Yesterday was a hard day. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I usually don't post something personal on my blog right after it has happened. I try to wait a few weeks till after the event so I have time to reflect and contemplate. But I just feel like I need to share this. It is the biggest thing happening in my life in this moment and of course is the biggest inspiration as to why I chose this week's list prompt: "List What You are Grateful For." These lists are becoming something really important and special for me each week. My current experiences are what inspire each week's prompt and I believe that sometimes, being honest, raw, and in the moment can inspire the greatest growth within oneself. These lists are definitely pushing me to be very vulnerable. And pushing myself in that way each week is making me feel more empowered and thankful each day for and because of my online community.
When something heavy hits us like cancer within the family, it's human nature to zoom in on that hardship. I was quiet and contemplative all day yesterday and I think I'll be feeling a bit heavy all week. But as I've grown older, I've come to see difficult experiences as opportunity to recognize the beauty amidst pain & all that we should be thankful for within a hard experience. My mom has breast cancer. This is a truth I cannot avoid. But I have the opportunity to see within it all that I should be and am grateful for.
My dad's mom, the one and only grandma I ever knew, had breast cancer around the same age as my mom. And I have many vivid memories of her talking about her experience. She was very comedic and frank about it all and for that I am SO grateful. Because of her, dialoguing about breast cancer has become very normal in my life. And it feels like less of a scary thing because of my grandma's thoughts on her experience. She lived until her late 80s and never had any complications with cancer after her first experience which gives me so much comfort knowing now that my mom has breast cancer. My mom will be ok. I believe it and I have seen it to be true for so many women with breast cancer. And whatever choices she must now make, everyone in my family will be with her to support her. Seeing a few of my friends' mothers battle with various cancers, some still living today and some sadly having passed away, I know that each one of us has something to be grateful for within our family's hardships dealing with cancer. I am grateful that I have seen how gracefully and powerfully my friends' families have dealt with cancer. I am grateful that my mom and dad have an amazing community surrounding them. I am grateful for love and family and comfort. I am grateful for so many things and am most especially thankful & grateful during a period of life that could cause heartache. Gratefulness harnesses so much power. And I feel it all. I have much to be grateful for.
Let's be grateful this week. I know many of you may be going through something very hard right now. This is life, difficult things happen that we cannot prevent. No life is perfectly breezy. But you always, ALWAYS, have the choice to make great and good things happen even amidst your hardest events. You have power in your own life to bring light and love during hard times. And it all starts with gratefulness. Write down all that you should be & are grateful for. Use this list of gratefulness to show you why you should find power in your experiences, be they happy or sad. Your strength is just as powerful coming out of something easy or something hard. And what you do with your experiences can bring greatness.
To note: I asked my parents if it would be ok to write about the fact that my mom has breast cancer in this blog post and they said it was totally ok. My mom is pretty funny and entertaining because of the fact that she has NO inhibitions. So her stories are for everyone to share in. She likes it that way, that silly girl. :) I love her for all her wildness and openness. She's completely unfazed by this experience so far. And I hope her free spirit stays vibrant through this whole experience. I love you momma.
As always, feel free to download the PDF list above or write down your list in a journal. If you post about it on Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or Pinterest, then stop back here and link up your list so we can all visit each others lists and gain inspiration & insight from one another. Let's spread a little encouragement & love as we learn how to be grateful from one another.
Use the hashtag: #52lists2013 if you post your list on twitter / instagram / pinterest
And You're welcome to join in the 52 Lists project at anytime. Visit the 52 Lists page to check out all the lists :)