The more that happens, the more that you know

I felt an overwhelming feeling of freedom, and the lifting of a huge burden of fear when my life coach said, "The more that happens to you, the more that you know." To date, my life has been quite tumultuous. I lost a close uncle when I was around five years old, my first experience of loss, and was bullied throughout my school life due to being unconfident, easily riled and having a barely audible lisp. As a child my mum became ill firstly with solitary plasmacytoma on her skull, later with multiple myeloma.

After successfully keeping it at bay for around five years, the inevitable relapse happened but this time it was joined by an inoperable, untreatable and fatal oesophagal cancer whilst I was in the final year of university. I watched in horror as it slowly turned her into skin and bones, weighing only around five stone following months of the cancer sucking the life out of her. My mum's death came after my father died of catastrophic brain damage following his third heart attack when I was doing my A Levels. Then in 2015 my partner (fortunately now in remission) became seriously ill with an advanced blood cancer. And now I find myself without a job.

 The fearful way I had been looking at my life I could easily interpret that the pattern of my life is that everything settles down for a while, a year or two perhaps. That when I finally feel that I am in a position of comfort and ease, something goes spectacularly wrong. Such sentiments have often left me scared of tapping into positive emotions and experiences through fear that if I do something is bound to kick off.

Now I don't want this to come across as me looking for sympathy or for you to interpret that I believe the world revolves around me and is out to get me. I'm sharing my experience in the hope that someone reading this will be able to recognise their own unhelpful thinking habits and therefore learn from them.

Of course, in a sense, I'd rather that most of those things hadn't happened to me and my loved ones. That I had a completely enjoyable school life, that my parents and uncle were still here and that my partner didn't go through a gruelling chemotherapy regime that will always leave a mark upon him. However, these experiences have given me a unique experience of life. Indeed, the more that has happened to me, the more that I have grown to know. I have developed great appreciation for the time I did spend with my parents and I can give insight to others that whilst their parents may be giant pains in the posterior at times, when they are gone you can find yourself missing the things that irked you terribly about them. I can enjoy a lust for life, love more fiercely and live with an attitude of gratitude. I can go through my life with the confidence that if another horrible thing happens I will be ok because I've been strong enough so far and I have an amazing support network for if and when it becomes too much to get through alone.

 I could persist with a fear mentality, waiting for the next hardship to happen, but I'd rather have my eyes wide open in the hunt for opportunities and indulge my value of always wanting to learn. Through every experience we go through, positive or negative, uplifting or overwhelming, we have the chance to learn and grow. That's not me trying to belittle intense difficulties. I appreciate that for some of you there may have been or there could be in the future unbearable things such as abuse, losing a child or having a miscarriage, a loved one being murdered, a close friend or partner committing suicide or being killed in a terror attack. However, it is my hope that through those ordeals you can bring something positive into what can seem like a darkened world by sharing your insight with others, but if you feel that it's too difficult and that you need to keep the experience intimately to yourself then that's ok too.


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