Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Lesson -

Kurt Vonnegut is quoted as saying,
"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. 
Do not let pain make you hate. 
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. 
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, 
you still believe it to be a beautiful place."  

Cancer has really caught me off guard, emotionally. I have experienced anxiety and depression, lack of self-confidence, and insecurity like no other time in my life. I am an introvert - so I don't need or even desire attention, but I have avoided some situations, all in the name of "not good enough," or "but I have cancer." Something as minor as walking into the grocery store has put me into a panic, "They're looking at me," "Crap I hope my hat is on straight," "Can they tell I have cancer because I've drawn my eyebrows in," "I hope they can't see my port," silly stuff like that. Really - silly.

Even in the chemotherapy room, with others who are in very similar situations, or worse than mine, I think, "I wonder if I look as sick/healthy/scared/obnoxious/hopeful/hopeless as . . ." And then I remember, "You can't judge another man's pain."

Depression has been knocking on my door these past 3 months, and I answered it, again, this week, and wow - I have so much respect for those who battle depression on a daily basis, and who win that battle, on an hourly basis. I am forever grateful for three words, "I am sorry," and so relieved that I have loved ones around me who will say, "You were indeed a bitch today, worse that you've ever been, and I know tomorrow will be better, I love you, I'm here for you, go take a nap/walk."

When I am at my weakest, I am my most vulnerable. When I am most vulnerable I often put on my bitch attitude - pointing out others' weaknesses - fearing my own fear. Bitterness definitely steals my sweetness.

Yet I need to be vulnerable, open the door, so others can come in and be by my side. That takes courage - energy.

Vulnerability = Intimacy - when will I ever learn that anger only leads to despair and self-hatred? It's that 3 fingers, 1 finger thing - again, again.

Krista Tippett interviewed Brene Brown this week on her podcast, On Being. Brene talks about vulnerability - she says that courage is born out of vulnerability, not out of strength. If you have time, listen to this podcast.

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