Monday, December 15, 2008

You live long enough, you might meet yourself. . .

So I'm going to share something pretty personal today (no, it's not my full name [you can call me Jess], or home address, or phone number), because I have a strange feeling in my heart. Also, covering that is an immense sense of gratitude.

I've had some pretty dark days in my life-- we all have. But I want to share a tale of one of mine (it has a happy ending, I promise). A lot of it stems from the fact that I have a notion of how peaceful the world should be and how people should treat each other with respect and love. Needless to say some of the time reality does not meet my expectations.

I remember a particularly rough spot when I had cancer and was about mid-way through my six months of treatment. Cancer patients HATE it when you tell them how "brave" they are. If I had a choice at the time, I would have opted out. But that experience did give me two very important gifts.

First, there are not many who can say "I know that my life meant something to others". When I was sick, I heard from old teachers, former principals, long-lost friends, extended family members, even total strangers--friends of friends or people who saw my name on a prayer list at my mom's church. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't have a card or a message on my answering machine from someone letting me know they were praying for me, that they loved me, or that they just wished me well.

Second, on one particularly rough Saturday (my treatments were on Fridays for five hours and then Saturdays were spent in whatever horrible way you wish to imagine), I got to feeling pretty sorry for myself. "Why me"? I cried to my mom (who was there at my bedside 90% of the time). She could only hold my hand and watch me cry.

After she went to bed I remember staring at the ceiling in the dark, thinking, "I cannot do this, please let me die".

Now I'm not going to say I heard a voice, because I didn't; but I did have a thought. I "spoke" to my future self and asked: "Please, Jess of the future, help me to get where you are now". It gave me a sense of relief and hope I cannot explain.

Fast forward to about six months ago when I was driving to Indy to visit a dear friend. I had some quiet music on, music that I listen to during the times when I feel blue.

I was thinking about that night when I asked "whatever" to let me die. It occurred to me that I, the Jess driving the car, I was the Jess I had reached out to.

You cannot imagine how powerful a thing it is even still to think that I comforted myself that night in the dark. But, think about this as a possibility for any life-- reach out to your best, possible future self (Einstein's theory that every possible outcome that can happen, does, whether in the universe we experience, or in parallel ones).

That future self is waiting there, calling back to you now, urging you forward in your life to a time when you do meet yourself even if for a moment. All it takes is to listen and trust yourself that you will get wherever it is you need to go.

Today my message is: try to have an attitude of gratitude.

Thanks to all who visit here. May you have the best possible Monday.

Adieu, with a bit of a giggle:

3 comments:

Aliceson December 15, 2008 at 12:37 PM  

Fantastic post! I can't agree more. We, ourselves are responsible for who we become.

Not that becoming a parent is anything like cancer, but I had conversations with myself when my kids were born. Hoping I could handle it.

Great Monday post.

Seeing Eye Chick December 15, 2008 at 1:19 PM  

A long time ago, I had a different blog, one far more personal. I had a similar post on it. It wasnt about Cancer or even depression. It was about other dramatic obstacles.

Glad you made it. Time is not linear. Only our perception of it.

Arlene December 15, 2008 at 4:17 PM  

I was really moved by your story. I am a big fan of remembering to be grateful, but I haven't heard of reaching out to your future self before. I really like that.
Thoughts become things, choose the good ones.

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