We’ve all been hit with life altering experiences that change our views forever. It’s not something we can run away from no matter how hard we try. It’s these life lessons that can dramatically change who we are and what our future holds.
In November 2011, I was diagnosed with Melanoma, a deadly cancer caused by sun exposure. Was I on my death-bed, or did I have to undergo chemotherapy? No, and my hearts go out to all the people whom must fight through this challenge.
My experience was a little different, and peculiar for that matter. It had outcomes of both positive and negative, not only in my life, but another life that was sharing this journey with me.
The day I entered into my dermatologist for a biopsy was the day my grandmother fell out of bed, broke her arm and was hospitalized. 2 weeks later, I would be notified that I had an early form of melanoma. That same day, my grandmother would pass away from many forms of organ failure.
It was the toughest 2 weeks of my life. However, I thanked God for the opportunity to correct my mistakes and share the last special moments with my grandmother. I got to see her in a way that can’t describe with words but am thankful every day for. Completely life changing!
But what does this have to do with you? Everything!
You MUST pay attention to the details
You have control over your own life, whether it feels like it or not. We choose how to overcome the obstacles thrown our way. Although our greatest life lessons are usually ones that cannot be planned, a life plan will help us bounce back from tragedy, upsets and obstacles.
Prior to my diagnosis, I was in great physical shape. Unfortunately, for the 20+ years prior I would not pay attention to the warnings signs that surrounded me. I wouldn’t have a plan to avoid the cancer that has plagued my family.
I am fair skin and have a family history of skin cancer. I would be warned to put sun protection on my whole life, but as most, I was invincible, or at least thought I was.
I didn’t listen nor plan for this day and am now the consequence of my own
My grandmother can be attributed to this overlook as well. She did not take care of herself, smoking 60+ years with fitness and nutrition being irrelevant her entire life.
Most of the time, our oversights will be the greatest lessons learned in life. We must pay attention to the details. We must plan, correct and learn.
From my experience I have learned to love better, be more compassionate, more forgiving, and more driven. The lessons learned in life can profoundly change who we are, and I am better, stronger and wiser because of it.
Going through a scary time and being overwhelmed with emotion from my grandmothers passing truly opened my heart, mind and soul.
Quality of life vs. quantity of life
My melanoma experience taught me that the quality and quantity of life are equal, however you will continue to hear the opposite from others.
You’ll hear them say it’s about the quality of life. If we’re not focused on the “quantity” of life then the “quality” of life is full of abusing behaviors. We will be making mistakes that are irreversible.
Take the model who restricts themselves of essential nutrients to be on the cover of a magazine, or the athlete who uses performance enhancing drugs. In their eyes this is quality, because they’re striving for their dream. But these decisions are effecting their quantity of life and they’re not planning for the consequences to come.
Or you can take myself and my grandmother for example. I was in the sun, knowing I shouldn’t be and cancer arrived. Or my grandmother, who may have been able to fight stronger if cigarettes weren’t apart of here quality of life and nutrition was her substance.
Happiness comes from an equilibrium of life, the balance of quantity and quality.
Making mistakes is a part of our life lessons. If we cannot recognize this and refuse to pay attention to the details, our greatest learning experiences may pass.
I challenge you today, if you make mistakes, learn from them, don’t try to avoid them [Tweet This]. Open your eyes and learn from every experience, whether good or bad.
My grandmother and I shared the worst times in our life together, however I am still here today to talk about it.
She will never know the profound life lessons she has taught me from those few weeks and I am forever grateful.
Take care of yourself!
What mistakes have you made that you can honestly look back and say you’re a better person because you’ve learned from them? Comment below.