A Smile Costs Nothing But Gives Much

cancer voice in asiaSmiling wooden figure. Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

You’ve got cancer! Smile!

Are you kidding me? Smile?

When my doctor told me I had cancer, nothing was the same anymore. Having cancer was like a point of no return. No trace of a smile was found on my face. Only fears and uncertainties filled my whole being.

If you had asked me before I was diagnosed with cancer, my heart was pounding out of my chest. I can’t wait to know if the bump that stayed on my upper right thigh was a tumor or not.

When I met my doctor weeks after my surgical removal, I cried my heart out, but actually, no sound came out of my lips. There are only silent teardrops that filled my eyes.

The news was shocking, I felt dreadful and something that occurred right that instant moment, as if a great wall suddenly built in front of me that I could impossibly get through to my friends and my family anymore. The fear of dying at that moment made me feel so detached from them.

It is never easy for someone diagnosed with cancer to smile.

It is also never easy for someone who cares and wanted to communicate with a patient or survivor. Sometimes words are uncomfortably be uttered.

But YOU can bring a smile to a cancer survivor or patient’s face.

So, if you know someone who is diagnosed with cancer, make your communication simple. With your love, empathy, and smile you can let them know how important he or she in your life.

Showing love doesn’t necessarily have to be from a romantic partner, family or best friend. Sometimes, a stranger is capable to show overwhelming love to someone who is facing something unfamiliar and unpredictable as a cancer diagnosis.

In my journey, I can say that I was so fortunate to feel the love from few people who were there for me during my diagnosis. They are like angels who have this inner beauty that is capable to show great love even from someone who they just met.

Not all cancers are alike, my cancer experience could never be the same as others. Even I met a fellow sarcoma survivor with the same site of tumor with mine, our diagnosis and cancer journey are totally different.

Make your love known to someone has cancer simple by simply listening to him/her. No matter how hard we try to understand them, you will never really understand what they’re going through. Showering advice to someone that has cancer may not actually assure you that they will feel better. Because, sometimes, all they need is someone who can listen to them.

Why empathy, not sympathy?

“Empathy is the thread that connects us to other humans. When empathy is used in everyday life, it makes us feel more connected to one another. And when we feel connected to those around us, we into better, more compassionate people.” Brene Brown

How can you connect yourself to someone who is suffering from pain every minute, every day? When a “no respond” from your questions makes you already disappointed and leave that person alone.

Why not show some small act of kindness? Maybe make a relaxing tea for him/her, make a quick grocery before you visit a friend that has cancer or leave a simple message/note (written or digital). It’s these little things that can make a difference that might change the mood of a cancer patient/survivor.

A smile can be a verb or noun, it’s a facial expression showing how kind and amusing you are where your lips turn up and the front teeth exposed. But a smile is not just a simple definition.

A smile is a very powerful thing that cost nothing but gives much.

There is nothing much to smile about for someone who has cancer. Maybe your smile is needed today. Your smile can bring hope and encouragement to those who suffer from cancer.

A happy person can have 40 to 50 times smile in one day. An average one can have 20 times, why not give one of your smiles to someone you know who is now suffering from the pain cancer has brought?

Had you given a smile to someone who has cancer yet? Or maybe suffering from any chronic illnesses or pain, or maybe depression.

If you haven’t yet, don’t wait for tomorrow. Give one of yours now. Smile!!!

And don’t forget to share your thoughts, leave a comment below!

We’re Feeling Feelings Every Day

The feeling may be fleeting. Here's one second then it's gone.
The feeling may be fleeting. Here’s one second then it’s gone.

It’s just the way that you’re feeling now. It might just change somehow.

So, I was inspired today to write this article about feelings. After publishing two more interviews recently, I always think to offset from one blog to another. Like after writing a kind of downcast personal story, another lighthearted article must follow. I don’t want my audience to feel so abounding by keep bringing out survivors’ story.

So how did I come up with this topic? I was in the middle of my class with my preschool students and played a YouTube video about emotions. I was caught up between the lyrics of the song, which of course I am gonna share some parts of the lyrics with you.

I’m happy, she’s mad.
I’m a boy, she’s a girl.
And this is the world.
I’m hungry, he’s thirsty.
I’m sick, and he’s tired.
He’s a boy, I’m a girl.
And this is the world.

You get happy, you get sad.
You get angry, you get mad.
You go to bed, then you wake up.
You might be just OK.
It’s just the way that you’re feeling now.
Wait a while.
It might just change somehow.

It’s just the way that you’re feeling.
The feeling may be fleeting.
Here’s one second then it’s gone.
We’re feeling feelings every day.
We’re experiencing emotions along the way.
Some are good and some are bad.
Some wish you never had.

But, hey!
That’s just the way we’ve got to play.

