I started 2018 being challenged with the idea of living victoriously (which I wrote about in my January blog post). Counting the “too numerous” wonders that He has done has been my focus for these last 135 days.
The month of March felt like April Fool’s Day.
In March, I found myself, rather abruptly, in an untenable job situation. Never have I worked where I was unable to give adequate notice before resigning, but this situation required an immediate resignation. And, within three days, from a completely different source, I was faced with accusations of performing a ‘breach of security’ and ‘violating the trust’ of (some) people. Needless to say, the whole concept of living victoriously was put to the test.
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When you face the perceptions of people, you become the ‘whipping boy’ of their expectations. When those perceptions come from those you’ve trusted, whether they be family, close friends, or even mere acquaintances, your character and your good name are forever impacted. The challenge of dealing with people’s perceptions has been an ongoing struggle for my family and myself for some time. The last ten years have been especially challenging for Football Fan and even though I have not shared specifics through my blog posts, there are some private battles that I have endured while dealing with cancer and all things cancer related.
No matter how many times I have tried to convey the impact that this illness has had on my whole person, there are some people who cannot and/ or will not comprehend that chemo brain is a real thing. My ability to recall is challenged on a regular basis and it is enhanced by fatigue, stress, and unfamiliarity. What this means is that when someone demands that I recall actions from many months ago (or even just yesterday), it’s going to take time. If I can’t recall according to others perceptions/ expectations, patience is the protocol instead of varying forms of abuse.
Another impact of this illness is extreme fatigue. In these last few months, I have been able to recognize and begin the healing process from this illness. Approximately three and half years since my body, mind, and soul began the journey of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stress from three types of chemotherapy, six surgeries, forty radiation treatments, several weeks of physical therapy, multiple medications, surgically-induced menopause, and the removal of the societal standard of what constitutes a female, I am just now beginning the healing process! My ability to function in normal society has been challenged severely. What this means is that what I make time for is of no consequence to anybody. I do what I can, when I can, because I am not guaranteed the stamina or mental clarity to do it later. Whether I did it right or wrong, I took care of my blessed little family first and foremost. After that, came what my family and I prioritized as necessary and important. Just because we ranked those needs differently from others expectations does not imply anything other than we were (and are) doing the best that we could (and can) right then (and now), in that (and this) moment. If I can’t perform according to others perceptions/ expectations, understanding is the protocol instead of varying forms of abuse.
As I heal from all things cancer, this includes the impact of other people’s perception/ expectations of ‘me and my shadow’ (because I am trying to insert a bit of humor into a weighty subject). I will give you a very private tidbit about myself: I have never thought highly of myself, and this was before cancer! This means that this illness has magnified this one aspect of ‘me’ by infinity (and beyond – again with the humor). So when I am faced with other people’s perception/ expectations of ‘me and my shadow’ (see previous note), things will usually hit ‘my threshold’ of being a blubbering mess faster than the norm.
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Football Fan reminds me often of the passage found in Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!“
The concept that ‘perception is reality; therefore, reality is truth’ dominates our society, our family, and our minds, but we must guard against this mentality.
~ Just because we think it, doesn’t make it true. ~
Our Creator commands us, challenges us, and warns us through His perfect words to be mindful of what is in our hearts because it will always be reflected through our words, our actions, and our attitudes.
Live victoriously, remembering His truths.
They are the foundation for His “too numerous” to count wonders that He has done.