The Hill

Every day I pass by beautiful streets like this one in Boston.  What I love about it is the beautiful view from the bottom of the hill.  It got me thinking...

As I mentioned in my last post, this weekend things have shifted and my pain has increased.  I don't share this for pity but to be real with you with where I am on my journey with cancer.    Radiation is taking its toll in my mouth, I have mouth sores in many places now, including on my tongue.  Since the majority of my sores are where my obturator sits it makes things a little more challenging, like eating.  Fatigue has set in from the chemo and radiation as well.  I am admittedly challenged daily on how to respond to this hill I am climbing.  I have had many people say how its okay for me to feel bad and to say what I am going through sucks.  And I will be the first to say it sucks but...

Like any hill, if I go to climb it focused on the pain it is causing, or that it may cause me, my journey will be much more challenging.  Half the battle (or more!) is what is happening in our minds.  If instead I choose to look at the beauty on the journey up the hill I will have more peace within.  Like the hill in this picture, if I was walking up it, I could think about the physical pain it may cause, or is causing, to climb it, or I can focus on the beautiful brick buildings, the blossoming trees, and the bright blue sky.

The same is true with my journey with cancer.  I could choose to complain all day and get stuck in the pain or I can choose to look around and absorb the beauty and blessing along the way.

Yes, I experience the pain, and it is real and challenging but I choose to look for the beauty and blessings around me to have more joy in this process.

It is tempting on days to see the hill, the struggle, the pain, and put my head down as I walk up it. Yet there are so many people I wouldn't have met, joyful moments I would have missed out on and blessings gone ungiven, or received, if I chose to look at the pain alone.  Looking around at the beauty and seeking God's blessings along the way is part of my healing because although my body is in pain and tired, it keeps my Spirit is well.

I share this with you because we all have a hill we are climbing, maybe it has to do with your health, a relationship, finances, career, etc.  Whatever your hill, I encourage you to join me and...

Pause. Breathe Pray.

Let's choose to not get caught in the pain or fast forward to the possibility of what more pain may be like.  Let us instead choose to look at the hill as a chance to grow, from the inside out.  Let us seek the beauty and God's blessings around us - they are there.  When we are able to do this we can have more peace and joy within - even with pain present.  The hill and the pain therefore aren't something to grow angry at or frustrated with, but instead something to give thanks for because they are teachers, helping us grow deeper into the person we were made to be and they make even the bottom of the hill a beautiful view.

With love and hope,

Shawn