If all of us could realize, how amazing the ability of the children to extend their hope to every adult, their happiness, and their potential to adapt to change with ease. These children have the desire to live, to know and they are the perfect example of daily entertainment.

As a preschool teacher, I had witnessed how my adorable kids in the classroom manage to alter a negative feeling into a positive one. When someone gets angry, a simple hug could easily relieve their feelings. There are so many lessons to learn from them, if you just could realize this, you might wish to go back to being a little more like them!

I list down some keen observation about my preschool students for a year that we are together:

  1. None of them are afraid of new happenings.
    Have you ever felt sorry about the things that you are supposed to do but never did it ever? Don’t let yourself get caught with the phrase “what if…”. It’s always better to regret what you’ve done than what you haven’t done. It’s always better to fail than to doubt.
  2. They are always curious.
    Newton was curious and discovered gravity. Well, we don’t have to be like Newton, though. But being curious about learning new things like the children do leads towards self-fulfillment. Discovering new places to visit is one, for example.
  3. Carpe Diem!
    In other words, seize the day! Children don’t let the moment slip away; instead, they take advantage of each moment.
    Take advantage of the good times, the bad ones will change somehow. The next day will be fine. Live, enjoy and take advantage of your time!
    When you are sick or lost a loved one, you might notice how much time you took for granted. Everything is moving quickly and we should be aware of that.
  4. They love fearlessly.
    The older we get, the more scared we are to fall in love. Well, maybe for some reasons, we need to consider that our emotions as an adult always comes along with a responsibility.
    But, why are we so afraid of love? For children, they simply love, there’s nothing more to it. They never think of tomorrow that their friends at school will be just simply a memory when they become adult. They just what they have today!
    To be in love or to love is one of the most beautiful things in life, but sometimes, we are afraid of rejection, suffering or betrayal. And we never realize that everything passes even the rejection, suffering and betrayal. But when you are happy with being in love, no one can take that away from you.
  5. They can easily adapt to change.
    A new student came in our class recently and eventually, everything went okay. Children are really expert in embracing change. Isn’t it “change” always restore and improve our life?
  6. They don’t worry about what others think or say.
    While the young children are not bothered what others think or say, adults are too sensible of the people that surround them. We never think what we want, listen to our heart and act according to how we are.
  7. They always get excited.
    Children never stop getting excited about things and experiences that they have every day. Sadly, when they grow up, this tends to change. What if we never stop getting excited like a child over a new career, new love, a new friendship, your achievements (no matter how big or small it is), or the little things that happen every day.
  8. They know what fun is and they have FUN.
    Forget all the fears and prejudgment of what your negative thoughts tell you or other people will say about you. Fun is fun! Children enjoy themselves, laugh as hard as they could and have fun because they don’t mind what other people will say about them, even their teachers in the classroom – really (I’m smirking now…well)!
  9. They express themselves honestly.
    We often don’t speak freely, that is why sometimes other people get depressed. We are afraid of being rejected, our words or ideas will be turned down. We instead choose what to say what other people wanted to hear until we ended up not feeling good inside.
    Like a child, it is liberating to express oneself honestly.
  10. They don’t know everything.
    As we all know that children are curious because they simply don’t know everything.
    For adults, whether someone as a CEO, a teacher or even a parent, acknowledging of being naive in some sort of things actually makes your personal relationship stronger to other people where you can spend time listening and also improves your performance in whatever field you are working because you always want to learn and to improve.
  11. They ask random questions and never felt afraid or embarrassed.
    Sometimes we are afraid to ask questions because someone will criticize us, call us stupid or ignorant. But, not really! Asking question to other people shows humbleness and willingness to learn. So, go ahead, ask some questions!
  12. They are RELAXED! They don’t force things.
    The last but not the least, are you sometimes wondering why do these children seem so relaxed?
    When children are tired, they sleep, everywhere. Sounds easy for them right? But too complicated for us. We tend to force things and ended up suffering with chronic stress. Just take a breath, there are things that cannot be controlled nor how people react to the things you do.As an author of this blog, I try to keep all the articles as positive as I could. It doesn’t matter to me how my articles will be well-accepted by everyone, what matters to me is, how I create a positive impact on my audience. And to be honest, I am not quite sure, too if I could follow these observations I got from my kids at school. But, why not? Let’s be a child again and never lose our passion to live life and enjoy!

**This article is simply based on what I had observed from my preschool students. I disclaim that as an adult, life will be as perfect as a child. This is just a recommendation and reminder while you are yet or now feeling gloomy or hopeless. Hope it does help.

How does this article resonate with you? Share your thoughts, leave a comment below!

Photo courtesy of Lesly Juarez on Unsplash.com.

Think Healthy To Nourish Your Body (Blog #6)

Be happy for no reason. Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Continue reading Think Healthy To Nourish Your Body (Blog #6)