V is for Virtues and Victory (Part 1)
As a typical human being that is trying to do my best while navigating this adventure called life, I am learning what many folks may refer to as being old-fashioned rules, VIRTUES can come in very handy when you want to be VICTORIOUS in meeting a challenge.
Although I did not set out to be virtuous when I embarked on the most challenging experience of my life, I am noticing many virtues have stepped up as my guides along the way.
Now that I am through the worst of it, looking over my shoulder, the connection between VIRTUES and VICTORY has become very clear to me. Below is an account of 3 of the most influential VIRTUES I experienced:
VIRTUE #1: Patience
I list this virtue as my first since it is the one that was probably the most difficult for me. I found it to be very challenging to do nothing when I had no strength to do anything.
Waiting can seem like a terrible waste of time, yet I spent a lot of time waiting for side-effects to leave my body and to even see a glimmer of my former healthy self again.
Impatiently waiting was annoying and aggravating. It reminded me that many aspects of this journey were out of my control and there was nothing I could do about it.
All I know is when I was impatient I suffered more. Impatience did not make me feel better and did not speed my recovery, it only aggravated the mental discomfort I was experiencing at the time.
Once I realized that patience was the first step in allowing my body to recover and heal, I began to actively practice it. Eventually I caught on to the fact that I could not rush the process, nor could I change it. After some time, PATIENCE became my companion and felt more peaceful than simply waiting.
VIRTUE #2: Acceptance
The next virtue that showed itself as being a needed blessing for me was acceptance.
Since I have a strong desire to feel as good as possible and that includes being at peace, peacefully accepting whatever was present at any given time became my lifeline.
I found that resisting what I could not change was exhausting and worsened my suffering as opposed to gently accepting whatever happened to be present for me in any given moment, including being side-lined from my usual activities of life due to the myriad of physical side-effects of chemo.
VIRTUE #3: Humor
It was interesting to see as I went deeper into the hole of being sick, the rope I hung on to the tightest to pull me back up was HUMOR.
Being able to work my muscle of clever and funny banter with those around me was a reminder that I was not dead yet. As long as I could still manage to find the humor in the most stressful situations, I still had some control.
I may not have been able to do some of the most basic functions of life, such as eating, standing and walking, but I was able to use my mind in a way that amused myself and others.
Some people may criticize me and accuse me of using humor to avoid the truth, while in fact, humor helped me to face the truth without losing myself in the process.
Since this cancer adventure continues, even though I am now officially cancer-free, I continue to rely on these VIRTUES (and others not yet listed) to teach me how to best navigate life while learning along the way .
Victories occur for me every day and I expect will continue. Stay tuned for more.