My Mental Flashes of Fear and Hope
I just thought to myself, “It’s the start of a new year, maybe I should write one blog post every day for all of 2014.” But then (and this is going to sound a little crazy) I had this flash of the future where I imagined not finishing the challenge because I had died… my health is a constant source of worry and I think that’s normal for someone with stage 4 cancer, but the fact that my mind jumps straight to death is unnerving.
And yet just after that first thought, having written it down for this blog post and stopping to think another moment, I’m now wondering to myself, “Where did that original idea to live for 365+ days spring up from?”
Reflecting upon this train of thought, it feels like there are two parts of me, except the only part I’ve been noticing and taking seriously is the one offering flashes of fear.
Weird confession time: Whenever I see a knife in someone’s hand, I have a flash of them stabbing me. That’s mostly why I’m a little scared of knives. It’s the same things for guns. I get these flashes of people shooting me. Weird.
My point is this: it’s the negative thoughts that get my attention, the ones based on fear.
But there are other flashes, and I am realizing right now as I write this post that they need to be nurtured more. I have flashes where I can see myself teaching my own child a life lesson. I have flashes of living in a cottage by a lake. I have flashes (dreams) that my novel Claire Never-Ending becomes a bestseller.
Just a moment ago, I had a flash to write 365 blog posts in a row, across one whole year. That suggests that some part of me, a strong part of me since it comes to my mind FIRST, feels the capability of living at least 365 days more.
Maybe you have these flashes too – the positive followed by the negative? Every day I live with the fear. It tells me I am going to die too soon. It makes me afraid that I’ll leave my husband and family far too early. Part of me has been afraid to admit this online because what if this is me knowing what will actually happen? What if this is me knowing my fate, and not yet accepting it?
But then, if one part of me has that fear, another part of me has hope. And it’s not just a little bit of hope, but massive amounts of it, otherwise I’d never be capable of dreaming.
So here is my challenge, and if you have ever had your own negative flashes you are welcome to join in: the challenge is to nurture the ideas that comes first, our ability to hope and to imagine. Let’s feed that part of our mind, and help it learn to follow through. Fear will get you nowhere, hope can take you anywhere.
I want to learn about Catherine Who Hopes. She has some good ideas. I reckon she should be introduced to Catherine Who Acts. And we don’t need to invite that other fearful Catherine along to the party.
Anyhow, this is what I’m thinking about, and I think it makes sense. Why haven’t I noticed my positive side before when it comes to life, and when it comes to cancer? Well, because I was scared of this fear that has been running through me. But at least I am now noticing the hopeful flash too. At least I realize it is there. That is power in itself. And it’s also a really good starting point for change.
P.S. I will not be writing 365 posts, because I think it’s better to just not. This isn’t about fear, this is about me not wanting to blog that much! Better to be focusing on that bestseller goal!