Monday, 23 June 2014

Sky divin

All due respect to Tim McGraw or whoever wrote the song - living like you are dying isn't all it's cracked up to be.

When you think your death is imminent all you really long for is ordinary run-of-the-mill life. Skydiving seems an unnecessary risk. Being around to file taxes for another year is where the joy comes in. The song is correct, we should live each day to its fullest and Facebook backs Tim up on that endlessly. But unless you are Jack Bauer you can't be on super human happiness alert for 24 hours

You can't live on a heightened level every minute of every day. You're gonna stub your toe and run out of milk.

If you are fortunate enough to get a reprieve like I have, to not know exactly when your death is coming, you inhabit a strange gray area.

You begin to forget for times that you have/had cancer. You forget that you've been told your cancer was aggressive and that it was found in a lymph node. You slip into that lovely boring life you longed for. You forget for a few minutes, days, maybe even longer, depending on how many follow up appointments you have or how many cancer like symptoms you are experiencing.

You worry more about the other people you know that have cancer or the people with Lyme disease that aren't even being treated in Canada and have the choice of dying or traveling to the states for treatment if they can afford to. Bizarre to be grateful to have cancer rather than Lyme disease.

Darkish thoughts to be having when what I have been doing lately in therapy is exploring joy.

But here's the thing. I don't think you can feel joy without feeling sadness, loss, loneliness, anger or pettiness. That last one is surprising me.

You can suppress ALL the feelings and live quite comfortably in low grade depression. But you can't let the joy out without feeling all the feelings that make you a human being, though certainly you can keep the feelings to yourself - see low grade depression.

According to the inter web C. S. Lewis said:

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

So while I'm chasing child like joy I have to remember that children experience joy like no other but they also know great sadness, loss, loneliness, anger and yes, pettiness.

And now that I've felt it and identified it I can harness it, take it out of the toddler range and use it to point me towards the things that bring me pleasure. If you are never selfish how do you know what brings you joy? I doubt this will lead me to sky diving but you never know!

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