start a Journal
I know some of you just rolled your eyes, and I get it, journaling is not for everyone, though I believe it can be. The thing is, when you commit to writing down your thoughts and feelings every day, and in a way that is freeing, because no one else will ever see these thoughts and feelings, it’s a great self-learning tool.
So, if you’ve poo-pooed journaling in the past, please give it a second thought, it really is one of the best ways you can discover who it is you really are.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Sending much love and light for your journey of self-discovery.