We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

I come down to my kitchen this morning and the topic is fighting cancer. Some people on the radio are saying they don’t

like the term fighting cancer. They don’t want the focus to be on what they don’t want. Others are saying even when you fight cancer and you don’t live, you didn’t lose. The winning was the courage, heart, and fortitude you showed every day you lived.

These are two ways of looking at things but we have the attitude, we will gird our loins and prepare for battle whether that is poverty, drug addiction, or cancer. Some people believe the more we concentrate on what we don’t want the more of it we get.

Should we concentrate on having enough, prospering, instead of poverty? It may be helpful to focus on being clean and sober, finding meaning in life without altering our mood, and concentrating our energy on building health instead of fighting cancer. When people are going through things it is theirs to go through. Who are we to tell them what they should focus on and how they should look at it?

My daughter tells me as she leaves for work this morning, a woman she works with told her that her mother was diagnosed with cancer and overcame it through adopting a plant-based diet. Even though everyone in the family sees the difference it has made in the mother’s life, they haven’t adopted it themselves.

I don’t know which camp is the right camp. It seems foolish to me from the outside to try and tell anyone how they should feel or what they should focus on when they are going through the worst life can throw at them.

I remember a cancer survivor said he envisioned the cancer cells in his body being taken out by his immune system. He recovered.

I watched my brother-in-law go through cancer and when he got the diagnosis of brain cancer it seemed the fight was already over. He had already lost a lot of his ability to control his life. He died within six months. Some people thought he should have fought it, he accepted it.

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. Carl Jung

When it is something we are going through we may instinctively know even if we can’t articulate it, whether this is a fight we have a chance of winning or not.

Cancer will be a journey of its own. We probably need to let people control their own decisions.

In the early fifties, the war on cancer was just starting. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought it. She lived for a year and a half. My mom believes she would have still had that year and a half but without recovering from the treatment she could have enjoyed her year and a half.

There are people who believe in early diagnosis and people who believe they don’t want to go looking for problems.  There is probably not actually a correct way to look at it. I personally don’t believe we can afford to test people for everything. By early diagnosis are we living longer, or just living longer knowing we have a disease?

Is food our best chance for health? Are we what we eat? If we eat what nourishes our body, we may be as healthy as we can be. Food may not give us as long of a life as we want. Maybe nothing will, but if we eat the best diet we can, maybe we can live till we die.

Is changing our diet something we can do? Even if we thought our diet was perfect, can we tweak it? In this way can we take control of our health?

We don’t know what we don’t know. Isn’t how people handle crisis up to them? From the sidelines, we can support them, encourage them but do we have the right to judge how they look at things? Are there lessons to be learned, we can’t learn any other way? Do we need to embrace all life has to offer?

Byron Katie author of  Loving What Is says she doesn’t like to suffer, so she doesn’t argue with reality. She says there are three kinds of business: “mine, yours, and God’s.” Suffering is when we get out of our own business and into someone else’s, including God’s.

She says, “Until you see everything in the world as your friend, that includes the fatal diagnoses as well as poor drivers in traffic – your work is not done.” It takes courage to face reality without telling a story that things should be different. This is a strategy for learning to love what you get, whether it’s what you wanted or what you thought you didn’t want. It means living in a state of love – a lot more of the time.

Can we learn to accept what is, because, well it is, and is there any use fighting against reality? Are there things we can do when we accept what is? Accepting what is, maybe what we need to do, to change things?

The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell | Dec 23 2003
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