I have spoken these words in my life journey. I am sure many of you have as well. It came to me that these simple two words are not simple. They are also connected to my Two Rule philosophy. It hit me as I was recovering from my breast cancer surgery. All of the days leading up to now rushed through my head, and I thought, yes, that is exactly right! We have all done this process or do this thought process daily.
The phone rings, “Hello, this is. Brenda Yoho. My birthday is....”
“Thank you, Mrs. Yoho, for confirming your information with me. I have the results from your biopsy, and unfortunately, it shows breast cancer.”
“Stop, Dr. Royal. I need to get my husband on the phone. I will not hear everything you are saying, and we need to hear what you are telling us.”
This is the point in your mind when you begin with questions. You do not say them out loud, only in your mind. What if they have not caught this cancer in time? What if I have to do all of the treatments that make you sick? What if I lose my hair? What if I only have a short time to live?
As these thoughts process through your mind, all of the what if’s help you determine and become comfortable(if you can say that) you have cancer. Nothing you can do to change that fact; you have cancer. Then why not’s begin to develop in your mind.
Why not begin planning your funeral and things, so others do not have to do it. Why not start cleaning out stuff so others won’t be stuck doing that either. Why not pick out what you would like donations to go to if you pass on. Why not begin making sure everyone is taken care of so they can manage in your absence.
Then wham, it hits you. I can't do this! I can't face this; I am scared. I can’t lose my hair. I can’t take these treatments. I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t believe it. I have breast cancer.
Then I turned to the philosophy I had been practicing for decades, Two Rules. Two rules were more than the two questions and two choices. “Everyone will feel safe and feel good. I can be part of the problem or part of the solution; the choice is always mine to make.” We indeed choose how we react and respond to situations. Everyone includes yourself and those around you. Things happen beyond our control at times. During these times, the lessons are at the highest level of value.
If we open ourselves to the what if, why not, and I can't, it will always lead us to the Two Rule philosophy. Our actions in every situation will be first to make sure of the safety of everyone. Following the guidelines of doctors is the key to this safety. Our next step is to make sure everyone feels good. Asking questions and reassuring everyone of the steps to follow is helpful. Establishing support people is also a great addition. Always know you are never alone!
These what if, why not, and feel safe, feel-good are sets of two questions asked together to equal the same decision-making process. When asking these questions, you are deciding on taking action or not. Then you are looking at the reaction to your action. It is a cause and effect.
“I can't” is a statement more than a question. I can’t is part of the process of crisis thinking and is replaced when questions are asked to help find solutions. My husband has always told me, “can’t can not do anything, but you can.” Replace your “I can’t statement with “I can” statements. Mindsets play a significant role in all we do. Positive mindsets help achieve and overcome!
What if I never talked to you about having breast cancer? I have always shared my stories, hardships, and lessons. Why not let others have a chance to gain understanding, learn something or find hope in what they are struggling with within their lives. I can't imagine not being vulnerable like this and allowing others to see we are all individuals in an unpredictable world.