Wrestling for Contentment

Have you ever wrestled a thought in your mind, trying to tamp it down, unsuccessfully?  I get like this when I am confronted with something that drives me outside of my comfort zone– way outside.  Not in a good way.

Since my breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve been mindful not to get stressed out. So much so, that now when I get stress out, I actually stress out about getting stressed out.  Sounds crazy, eh?

I’m in the midst of a worry moment, consumed with thoughts that are antagonistic, pressing on me like a strong downpour of cold rain.  I really am trying to see through the rainy moment to view the clear skies ahead, but it’s hard this time to pull out of it.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, kid.”

That’s what my Uncle John told me when he was lying in his bed, dying from aggressive brain cancer.  I was 27 years old, full of verve and at the top of my game working at a rising software company.  He asked me how I was doing, and I rattled off stories of job stress, boyfriend despair, and overall self-absorbed drivel, when he suddenly fixed his gaze on me and told me that I had nothing to worry about.

That was a show stopping moment.  I stopped my prattling tales of selfish focus, suddenly feeling the weight of his burden.  Knowing that he was facing the end soon, and that it was giving him a whole lot of perspective on life.  Perspective he was suddenly sharing with me.

I’ve thought a lot about that conversation in the past few weeks, while I attempt to “center” my thoughts and focus on the positive.  Things can get worse, things have been worse, and things will always change in one direction or another.  That’s something good about life– the changeability, the shifting seams that hold us all together– we can always take solace in the fact that things will change.

In the meantime, I wrestle with my thoughts, tamping down the urge to focus on the bad.

It is all good, from the worst to the bad, to the ugly.


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