Home » Cancer » Thank you, Mr. Mandela

Thank you, Mr. Mandela

The deck

The deck

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Nelson Mandela
This made me cry. I am not certain if I wept for shame or from joy. 
Can I stop?
I grew up when cynicism was the fashion but it was a suit that never fit me. I lived as if I were going to find my other half and be whole. I felt as if I would never find that in myself. It was crazy to feel that way. To hide everything that meant anything to me. 
Now that I am beginning another round of chemotherapy, I am beginning to suspect that this is my way of telling myself to start NOW. Start admitting that I’ve been unhappy and that I’ve repressed myself and that I want things to be different.  
So I have to start. I have to get over all the losses in my life. 
I have to accept that I have to shine. Work harder. Be a better friend. Find something I love and really work at getting it. 
I am sick. I need to heal my spirit or I will not beat this. Pain and weakness are no excuse. I want to laugh again. I want to laugh so hard I cry. I want to look forward to something and get it done. Not just a vacation. I can live without that. I’m going to have to, it looks like. 
But I can’t live without looking forward to something. Like school. I think I want to go to school. I want to learn something. 
What? I don’t even know. 
The thing that brought this on was something I saw in a magazine somewhere. They asked a question. ‘What was the best thing that ever happened to you?’ and I couldn’t answer it. 
I sat and thought about it for days. There are things I am grateful for. Things I have done that I am proud of. Things that I have gone through and come out of well. I was strong and I got what had to be done, done. 
…but the best thing that ever happened to me?
I can’t think of one thing. 
So I thought ‘What about the best thing that I made happen?’
My flower garden. My happy cats. My good job and the work I do there. 
I made those things happen. They are small. But they are mine. 
Now I need a goal. I want to make things happen. Start small and work my way up to something meaningful. 
Today. Today I will walk more. My feet are all screwed up but today…I am going to walk around and since there is no end in sight for the pain and I may have to live with it, today is the day I start. 
A small start. Maybe I’ll have my brother and Mom over for a bbq and some badminton. I wont play. I won’t set myself up for that kind of failure. But I can cook some burgers and sit in the sun. I can have a laugh. 
And I can think about my little light. I can fan that flame. I can get over this. 

9 thoughts on “Thank you, Mr. Mandela

  1. Just take things one day at a time. It helps me to focus on making today the best day I can make it, even if the “best” thing I can do is just get through the day. I try not to beat myself up too much if it isn’t a “great” day. Going through another round of chemo sucks, but you are strong and will get through it. I’m rooting for you, Laura! You’re one of my heroes.


  2. Once upon a time, I was unhappy. Now, I am not. You have a lot drawing from your well of happy. It has to be pretty dry. Replenish it with something, anything, that makes you happy. (My road to peace started with several good, long cries.)


  3. Laura, you are so right about “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” and so we sometimes subconsciously sabotage ourselves. But you’ve got the answer right here “Actually, who are you not to be?” I feel like this all the time. It’s like the waves, high then low then high and repeat over and over again. Life is such but just enjoy the ride and take one day at a time. Let’s us do this together, baby steps are all is needed. Btw, you’ve got a beautiful deck 🙂 Enjoy your burgers and sun! Have a great weekend 😉


  4. Sending love. Isn’t Mandela wonderful? I just finished his book “Long walk to Freedom”, the man is astounding. And your deck is lovely 🙂 x


There is no sin except stupidity.

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