November 26, 2006

Achieving Happiness

Got chemo number five out of the way on time which was a relief. It means that the last one will be out of the way by mid December giving me a chance to have a good relaxing Christmas. The cumulative effects mean that I am taking a bit longer to recover each time and my hands and feet are tingling more, but I can still do things although I don’t have much strength.

More interesting is working on future prevention. I am currently working on understanding what brings me happiness as this will enable me to survive and grow. Fairly obvious, one would think, but reading the Dalai Lama’s words it becomes clear that there is a big gap between pleasure and happiness. Happiness is watching the sunlight dappling through the trees at Brandon Marsh. Pleasure is having a new item of clothing or seeing a good film. Kindness, compassion, gentleness are all qualities that I have to bring to myself to allow happiness. I mentioned previously that I have been working with the Clinical Health Psychologist at the hospital, with Acitve chi therapy and now reading the Dalai Lama. They all say the same thing. I was not expecting such convergence, but it is mind-blowing and stomach-churning. These ideas are vital to my survival.

Learning them is hard. A few steps forward and several back, but being kind to myself is essential. Learning meditation and relaxation gently is a major part of the change. It is not easy and I don’t always succeeed, but I slowly I will change and grow. I can even begin to understand and forgive last year’s attacks on me.

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