This past year my mom was diagnosed with cancer in February of 2013. I never thought at the age of 52 doctors would be diagnosing my mom with stage 4 lung cancer. As she has never held a cigarette in her life, it all was such a shock and made no sense whatsoever.
On February 15, the day after Valentines Day doctors informed me and my family that my mother has a year to live. The weeks that passed were honestly quite a blur but now a year out I’m grateful the fog is lifting.
Cancer is something many of us deal with, it’s a dark cloud that rains upon many of our loved ones. After her scary prognosis I graduated college and decided to move back in with my parents to help them through this unexpected chapter.
In life, we get thrown scary curveballs but it’s up to us to take control. We have the power to embrace it, helping our soul continue to flourish. Trust me it is definitely a heartbreaking thing to go through but there is no where else I’d rather be than helping my family through it all. Facing it head on I can begin to grow through it.
Taking one day at a time is SO essential through this cancer journey. Looking ahead only provides extra anxiety while looking at the past it’s important to understand it as a chapter closed. Enjoying the present moment is imperative.
As Eckhart Tolle says, “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care and love – even the most simple action.”
As I go to chemo with my mom every three weeks I watch her smile never fade and her passion for life continue to radiate. Her joy and positivity boosts her forward and today I’m so grateful to see the cancer stabilized. When we focus on the good around us we continue to attract like energy.
What I’ve learned through this, which has been many lessons, is to understand that we have control over the way we react to life’s low points. Let go of dwelling on the bad, begin to embrace the storm and practice living a life filled with gratitude. For a while, I was so angry and just upset with my moms diagnosis. I soon had to understand that constantly worrying and focusing on the negative is only brewing a negative recipe so I had to start shifting my thinking.
Our thoughts are powerful and when we begin the practice of gratitude the universe conspires to help. The anxiety and worry is lifted and I soon began to see life through a brighter lens. Only you have the power to change your life and it begins with your thoughts. (Tweet-worthy!) How you perceive the world, internally changes you. What ways can you enjoy the present moment today? Comment below!
Joey Parker is editor-in-chief of The Joey Parker Movement and contributing writer for MTV Act. He is passionate about ending human trafficking & creating a brighter future. Find Joey at http://www.thejoeyparkermovement.com, Facebook and @TheJoeyParker.