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Guest Post: Cancer is Just the Beginning of My Story

A valuable lesson learned through hardship.

I’d like to introduce you to Sanja, who I asked to do a guest  post for The Blog of Bildo, and you’re about to find out why.

I have so many friends with fascinating stories, and this is one of many.

So without further ado…

Sanja’s Story

Thanks Billi for the invitation to write a guest post and thank you for giving me a word limit because God knows I need one of those.

A quick intro on your guest writer – I was just another stay at home mum, worrying about all the same things that most parents worry about, and then some. I had raised the bar so high on myself, that every day I set myself up for failure.

Let me give you an example of just how crazy I was, before my big wake up call.

Forward thinking

In the final few weeks of my first pregnancy I planted a vegetable garden in the back yard, so that by the time my yet unborn baby was ready to start solids, I’ll have fresh vegetables for making purees.

Yes, I was that crazy. Yes, they had to be that fresh.

I wish I could go back there and laugh in my own face.

Needless to say, the neglected veggie garden withered along with my unrealistic expectations of being a ‘perfect parent’. Isn’t that the world’s craziest oxymoron, but one responsible for a lot of heartache and guilt for many mothers I know?

So I chased my own tail for years until one day BAM – cancer at 32!

Cancer at 32

Overnight I stopped worrying about the million and one petty things that had consumed me daily. I no longer had that luxury.

Often when I tell people my story about the journey I’ve been on since my diagnosis, many of them ask me about the main lessons I learnt along the way.

This is why I decided to start my blog, The Promise Climb, to share some of the valuable lessons I was forced to learn at a relatively young age. However, much like my vegetable garden, my blog has been equally neglected, as I struggle to find quality writing time for my novel length blog posts.

As a result, I’m still stuck at writing about the beginning of my journey, and all the good stuff is yet to come. I know that if I was willing to compromise on the quality even a little bit, I would be posting a lot more often and possibly helping a lot of people who are going through similar struggles at the moment.

But the recovering perfectionist in me seems to be extremely protective of her precious blog, and isn’t willing to compromise at the moment. And so we wait for weeks and weeks in between posts.

When Billi asked me to write a guest post on her blog, the most obvious topic that came to mind was important lessons my cancer taught me about parenting.

This is something I’m yet to write about in my own blog. I’ll only write about one lesson this time around – on the topic of shifting perspective of the parenting role.

My children, my teachers

My children have been my greatest teachers and the most important guides along my healing journey. Waking up and realising the preciousness of their childhood has been my greatest blessing. Shifting my perspective and suddenly seeing the hardest days as the golden days for my own growth and personal development.

I had it all back to front. As it turns out, I don’t need to teach them much, they’re already there. Instead I have a lot to learn from them.

I may have taught them how to tie a shoelace, brush their teeth and even wipe their own bottom, but in return they taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined.

I’m beginning to see that on the day I became a parent, my child handed me a mirror, without which my healing journey would have been, I won’t say impossible, but extremely slow.

My children helped me to experience the full spectrum of human emotions with such extreme intensity, making it really obvious which parts of my being still needed a lot of work. They handed me a much needed mirror to help me see my insides.

In my opinion, just being a mum, is the ultimate spiritual practice with ample opportunities for growth on a daily basis. The entire day revolves around trying to be present, mindful, responsive, connected, patient, loving, kind, disciplined etc., all while simultaneously tending to their physical needs and running a messy household.

I’m not saying that children are the only path, but simply pointing out that raising children is a path.

To all the mummies out there

So to all the mummies out there, don’t beat yourself up thinking you’re too busy to dedicate time to your personal growth, because you’re living in the midst of it. Perhaps you are just not seeing it for what it is.

By simply shifting your perspective of the mothering role, you start to see its true transformational potential, accepting each new hurdle as your growth opportunity.

Yes there will be growing pain and boy will there be frustration, but none of it is in vain and you will come out of this a better person with your sanity mostly in tact.

Sanja x

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