I have a dear friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Someone told her that this is an opportunity to live as though all bets are off. It is really causing her to reflect on questions such as what to change, if anything, in her life. She's asked some of us, her friends, to reflect with her on that and other questions, such as: What are the most delicious parts of your life? What would you like more of? Less of?
Another thought she's had is what if the manifestation of her tumor were all the tears never cried and laughter never laughed? How can one add more laughter and tears into life? It's important to be honest and real about our emotions. Many of us have learned to hide them and carry on as though everything's just fine, thank you very much.
The journey my friend didn't sign up to take but has been drawn into also pulls those of us who are her friends onto a new path. It is a privilege and an opportunity for those of us who love her to also delve more deeply into our lives, to look more closely at why we're here and to live life more awake and aware.
It's time for me to dig out my journal and pose some of these questions as discussion starters for myself. At the same time, I'm aware of what poet Ranier Maria Rilke so wisely said:
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."