“Don’t waste your time looking back on what you’ve lost. Move on, for life is not meant to be traveled backwards.” ~Unknown
When I was thirty-eight, I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. During my treatment, one thought persisted: “I can’t wait until this is over and life goes back to normal.”
I clung to the belief that things would go back to how they once were, and all that needed to happen was for treatment to end. It gave me something to focus on that felt real during a time of disruption and uncertainty.
Unfortunately, when treatment ended …
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
Do you ever feel like there’s got to be more to life? More purpose, passion, meaning—whatever your word of choice is?
It’s happened to me twice. The first time was during the early years of my legal career, and the second time was just a few years ago (after battling an aggressive breast cancer).
Each time I craved more meaning, yet these two experiences couldn’t have been more different.
When it happened to me …
“Ten years from now, make sure you can say you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.” ~Mandy Hale
I spent most of my youth trying to escape. From the mother who drank too much and the violent men she dated and from the kids at school who made fun of me for wearing the same clothes every week.
I felt shame and guilt because I believed that my circumstances defined who I was, which meant that I was unimportant, unworthy even.
So, I created elaborate imaginary worlds where I was smart, successful, and often saved the day. Where …