It’s a new year and for most of us it means making at least one new year resolution. I’m not a fan of resolutions because I usually don’t keep them but this year is special. I took time off to during the Christmas holiday to contemplate my life. This year is a big anniversary for me. Last November my oncologist told me I’m done seeing her. No more checkups. I am officially cancer free!
So much has happened to me over the past five years and one of them was rediscovering my spiritual self, along with discovering new aspects of my unique complex self. I began learning and practicing the teachings of Buddhism. I figured out that deep down I was a closet bohemian. Most of my adult life, I worked jobs that required me to wear a uniform. On my days off I wore clothes that everyone else wore even though I was attracted to a more “colorful” palette. After a cancer diagnosis my fashion choices changed. I started experimenting and wore clothes that I intuitively felt comfortable in, which reflected my personality.
Last year I learned I am an empath. It was a relief to find that out. I always felt different from other people but couldn’t figure exactly how or why. Now that I know I have this gift, I can harness it and not let it drain me.
A few months ago I learned I’m an introvert. To be more precise, a social introvert. I like being around people — but on my terms. I don’t like big cities or crowds. I don’t like driving on freeways. I need lots of time alone. Its funny because all my life I thought I was an extrovert since all my jobs were in the service industry. To be honest, before I got sick, I never gave it much thought. I thought I was just moody.
I never sat down long enough to contemplate my life choices. I didn’t understand I created my own reality. I just went along with what everyone else wanted me to be (or what I thought they wanted me to be). I wanted to fit in. There were times I said to myself, “I feel like I’m on the outside looking in,” but didn’t do anything to figure out why I felt that way. I did feel phony at times and in a way, I was. If I’m not living authentically, then I was a phony. Not in a bad way; more like a chameleon. Maybe I was afraid people wouldn’t like me if they knew the real me. I’ll need some more “down time” to think about that and get back to you.
It turns out that many empaths are also introverts. Meditating helps me take the “edge” off when I feel stressed and studying Buddhism taught me it’s OK to spend time alone.
What I decided is to continue living my truth openly and honor all those parts of me. I will include this process in my blog posts. I plan to write about my experiences living as a Buddhist, an empath and an introvert.
I was going to have separate blogs for each of my personality traits but decided against it. Having separate blogs would stress me out and I’m done participating in that. (Although I will continue writing my other blog, Rectal Cancer My Ass, which I devote to helping others get through cancer treatment and offer suggestions to live a healthier lifestyle).
Well, that’s about it. I hope 2016 will bring you joy, good health and whatever is on your wish list.