Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What If You Could Change The Stuff You Can't

Okay, what?  That's probably the question after reading the title of this post.  I didn't know how else to put that into words.  I feel like throughout my cancer journey and even throughout my life, I've always heard "don't try to change the things you can't change."  Sigh, yes I know.

There will always be the mean girl in grade school and high school that will make it her mission to be as mean as possible to you:
You can't change her.  But you can change the way you react to her.  Easier said than done.

There will always be the "stuff" that happens in your life that you have no control over, say a cancer diagnosis for example.  If this has happened to you, a friend or family member, you know how scary and painful this is:
You can't change the diagnosis.  But you can change the way you react to it.  Easier said than done.

See the pattern here?

Let's play let's pretend.  What if you could change the stuff you can't?  How would that look?  Am I opening up a door of emotions that will make things worse?  Maybe, but I always like to ponder.  What would I do if I could change it all?  How would that feel?  As I type this, my mind is wandering all over the place.  My immediate thought is I would change having a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 32.  Like, I would want to completely erase that from my life.  It immediately feels weird to say that though, because like it or not, it is a part of my life.  A lot has changed for me - not because I had cancer (let's face it, nothing good ever comes from that at all), but because of my REACTION to it.  I like to say that I wish cancer never happened to me, but I know the is silly.  I've made some good decisions in my post cancer life so in all fairness, I don't think about that one all that much.  As I type that, I kinda can't believe I am saying it.

If I can still play pretend, I'd wish I had a switch somewhere in my head that I could easily flip off.  It's the one that has an on and off button.  The switch controls fears, worries, and anxieties.  I would flip that switch to off and then rip it apart in hopes of it never turning back on.  I am drooling over this right now.  That's what I wish I could change.  I sometimes like to daydream on that.  I feel like it is one of the things I have a chance of controlling and really changing.  It's taken and still taking a lot of time to work through.

I know actually getting rid of the unbearable emotional baggage that comes with cancer is virtually impossible and it is silly of me to dream about never having those thoughts again.  However, I think it is a good exercise in thinking about what if I really could?  It gives me motivation and opens my eyes up a bit to what I have learned my whole life about any situation - You can't control the uncontrollable but it is your REACTION to it that makes the difference.

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