Recently, someone asked me if I was living my best life. In pop culture Oprah coined the phrase, but actually there are ancient texts like the Bagavad Gita that really dive into this idea. In the Gita, it speaks of one's Dharma or life purpose. Upon googling Dharma, I quickly realized this is a huge topic of discussion. Scholars weigh in on it and many people and companies are trying to sell it. There are rules of Dharma, teachings of Dharma and so on. The complexity of living your life's purpose is just that, complex. It is not linear and what it means to me is different than what it means to you. Ha ha, so I thought I would unpack this a bit.
My instant response was Yes! 100 percent yes, I am living my life's purpose. I can't believe that I could finally say yes to this question. I was excited to realize that my heart and gut knew this to be true.
So why do I doubt myself? Why do I need to know if Breast Cancer is the reason for my answer. Why do I care? If you asked me 2 years ago, If I was living my life's purpose, I would have said no, not yet, but I am working at it daily. Whatever that means lol. I wanted to take back my response and say "due to my new perspective, Yes, I am living my purpose." I find it so interesting that I need to add my new perspective. I need to add cancer to my reasons "why" in so many areas of my life. Although I have been keenly aware of life and death and that I shouldn't take life for granted and that I know that the length of time on this planet is not assured for anyone. Blah, Blah, Blah, I have read hundreds of books with this theme. I get it.
The TRUTH is...
Cancer made me sit up and take notice. But damn, I thought I was sitting up! I thought I was noticing! A cancer DX is a trauma or life altering experience for some and can actually be life affirming for others. The beauty of this experience is seeing the power I had to choose what my experience was going to look like. I began this journey with a fight for my life kind of song by Carrie Underwood. I feel as though I am at the John Legend part of my journey.
Some days I am mad at Cancer because I thought I was doing everything right and that I understood and was aware of life and death, blah, blah, blah. I thought I was grateful, but hindsight is 20/20. Some days, I am thankful for cancer, because I survived the hardest stuff I have ever known and because I consider simple acts like brushing my hair to be a gift. Some days, I go overboard and get a bit too excited about the simple stuff. Ask my kids, they will tell you some of the funny things I get excited about. Again, I always say to myself, well, it must be my new perspective!
So, instead of always questioning, analyzing and over-complicating my new perspective, I am going to embrace it. I am going to own it. There has not been a filter throughout this journey, I have lived it with my arms wide open. It is part of my life's story now. I feel less fear, embrace new challenges and I am passionate about human suffering, and SPECIFICALLY how to ease it. There is no going back and no way to change my reality of how cancer made me grateful in ways I never thought possible. So I am owning this response "yes, I am living my life's purpose"
Now, are you?
(seriously, you didn't see that one coming lol)