Why do people blog? Well, I recently came upon a blog named Pink Ribbon Review. It is written beautifully by Karen Lynch who is a two time breast cancer survivor. She had written a post about Tony Snow's essay prior to his recent death and it touched me. I added a comment in response.
You have to understand that in the world of blogging, we love comments! It not only lets us know that people are reading what we have to say but also that they are responding to it. Blogging is done best when there's a dialogue which is two way. Not just us telling you what we think or feel but you responding back, whether you agree or have a different point of view. In the case of Karen's blog, she is passionate about her subject. When she learned that I blog about heart choices and how our day to day choices impact what our tomorrows become, she thought I might have something to say to her audience. So she graciously invited me to post a guest blog. I was honored to so so, especially since I've had so many friends recently experience breast cancer. So, I thought I'd post a copy of the guest post that I contributed to The Pink Ribbon Review. If anyone reading this has experienced breast cancer, I would encourage you to visit her blog.
The Power of Choice
Life happens. We may be forced to face trials and challenges that we didn’t choose or desire to have any part of. Dealing with cancer, the death of a loved one, a heart attack that we never saw coming, a divorce, betrayal, and hurts and disappointments that leave us questioning why. Why is this happening to me? Why can’t I have a life of happiness, health and prosperity? Why so much pain? What did I ever do to deserve this? Somehow I find it easier to accept that there are consequences to the bad choices I’ve made. I can take responsibility for that. But it’s harder to accept and deal with things that I didn’t bring about, don’t want and wish I didn’t have to deal with.
No matter what I’m dealing with I can exercise my power to choose how I’ll respond. My day to day choices will determine what my tomorrows will become. I have the power to make that choice. Will I remain stuck in anger which often results in a life of bitterness, distorting the lens through which I view life? Or will I choose to embrace the fact that life is challenging? What can I learn from this? How will I choose to respond? That is the better question.
Dr. Viktor Frankl was a famous psychiatrist who wrote a book called “Man’s Search for Meaning”. He described the horrors he had endured as a prisoner in Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz where he lost many family members. He observed that some prisoners gave up and died quickly while others continued to survive despite the extreme conditions. Although the prison guards had control over their prisoners’ living conditions, they couldn’t take away the individual’s power to choose how to respond and somehow find meaning and hope in the midst of it all.
Dealing with cancer or heart disease actually provides an opportunity for reflection, a moment to consider how to proceed from here. It can give you the power and the courage to say no and focus on what really matters to you. I believe we need to pay attention and balance three aspects of our lives; body, mind and spirit.
My good friend Maria battled breast cancer that included many treatments. I took time to visit her on Long Island, New York. As we sat on the beach where we had spent many summer days in high school, we reminisced about the crazy times of fun and laughter which immediately brought smiles to our faces. Choosing to take moments to enjoy the sunset or listen to the sound of the surf can be so healing. Taking a walk, reading a good book, spending quality time with family and friends, feeling free to share what really matters to you, and relying on your faith, taking time to pray and connect with God who can provide the strength and courage to help you get up each morning, despite the tough times.
I’d love to hear about some of the choices you’ve made that have empowered you to not only survive, but thrive regardless of the personal challenges in life that you’re facing. By being open and sharing the lessons we’ve learned, we can connect and help each other as we learn from one another.
Remember, our day to day choices determine what our tomorrows will become.