Friday, 17 January 2020

BRiC's Collective Voice: Our values before and after BC diagnosis; Jan 12; 2020

‘Now it is about living one day at a time and being kind to ourselves, perhaps we are more spontaneous’.

For first Sunday discussion of 2020 we focused on ''Values and Behaviours'' and how these may have changed since our cancer diagnosis.

Let's start with a personal values definition. Personal values are the things that are important to us, the characteristics and behaviours that may motivate us and guide our decisions. Living by them sounds simple in theory and it should be natural to live by them, but sometimes it's not so easy.

Naz mentioned how she challenged and supported a student's 'fate' during discussions with the university board and suggested that standing up for the 'right' thing to do is a sign of truly living by our values and behaviours, like fighting someone's corner! Being bold, assertive and determined to put ourselves first, we may be bolder and heartier and find laughter. However, crying out loud is not a weakness but shows our inner strength.
Some members enjoyed personal achievements or we enjoyed treating family and friends, make donations to good causes, which gives us a sense of belonging.

We tend to worry less about material things because they are less important, silly things don't matter as we are only human, and it’s about self-acceptance, self-compassion, self-forgiveness. People and their feelings are the real meaning in our lives.
Often, we enjoy our own company which is about self-care, self-love (compassion) and happiness.

Our outlook in the workplace changes and we take action for a better work/life balance as our life is precious, just as much as the lives of those we love. Watching TV all afternoon or treating ourselves is not laziness or being extravagant, we re-frame it as self-care.
We might value making a difference to someone who needs help to live their life well, as every second counts and we put things into perspective, a bit like looking through a different 'lens'.

Planning for the future used to be an activity that was part of our daily routine, now it is about living one day at a time and being kind to ourselves, perhaps we are more spontaneous. Taking risks which we may not have dared to take previously, it’s about bending the rules. We no longer save clothes for 'Sunday' best, we now enjoy wearing them every day, as we have learned that 'NOW' is all that matters.

Appreciating every breath we take, valuing simple things in life, embracing our existence, valuing our changes and learning to accept/live with our 'new normal'.

Thank you Jan Snape for the following poem.

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