The Challenge of Acceptance

In my late 20’s I went to a fortune teller in a corner shop in New York City just for the fun of it. She read my tarot cards and declared I would have a wonderful life. “No tragedies!”, she said. I have clung to that prediction whenever I was in a scary situation, feeling confident that everything would turn out all right in the end because she had said, “No tragedies!” I am doing the same with this scary situation, trying to keep the faith of my fortune teller destiny.

But one of the hardest parts of this whole diagnosis process has been me losing my sense of self–the happy health coach, loving helping people get healthy. I was so sure of who I was, what I was doing, where I was going and had a plan to get there. All of those plans have turned on their heads and not only that but who I am has also flipped upside-down. It’s so hard to accept that this is my life now, that this is who I am now–a person with chemo in her veins, taking 20 some-odd medications and supplements daily. Someone who had lots of energy to “do it all” who now needs to be watchful and take time to heal. I want so badly to be able to go back to my carefree health coach days, eating delicious healthy meals, naively knowing for sure that I was doing everything right to live to 100. 

I see the promotions of my health coach colleagues with their Fall programs in place, and it is a bitter pill that this is not my path anymore. I know that acceptance is the key here but it is so challenging! I want to be promoting a Fall Detox! I want to be networking and coaching clients to new levels of health and wellness! I want to be the healthy one, not the sick one.

Acceptance. This has been a big word for me in this process. It came to me in a meditation after I had just had the diagnosis. “Pure Acceptance”, the Universe said to me. At that point, I was looking for ways to reduce stress and I heard that message to be about accepting the people in my life exactly as they are and to stop trying to change them. I listened and did some big work at that point and made some shifts for the better.

However, this is another level of acceptance. What we’re talking about here is acceptance of this thing happening to me. This thing that I am angry about and resentful of and wish beyond wish that it weren’t happening. How do you accept something like that? This will take some work. I do have moments where I’m on that more enlightened plane and I can get a glimmer of what this would be like. But most of the time, I want to scream, “No! This is not my life! This is not supposed to be happening to me! This was not the plan!”

The opposite of acceptance is resistance. There are phrases like “Resistance is futile.” or “What you resist, persists.” I certainly don’t want this persisting. What I need to do is figure out my new me. To take the old me (happy health coach helping people with food intolerances and digestive issues) and add this new aspect, this new “area of expertise”. As I look at it, it’s surprisingly not a huge shift–it looks to be another level of the same trajectory I was on before, only on a potentially grander scale. This next level is the world of toxins and the immune system. And how they can lead to cancer.

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Lita - September 12, 2013

We are always more than our label of mother, daughter, wife, sister, health coach, one accepting cancer, or whatever it is that we believe ourselves to be…kindness to you in this exploration of the bigger you.

Suze - September 12, 2013

Laren, when this is behind you, your ability to help others with their health will have a whole new level of empathy, understanding and credibility. I think that by continuing to ask ask ask ask ask questions of everyone you interface with, seek out the best / most current / wisest information sources and then to recover will indeed help you in the long run. Of course no one want to deal with something so frightening and difficult. But you are a determined and intelligent person, and all that you learn in this trying process will be put to good use. Adapt the recipes that worked raw with cooked / toasted / roasted ingredients and you might be on your way to creating a healthy cook book for people in a similar situation. Lemons into lemonade, my friend. I hope you liked your little box.

Kim Thompson - September 12, 2013

I was blindsided too, Laren. I think I felt like I had to deal with it and get through it, drawing the least amount of attention I could because I didn’t want to be defined by this thing that had happened to me.. And I didn’t want my children to worry about me. But they did anyway and acted out anyway because they were afraid. I’m not sure my choices were the best, but I made them and am now on the other side. 🙂

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