How to have fun with cancer: 5 basic steps to joy

    1. Immerse yourself in the terror and fear of that horrible “C” word that was just thrown at you. If you’re not there yet, just let the doctors tell you about the treatments and statistics and you’ll be there in an instant. Trust me.
    2. Cry from all the pain, sorrow, and yes – more fear, until you’re pretty sure that no store will be able to keep up with your demand for tissues.
    3. Be furious over this injustice – after all, you don’t deserve this, you’re a good person, and you try to live as healthily as possible.
    4. Laugh at yourself for not being a little more careful with your prayers. After all, you did beg the Gods for something – anything to change because you’re so miserable in your life.
    5. Search for some great tools or techniques that will teach you how to change your view on all these unwanted feelings.

    These are some of the basic steps I took which ultimately led me to truly enjoying this wild and crazy ride called cancer. But it is only through the use of the tools from the Busting Loose teachings of Robert Scheinfeld, that I have been able to get to this place of enjoyment. The tools helped me to transform incredible pain and fear – feelings that I once avoided like the plague, into welcomed opportunities in which to expand and grow from. It has completely changed this cancer game for me.

    I also learned through Scheinfeld, that feelings such as fear, sorrow, and anger, are actually just true joy in disguise – just as the different shades of red on a color wheel are still classified as “red”.

    If you really think about it, part of the joy of watching a movie is the range of emotions it takes you through. I have seen the movie Avatar, four times so far. Each time I saw it, my heart would still beat from fear and my adrenaline still pumped with excitement. I could still work up a fury over the bad guys, and manage to cry during the sad and moving scenes. It is because the movie elicited such a range of emotions within me, that I kept returning to it for a second, third, and fourth time.

    The day I no longer find myself fully immersed in the story, feeling everything – including the discomforts, is the day I will stop watching it. It is this full immersion into any story that is what’s joyful.

    Before my cancer experience, my goal was to seek perfection and happiness at all times. I tried to control everything to ensure that I would have very little exposure to any unwanted feelings. I was terrified of them. I preferred to stay in that neutral (otherwise known as numb) zone as often as possible. This only brought misery because life was very stale and gray as I shied away from all colors in my pursuit of perfection.

    Cancer taught me to cry! To fear! To be angry! To feel! It pushed me down a path of seeking that unexpectedly led me to this place of joyousness. Joy now does not only consist of happiness and peace, but is made up of the ugly and difficult, the sad and lonely, and the terrifying and horrific too. It is this full spectrum of welcomed feelings that makes life joyful because it is now filled with vibrant colors. So now I paint the walls of my life with many shades of colors, grateful that I can finally see all of its beauty.

    Julie Okuma

    What Do You Think?

    What Do You Think?