It's not "why me" that matters when you have cancer - although I've heard this often.
I've had two different aggressive cancers. How you react is very individual but "why me" won’t help you or the people around you.
Recently on "24 Hours In Emergency" (UK Channel 4) a middle-aged woman was admitted with abnormally low blood pressure. The doctors fixed that quickly with drugs and then sent her for a scan.
The scan picked up a cancer. Unfortunately, it was malignant.
In the outro interview, she lamented "why me". There was a pregnant silence as the outro faded on her numb expression.
Focusing on your position denies you momentum
That numb expression is an expression of self-pity. Desensitised to the world, and herself. She cannot feel the silence - within which lies the answer.
Not the answer to "why me" but the answer as to how to break free of why me.
But the silence is two-faced. It contains both the problem and the answer. You don’t find the answer if you focus on the problem.
Cancer's "why me" silence has a duality, like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. It says that the more precisely you measure the position of a particle, the less precisely you can know it's motion (momentum or velocity).
Physics tells us that we cannot precisely measure position and momentum at the same time.
When you fall into the chasm of "why me" you focus on your position. You measure your position against the position of others. Over and over again, it never leaves your head.
The silence creates an overwhelming noise in your mind. You get closer to defining your misery ever more precisely but you never escape it.
You cannot escape it because you have no momentum.
To gain momentum you have to de-focus on defining your position. When you have momentum you can then work on more precisely generating more momentum.
How do you get momentum?
The silence contains the problem and the answer
To get moving you harness the same silence which was the black hole of your self-pity.
Silence is golden, right? Make it golden by using it for self-reflection and not self-pity.
Every day you have the opportunity to live a whole day. Another 24 hours in which you can support and show respect to others.
You are uniquely in a position to appreciate each and every 24 hours - more so than those living their untouched lives.
Make a list. Reflect each day how you have been blessed to be able to rethink your life and how you show up. Make yourself proud of being a perceptive, connected human being.
Build momentum through gratitude
"Gratitude is the most powerful emotion that you possess because it gives you the power to change your thinking and mood instantaneously" - Ed Latimore
Do not be grateful in comparison - because others are worse off. Be grateful for the opportunity it gives you to self-reflect.
Doing this will build your momentum. Momentum will take you away from "why me" and bring you back into contact with the world.
People around you will notice and respond to your momentum. After all, momentum is a form of energy. Those around you will love your new energy and you will too.
This thinking made a big difference in my life.
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building body-shaping training for people our age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter