People often wonder what it was like to be diagnosed with cancer. Very frankly put:
There is a profound, powerful and divinely comical irony that comes only from a life-threatening diagnosis, and that is when you are handed a possible death sentence, you are actually given the gift of life at its fullest.
We forget the fleeting impermanence of our own existence, even though it is a truth in every moment for every person – including you, including right now as you read this. But when someone points that impermanence out by telling you that you might not survive, suddenly the entire world comes to life. In brilliant, crystal-like clarity, the important things become obvious, beauty is visible in everything, and you are immediately present and vibrantly aware.
We have opportunities for these moments of awakening in our every day lives, it’s just much harder to capitalize on them. For instance, any time we focus on the reward of a task in our morning routine for the first time – the freshness after you brush your teeth, or the feeling of hot water when it first hits your face in the shower – are all moments to re-evaluate our entire existence as physical beings. Even in the space of great pain, such as heartbreak or humiliation, we can realize our existence more fully.
As you go about your day today and all of this week, implement something that reminds you of the beautiful, fleeting gift that life is. Whether that’s cheating on your diet with a double bacon cheeseburger or wearing that special occasion dress you’ve been saving in the back of the closet, or both at the same time! And do your best to remember that even if this moment feels unimportant or uneventful, it is your responsibility in all moments to cherish your life.
Because if you think about it, though it’s not cancer, we’ve all been diagnosed with life. And in life, the survival rate is Zero.