There’s a lot of noise in this world right now and it honestly hurts my heart.
That’s what I came to realize Tuesday morning, as my editor shared not to worry about a column for this week’s paper. As my energy level ebbs and flows, I appreciated her flexibility and concern for underlying stressors.
In truth, I’ve partially penned three different columns over the past three weeks trying desperately to make sense of what is happening in our world.
In the past three weeks I’ve learned much about myself, as well as how I now choose to embrace this life I’ve been gifted to live. I’ve learned that I am most definitely an empath and as I have watched the world transgress from fear of a pandemic to social unrest, my heart hurts.
So much just doesn’t make sense.
Eyes I see which were once filled with fear of an unknown, now angry from a social, as well as news media s#%& storm is all just heart breaking.
You see, it’s a unique vantage point to be in, journeying through this historic time of life as a cancer patient. While so many are living their days fearing an unknown or speaking up for justice, I’m simply focused on living – period.
I’m not battling fear, I’m battling cancer. While for some this may seem a dramatic statement, the truth of it is while I know this is a battle I will win I also know not all do. That’s real life stuff. That’s my present real world.
So much is made so simple when you’re just living from treatment to treatment and focused on physical strength. So much put into perspective when things you once thought important seem trivial.
There was a time in my life a few years back when I felt I had made peace with much and let anger go and perhaps I had. Now, typing with a bald head and midway through a 12-week chemotherapy treatment I have no energy or room left for anger. My heart now has room only for love, gratitude, life.
Anger is such a tricky thing, really. It can sneak up on us in a moment’s notice. As a parent, I’ve seen it all too many times. Cross my kid and momma bear surfaces real quick. The reality is nothing is gained by anger. No one benefits from loud voices, venom or rudeness. Yet for some it gives a feeling of empowerment, when in truth it eats us alive.
Since hearing the words “the tumor is cancer” eight short weeks ago, my life has been forever changed.
I’m a really lucky girl, many say blessed.
Not to be misunderstood, I don’t share this in a braggadocios way. I share because I believe gratitude must be spoken and acknowledged out loud and I am abundantly grateful. As I sit in a place where some might feel slighted or angry, I wonder how many actually take pause from all the “noise” to recognize their good fortune.
The gratitude I feel comes at a time when many might feel I should feel anything but. Fortunately I have a lot of time lately to reflect on things. I also have a strong tribe of family and friends who happen to rock at lifting a girl up. Not to mention I love to read and there are really a lot of great books out there to help remind us all of how blessed we are.
So what’s the point of all of this really? So I have cancer ... welcome to life. So the world is in an upheaval which is mind blowing (and makes me nauseous), welcome to life. So everyone has decided they’re an expert on what we all think and we must be schooled to be “woke,” oh, good Lord that’s just plain laughable.
Here’s what I got, be true to you and don’t worry about the noise. Be the person you were put here to be and stop feeling as if you need to answer to anyone. My limited experience has taught me, feeling the need to explain myself does more harm than good.
Gone are the days of allowing others to tell me what my words “mean.” Gone are the days of worry for approval from those whose issues are not mine. Gone are the days of fear.
Live true to yourself, dear readers and then empower those you love to do the same. We were not put here to lead and live from a place of anger and unrest. We were put here to live from a place of love and peace. Now, find what that means for you and live it.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.