Tag Archive 'blessings'

Jun 05 2010

Counting Blessings – Issue #53

A good friend of mine recently returned home from a weekend trip with her husband and found that someone had broken into their house and stolen several pieces of expensive jewelry, including her wedding rings. At first she cried, but very quickly she shifted into acceptance and told me that I was the reason why. She said she thought about me and reasoned that she didn’t have cancer, and no one died — that put things into perspective for her. She learned the lesson from the experience and was able to let it go.

That is a great illustration that how we choose to think about things affects our sense of wellbeing. It inspired me to focus on what I’m grateful for on this cancer journey, and I’d like to share some of it with you in this update.

About two weeks ago I had a CT scan which showed that my tumor is responding to treatment. After four weeks, the 2” x 3” tumor shrunk to one fourth its original size. It’s gone from an egg to a grape. That is good news!

I am also grateful that for the last 2 weeks I haven’t had chemo because my blood counts have been low. I needed a break from the relentless nausea and I got it. I’m using this reprieve to eat better, exercise more, and fortify my body.

This treatment could have been far worse. I haven’t lost any hair! I haven’t had to take narcotics as they’d said I might — Ibuprofen is handling the pain and discomfort.

I’m grateful that I’m in the homestretch — there is just three more days of radiation treatment (and possibly one more chemo session, depending on my blood count). During these weeks of treatment, time has crawled like a snail. Now there is an end in sight. Yay!

Occasionally the fear comes up for me, what if this doesn’t work? The doctor said that if the tumor doesn’t completely disappear, it will grow back. When this fear appears, I’ve been doing the only thing I have control over — I’ve been training myself to come into the present. Throughout the day I say to myself, “Present moment, only moment.” It is a blessing to be strengthening my ability to be fully present in the moment. It’s a goal of mine in this lifetime, and feels like a huge accomplishment.

I am grateful for Tom who is taking such good care of me, and also himself and not letting himself become burned out. I am grateful for friends and family and the people who have been on this journey with me, giving me so much love and support. Thank you!

I feel blessed that my cancer experience is of service to some people, like my friend who put her loss into perspective and was able to let it go. People have told me that it has reminded them that life is precious and has inspired them to get more focused on what it is they’re here to do, and what it is they really want. I feel honored and grateful to be of service in this way.

I am counting my many blessings. I am Here and Now. I am happy to be alive. There’s always someone who has it worse off than us. My heart fills with compassion for them, and gratitude that I’m not them! It’s all relative.

How about you? Counted your blessings lately? They really are plentiful when we look for them.

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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Aug 12 2009

Beautiful Bountiful Basketful of Blessings – #23

My aunt Jinny had a magnet on her refrigerator that said, “God grant me the strength to accept my blessings.” I was never sure if it was referring to “blessings” as hardships, or, was it actually referring to it as the wonderful things that happen in our lives? Those blessings can often be the most difficult to accept.

Tom has been away on a trip to Minnesota visiting his family and friends. As the days go by I am starting to feel like the single woman that I was for so many years, spending long hours alone, just me and the kitties. I begin to marvel, “Is this wonderful, sweet-souled, warm-hearted, big Love of a man really in my life?” How blessed am I!? A better question is, how blessed can I allow myself to be? Along that line, I’d like to share with you an excerpt from my book in progress, “Miracle Marriage”:

   “A few years ago Tom and I were enjoying our honeymoon in Cambria, California. About sixteen years earlier I had been there with a boyfriend named Dan. As Tom and I walked the streets hand in hand I flashed back to that painful time. I was ensconced in my “not good enough” mindset back then. Dan wanted me for a weekend, but I wasn’t a keeper. Physically, I looked as good as I’d ever looked, but that was not enough; I was not enough. Here in Cambria, with Tom, I could feel a flicker of sadness for the woman I was back then with Dan who thought so little of herself; but mostly I felt amazed and thrilled at how far I’d come and the wonderful turn my life had taken.

   Tom and I were browsing in one of the cute Cambria stores and we got separated. I looked through the store but couldn’t find him. I went into nearby stores looking for him, thinking that maybe he’d left the store without telling me. He was nowhere in sight. I began to feel a little scared. I stood on the street corner and for a brief instant I had a twilight zone moment where I wondered if it had all been just a dream. Was I here with Dan all those years ago, unwanted? Had I just hallucinated being loved and cherished and on my honeymoon with this wonderful man named Tom?

   I looked down at my body and was relieved to see it was the twenty-pounds-heavier body of present time. Phew! But where was Tom? I went back to the store where I’d lost him and there he was. He’d never left the store. He hugged me and took my hand and I happily nestled back into this present reality where I was treasured. It’s funny, in the past I’d always thought I was five pounds away from being lovable. Now here I was twenty pounds heavier and I was loved and valued by someone who had discovered my intrinsic value, but only after I had discovered it and fully owned and embodied it.”

I am finding that owning my intrinsic value is an ongoing process. Tom told me yesterday that he was listening to a Marianne Williamson tape on his trip and one quote she cited stood out to him, “God gives us dreams one size too big so we can grow into them.” I continue to grow into my dream of being loved and valued; I am still getting comfortable with accepting my inherent worthiness. My favorite quote from Marianne Williamson says:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

When we hide our light under a basket, we become a basket case. It takes courage to remove the basket and let our light shine in all its’ brilliance – and it takes strength to turn that basket over and happily receive our blessings.

 Are you letting your light fully shine? Are you willing to accept a beautiful bountiful basketful of blessings? We deserve all the riches that life is offering us, awaiting our acceptance. I affirm: Yes, thank you, I accept.

 In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

 

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