Blog - Survivor's Guilt

The Sunrise was at 5:54am today and yes, I was there for it. I love my morning jaunts to the lake to watch the sunrise over beautiful lake Ontario. I love the sound of the birds and the water gently hitting the rocks on shore. The view is spectacular.

I always say a prayer as the sun starts to peak over the horizon. I ask the protect me and keep me healthy, and then I ask the same for those I love and for those I don't even know. And I'm grateful for all my blessings. Then I walk along the lake, make my way into town, pick up my cappuccino and then head back to the lake - sit on a bench and enjoy the view - taking it all in, feeling energized and a sense of deep contentment. There is nothing I need. I've got it all.

But today, I felt something else. This feeling comes and goes, but today it was intense. I felt "Survivor's guilt".

Two years ago, around this time, I had just received my stage 4 cancer diagnosis. I really didn't know if I was going to live or die. I was recovering from one surgery and gearing up for my next. I changed my eating habits and got clear on my priorities - my health and wellness took center stage.

So today, as I was walking, I decided to run up the staircase pictured here. I ran up and I noted that I wasn't out of breath nor did my legs hurt - I wasn't uncomfortable at all. I ran up those stairs like a young person and I thought to myself, you're really doing it...the changes in your life are taking hold and you are in better shape now then you have ever been, both mentally and physically.

And then it hit me like a, you are a cancer survivor and look what you just did I get so lucky? Why was I given a second chance? Why was I given more time? Why do young people, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children not get that second chance? Why me over someone else? There is no answer to any of this...

So instead of staying in the emotion of "guilt"...I moved myself into happiness. Happy that I am well and feeling wonderful. Happy for all that I have been blessed with. Happy that I can enjoy the present and imagine my future. Happy that I can give and feel love. Happy that I have the energy to be a good mom, sister, daughter, friend!

Our emotions are part of who we are. I choose to learn what I can from what I'm feeling and use my emotions to guide me. Now, my goal in life is to live with intention. Saying "yes" to opportunity, adventure, experiences. Not being afraid to put myself out there. To be authentic. To be kind. To be of service. To be the best version of myself that I can. To be gentle and to love fiercely.

My morning was spectacular...

...and then I silently sent out some loving kindness to all those who have passed on and for those in the midst of struggle.

...and I sent loving kindness to all of you too.

Definition of Happiness: Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction.