When you first learn that you have cancer, you may feel as if your life is out of control. Many feel that a way to gain back some of that control is to know EVERYTHING. Who can blame you? We live in a society that places a lot of stock in “knowing.” I mean, we can learn anything we want with one touch of a button thanks to our good friend Mr. Google.
But what about the questions Google can’t answer for us, like how long do I have to live? Will my cancer come back? Will I develop cancer from my genetic mutation? Lately, I have been meditating on the mantra “I don’t need to know everything right now.” And it has worked wonders for my mental health. There can be freedom in the unknown. When dealing with the trauma of breast cancer, our brains literally can only handle so much. It is our body’s way of going into survival mode. Too much information can cause sensory overload. I know when I look back to that phone call, all my brain could process were the words “You have cancer.” Everything after that was a blur. My body went into preservation mode.
Cancer has taught me that freedom from insanity comes when I surrender and let go of the need to know every little thing. Instead, I give myself permission to honor and feel gratitude for being alive right at this very moment, which includes ALL of it: joy, sadness, love, anger, pain, peace, and uncertainty. We are all on this journey called life and no one truly knows where it will take us. So for now, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I certainly don’t!