If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, you’ve heard this announcement before you exit: “Be careful when opening the overhead bin because objects may have shifted during flight”. After cancer treatment, parts of your life may have shifted and may not feel or look like they used to. Body image, relationships and career are just three of the areas in which you may have experienced profound shifts in a relatively short time.
Given these shifts, cancer survivors often make this mistake when laying out their post-cancer wellness plan:
Mistake #5: Trying to Be Exactly Who You Were Before
It’s natural to feel disoriented after a period of rapid change, particularly change that you didn’t know was coming. It’s tempting to want things to return to the way they were.
A key skill here is not strictly categorizing where you were as ‘good’ and where you are now as ‘bad’. There’s ‘good’ in every situation, and your opportunity now is to find it.
You may remember your “old self” as being less tired, having more physical ease, being more carefree. Maybe so…but that “old self” also produced cancer.
Hmmm…perhaps there are some things you don’t need about that “old self”.
Rather than pine after an idealized “old self”, here’s your opportunity to really reflect on what your body may have needed that it wasn’t getting enough of. It’s not possible to know every last cause of cancer, but earnest reflection often reveals areas where you might more attentively provide for the needs of your body and spirit. You can incorporate that compassion and attention into your post-cancer wellness plan, so you create not the person that was before, but a deeply loved, deeply nurtured person whose cells and emotions reflect that loving attention. Bodies (and spirits) consistently nourished with compassionate attention are able to rise to extraordinary levels of wellness…perhaps even more satisfying than before.
That’s it for this blog series on 7 Common Mistakes Cancer Survivors Make. To hear about Mistakes 4, 3, 2 and 1, join my free teleseminar Tuesday September 30th (tomorrow!): “7 Common Mistakes Cancer Survivors Make…And How to Avoid Them”. Click here to register.
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section:
- Have you had moments of wanting to return to the way you were before cancer? How did you deal with those thoughts?
- What parts of your post-cancer journey have you found more satisfying than the way things were before?