Small Picture Big Picture
By: James Foley
Small Picture Big Picture
One thing being a cancer patient has taught me is just how small a picture we have in understanding the experiences of our life. To be able to understand our current stressful snapshot of life it is helpful to step out of the moment and see the big moving picture of life.
This blog was written while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
Life is more than our current moment
Cancer treatment as with all life has its moments of dark and light.
If I have pain, that pain is all I can think about. If I have been denied discharge I feel angry and frustrated, that my right to family hugs, to feel a cool breeze on my face has been stolen from me.
While it is mostly negatives that preoccupy me there are occasional positives like not needing any I.V.s for the day or even hours out at home.
It is good to be grounded in the moment. It is an essential part of being self aware. To be self aware means to be aware of the where, what, why etc of your present moment. If we are not grounded in the moment of the here and now we have nothing to build upon for knowing the greater picture of our lives. The picture we need to be truly self aware.
Self awareness has a context. Our present moment is not the full picture to base our perception of ourselves on. All that is happening to me now is in the context of having cancer and its treatment.
In this current moment I forget there is more to who I am than having chemotherapy for cancer.
Denial: Loosing sight of the big picture
I forget that all the moments I am currently experiencing are part of having cancer and the treatment of chemotherapy. So when I struggle with the why questions it is because I have lost sight of the bigger picture.
That bigger picture for now, always comes back to me having cancer. If I really thought it through I would see how my cancer is itself part of a bigger landscape in my life.
Part of the struggle with losing sight of my big picture of life is because to a degree I never accepted loosing my life to cancer in the first place.
I am blessed to know that my cancer is very treatable and curable. As a result I never felt cancer should take my life away. Unfortunately complications arose and I have been in hospital more than expected.
Still there is a thin line between denial of being sick and believing my life is all about my cancer.
As a symbol of how I need to be bigger picture focused I have used a picture taken by my younger son as the photo at the top of this post. It is of a fuchsia flower in our back garden.
When I am half way through four long days of chemotherapy there is still a fuchsia flowering in the back garden and my son is practicing his photography taking a big picture of it.