My Mistake, My Lesson

I made a mistake today. Actually, that I suppose would be contradicting my old post of saying there are no mistakes if you learn from them. So I will rephrase. I learned something today. I ignored something I already had taught myself, and it brought me stress and frustration.

In the past, whenever I had a goal, I would always write out the steps beforehand. This would help me track my progress, and stay focused on the outcome. But some things in life get written for you. What do you do then?

For example, the next seven months of my life have been planned out for me. It is pretty extreme. I will be in and out of the hospital, with intense chemo that forces me to stay in-patient for three weeks at a time. I’m facing more weight loss, blood transfusions, and the risk that if I catch anything, it will halt the entire process.

Instead of looking at tomorrow, I found myself looking ahead seven months from now. I tried to envision three years from now. I jumped to the middle and end, and skipped the current chapter. The entire overall list became too long and daunting. I’ll admit it made me weak, it made me cry a little. I felt overwhelmed and consumed by the journey ahead.

I then looked at my body, which has completely transformed in thirty days. I started thinking about how hard I had worked to get in shape. How my hair was alive and thick just one month ago. Now, it is tiring to get up and take a five minute walk. Literally everything I was physically has changed in a flash. It didn’t happen gradually. It was instant. It’s frustrating. If I say otherwise, I would be lying to myself.

You may be saying to yourself, “It’s ok to be frustrated Aaron. It’s a lot to take in. It’s healthy and OK.” I agree with that to a point. It is OK to have a little sadness. But again, for how long? Life is so short, so happiness should be the majority.

So now I need the solution to get out of this mental hole. I had my nightly discussion with myself, and here is what I said.

“Ok, Aaron, you’re starting to cause yourself suffering, which won’t help your healing. You’re paralyzing yourself a bit. You’re in too sensitive a state right now, and thinking of the past is not healthy in this particular moment. Put it aside right now. Save it for when you are in a positive space, and can reflect on the past with perspective.

Next…. Let’s simplify. Shorten all the steps ahead. Shorten them big time. Rather than looking at the entire list right now, Let’s bring it down to what can be accomplished this week.”

I feel better now. It’s working… Suffering is being lifted, and I am getting out of this temporary hole. Simplifying the before and after, and concentrating on what matters now, really calms the mind and soul.

The lesson I re-learned tonight is that I don’t have to be sad for so long if I can just pull myself together enough to have that conversation and understanding with myself. When feeling overwhelmed, let’s get back to the ultimate goal of “TRUE HAPPINESS” as quick as possible. Let’s shorten that daunting list and just start going down it one step at a time.

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