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  • Writer's pictureKarla

Cancer Was My Wake-Up Call

Not the first time. It took a second diagnosis to wake me up. It was the stage 4 diagnosis that made me really look at my life. When I received that diagnosis, it was not an immediate realization, but it didn’t take long. I knew enough to put my life on hold for a few months so that I could dig deep.

I felt like my life depended on taking that deeper look. I had much to live for…my sons, my husband, my extended family, and my friends. I also had an inner knowing…that I would live to be 100 healthy and sane. But of course, the diagnosis did not align with that, so I needed to dig, and I realized that this was a lesson for me. A lesson in reprioritizing my life, on living authentically who I was meant to be.

I had things out of order. I was putting my career, money, material things and what other people thought of me, in front of what really mattered. I thought about that idea of regret on my deathbed, and I realized my employer would not be by my side, so why put my career above all else? Why work so many hours and give so much to a corporation that in the end would not matter to me. My loved ones would be there by my side and now was the time to put them and more spiritual pursuits first.

I was not meant to be a woman that needed others' validation to make me worthy. I was worthy without ambition. Without striving. Without perfection. Without being busy. I was worthy without the praise, the gold star, the accolades, and awards. I was worthy without the makeup and clothing that made me feel more attractive. I had to learn all this. I had to learn that I was ENOUGH just the way I was straight out of the shower, or straight out of bed each morning!

I have always been a spiritual seeker and have loved personal growth opportunities. But it took the second diagnosis to make me realize that I could choose where I put my energy and what I gave my best self to. So began the shift. I put myself first for a while. I learned about true health. Body, mind, and spirit health. I began to take care of myself and rebuild the balance I had lost.

I did the emotional work along with the physical work. I deepened my spiritual practices to give me more faith and peace. I learned how to meditate and how to “break up with busy”! My body responded! This is what it and my spirit needed all along.

Once I returned to that corporate job, I had a new lease on life, and I set boundaries. Boundaries for myself and for my employer. I was lucky. I was able to step into a brand-new role and create a job that allowed me to continue my path of balance, wholeness and authenticity while still contributing and supporting my family.

I heeded the wake-up call and learned so much about myself, life, and health. I am better for it, and it is a process that continues.

What is your lesson?

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