Friday, April 23, 2010

Soul Survivors

One of my very best friends is a cancer survivor. She bears the wounds of war with humor and fortitude; the life and death battle changed her in remarkable ways. She has more patience, more joy in the small things, more compassion and more generosity than before her illness. I treasure time spent with her as some of that always rubs off on me.

She wouldn’t have chosen the path of medical treatments that were as life-threatening as the disease she fought. She wouldn’t have chosen the high cost – physically, financially, emotionally – she experienced as she battled to live. But as she fought, her spirit grew strong and she pressed through to a victory that is sweet indeed. She wouldn’t have chosen that path but as she emerged from the darkness, I’m sure she wouldn’t willingly give up what she gained for the chance to erase that journey.

Some call it survivor’s joy; the zest for living that comes from a near-death experience. My question today is, what’s it going to take for each of us to appreciate every day, live fully in the moment and as James Dean said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow”?

There’s a sense of urgency in the way these soul survivors live, though it’s not a stressful urgency. It’s more a sense of not being willing to delay any of the important things in life; an ability to discern what’s truly essential for a life well lived. It’s designing a life of no regrets, which means being quick to forgive and slow to become angry. It’s participating by doing the best you can with what you’ve got instead of whining that others have more.

For soul survivors, playing it safe is no longer a viable option. It’s time to push the limits and throw off restraint. You can be authentic and real and if there are those who would judge and disapprove, such is life.

I choose a survivor’s attitude & joy today. Each of us have no doubt survived innumerable tests and battles. May we drink deeply from the cup of courage and step out into a new freedom. Today’s the Day!

* I've been writing for business and this piece was born out of someone telling me that I need to "bury the urgency" when I speak and teach. Can't do it. Don't want to either. If you want to encourage me today, consider subscribing to my Life Notes. (I'll be giving away a book next week to one new subscriber! This is weekly updates from my training business, LifePoint.) This is a shameless plug, but I know you well enough to ask! Have an awesome weekend.


Kelly Combs said...

Tis a blessing to be able to have the survivors joy without having to endure the fear of life loss. Keep that joy and don't let anyone put out your flame!

sara said...

love this post!

and I'll be heading over to scribe right now!

FancyHorse said...

I praise God for your friend's survival, and for her new-found joy, patience, and other gifts!

Fuschia said...

This is what my soul has been trying to articulate to my mind...thank you for doing it so well!!