Everything Happens For a Reason
“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift….. It is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.” -from J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement address
I stumbled across this quote in a copy of Real Simple magazine while I was recovering from thyroid cancer surgery. In 2009, at 37 years old, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. On April 22, 2009, I had surgery to remove my thyroid and several lymph nodes from my neck. Shortly thereafter, I went through radiation iodine treatment to rid my body of any cancer cells that remained after my surgery. At my 6-month check-up, we discovered that the radiation treatment didn’t work for me and there were still cancer cells in several lymph nodes in my neck. On April 22, 2010, exactly one year after my first surgery, I had a second surgery to remove the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and around my voice box.
Today, I am celebrating my sixth anniversary of living cancer-free. April 22nd is a pretty special day for me.
Everything happens for a reason. Being diagnosed with cancer was a blessing in disguise and since that day my life has changed dramatically. The day after I received my cancer diagnosis, I went to my first yoga class. Throughout my battle with cancer, my yoga mat became my safe haven. I was scared, confused and angry. I started questioning the relevance of certain decisions that I had made in my life given these health issues. On my mat, I was able to connect to my breathing and get out of my head and into my heart. My yoga practice helped me to address the feelings and fears I had about my life circumstances from a place of love, not from fear.
Beating cancer gave me the strength and confidence that I didn’t have prior to my diagnosis which helped me to address some situations in my life that needed to change. Many of those changes were incredibly difficult and painful to go through but were necessary in order for me to live the life I wanted to live. Today, I am happier and healthier than I have ever been.
I recently became certified as a yoga teacher because I want to share the lessons that I have learned (and still continue to learn) along my life path with others and provide support and guidance as they endure setbacks and overcome obstacles on their own journey through life.
Cancer brought me to my passion and purpose which is sharing yoga with others. A shining, bright light emerged from those dark days that I faced six years ago. When things are dark and bleak, it is often difficult to find a glimmer of light. You may not know at the time how or why particular circumstances are impacting you. But, everything happens for a reason and eventually the lesson will reveal itself.