Thursday, July 5, 2012

Live Confidently: Living Confident

~Thought tangents from morning coffee time

I was talking to God this morning about stuff. Cancer, life, what now. You know - the usual. But I really wanted to know some things and was asking for some answers - specifically, I'd really like to know why I got cancer in the first place. We all know that God isn't always into answering 'why' questions but I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I'm tired of wondering if the changes I'm making are helping or not. Is it really necessary to not eat cheese and red meat, should I really cut back on the bbq, should I eat no meat at all or is a little okay, and really - no wine?! And now that it's summer I'm rethinking the no antiperspirant thing. There are two schools of thought on whether or not antiperspirant causes cancer (specifically the aluminum in it) so I stopped using it last year and didn't really miss it.

TMI alert: Until now. I'll be honest, I'm sweaty sometimes. And only under 1 armpit. It seems the armpit with the lymph nodes removed no longer sweats, which is cool, but it means I'm lopsided in the perspiration department and it really annoys me. And let's be honest, there are some situations you really want to control the sweat (like at the fundraiser I spoke at for instance!). So I gave in the other day and bought some antiperspirant and have worn it once or twice. But I can't help feeling guilty about it.

That's why I was asking God about this stuff - so I could stop worrying so much about every little thing. And I'd like to say He gave me a list of things I should avoid and things that are okay, but no. What I do feel like he said to me though was this: Don't despair. Keep going. Live Confidently.

That immediately made me think about Living and that quote people often say when talking about this subject. Live like it's your last day on earth. And while I agree with that to a point I think living confidently is so much more than that. It's about pressing through fear, making plans, living for the future. And it's about how you respond to those little things that you maybe would ignore if it really was your last day on earth.

Like I don't think you'd care about that preverbal 10 lbs if you weren't gonna be around anymore. You'd eat whatever you wanted and not care that the big fat bbq'd steak with the sugary marinade goes totally against your anti-cancer diet.

I think to Live Confidently you need to be Living Confident.

To me these are different ideas - 'Live Confidently' is like a thing to aspire to. It speaks to me of big ideas or big moves while 'Living Confident' is the messy, every day small things, type of living. How you respond frustrations, disappointments, or my personal nemesis - negative inner dialogue.

I'm tired of always kicking around the same annoying thoughts, the critical voice that tells me what I should and shouldn't do: You're too quiet, too out of shape, too fat, too tall for heels - You can't do that - it's way beyond you. I hate that voice and yet it often feels like my most constant companion. And that is not Living Confident. That's living scared and I don't want to do that anymore.

I'm going to borrow an example from that really spiritual tv show - What Not To Wear. :) If we're being honest, most people care about how they look. We care about how others perceive us. But often how we perceive ourselves is so so different from what others see. On What Not to Wear Stacy and Clinton work with whats in front of them. They encourage, they find the positives of every person they dress, big or small. They never say - 'you need to lose 20 lbs' or 'if only you were taller'. They pick out the beautiful in the person they are helping. And in doing so usually that person starts to see the beautiful too. I love that. I want to be able to pick out the beautiful in me. I wanna rock myself - don't you?

It's time to recognize those negative thoughts for what they are - LIES. Recognize them, grab them by the throat, shake em down and stomp. Replace with truth.

Ironically enough, shortly after this mini sermon to myself I was overcome by mind gripping, intense, overwhelming fear. I was sure I had more cancer, somewhere, everywhere. One new ache that lasted for about 30 seconds set this off. It wasn't the idea of cancer that was the lie - I could have it and not know - it's happened before! It was the fear that was the lie and I had the opportunity to practice Living Confident, over and over again until I believed the truth.