The Puzzle of Life
This is the first in a series of three unrelated blogs that formed out of asking people what they would want to hear about. This first one is in response to Stephen’s question, “How do I put a life together again after battling cancer.” What a powerful question stemming from a deeply intense, horrific and frightening battle. To benefit from this blog, you do not need to have had or know someone who has gone through battling cancer, although chances are you have or will. Whether it is a major crossroads or a minor hurdle, we can all benefit from simplifying life and concentrating it into it’s most potent from. After all, isn’t that what most of us are wanting? How to live in the most fulfilling, gratifying and vivid way? Here is my answer to Stephen…


Thank you so much for posing this question, “How does one begin to put a life together again after battling cancer?” I do not have first hand experience with cancer although I have witnessed loved one’s go through it. Anything I say here is a mere suggestion as I share my heart, empathizing with the journey you have been on. I think many readers can relate to this as we all have battles in life that we go through. Some tend to look worse and will be more crushing than others, but we all go through them in some form. This is for you and everyone else who relates to feeling as though they have things to overcome and want to know how to do that. I admit, I do not have the answers. What I do have is insight. Here is the message, my courageous friend:

How to Put a Life Together Again
Just like building a paved path in the dirt, you have to put one paver down at a time. Start simply. Notice I didn’t say start small. Why? Because no step is small and every step should be celebrated because each step is movement.
Ask yourself this list of questions (this can apply to any situation you are going through) – “What have I discovered through this?” “What have I uncovered?” “What did I come face to face with?” “What is it I still need to face?” “When I was at the most challenging part of this experience, did I vow anything to myself, family, God, etc…that I am not actively following through on right now?” “How can I follow through with this?” “Am I focusing on what absolutely matters most in my life, throughout my day?” “How can each moment be the fullest experience it can be?”
Cancer is a big one. No easy or small feat to deal with. Ask for help when you need it. Express your emotions and feelings to those you trust and those who you can get support from. Allow time for grieving as there is a sort of death and rebirth that happens with something like cancer. Grieve the death of what you knew before so your new life can be that much more distilled and vibrant in your rebirth.
Become clear on how you want to choose to live your life from now on and remember that you always have a choice about how you want to act or react to something.
Allow yourself space. Space to rest. Space to feel. Space to love. Space for action. Space to give. Space to receive. Space to make the right choices for yourself in each moment.
Share with others. Stephen, you have gone through something very powerful and in turn, can view things in a much more concentrated and powerful way. I admire your courage, strength and vulnerability for writing and asking about this. All experiences foster growth; each and everyone one of them. This is no exception. It is important to recognize growth in the midst of perceived set backs. Your question, “How do you put a life together after cancer” is symbolic of life being a puzzle. Find the pieces that you already have. Then look for missing pieces within and fit them in to construct a new puzzle with a design that might be very different than what you thought but could be something that is even beyond what you imagined.