MKE Week 20 – Turning Bad News Into A New Opportunity

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Category:  Week Twenty


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The past two weeks I’ve been dealing with grief. Reading Og Mandino’s Scroll V has been very difficult and plummeted me into depression. Scroll V deals with death, but it also deals with hope and appreciating every moment of the day because it could be my last.

Mandino repeats eight times,

I will live this day as if it is my last.

Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World, pp. 73-77

Unlike Scroll II that dealt with love and got me through two difficult hospital stays, Scroll III that dealt with persistence and staying focused on goals, and Scroll IV that assured me I was “Nature’s Greatest Miracle,” (pp. 68-72), I found Scroll V to be depressing. Even reading obituaries in the newspaper for two weeks didn’t push me to depression like Scroll V did.

Last week my thoracic surgeon gave me some bad news. I went through three of the four stages of death:

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Grief

I was in denial. I felt healthy and didn’t feel the effects of the disease I had knowingly battled for over two years. Yet, my medical team, especially my thoracic surgeon, informed me the disease was still in my body and would need to be removed. But I felt fine! I’m healthier than I was two-and-a-half years ago!

I felt anger. Anger that in less than four years I would undergo four major surgeries. And like the previous two surgeries, I would not qualify for temporary Medical Employment Insurance. If I don’t work, my family has no income to pay bills.

I did every single treatment my medical team recommended, even when the treatments were worse than the disease, and I’m back to square one. Was I being punished for something I wasn’t aware of?

Then I felt grief. Grief knowing my efforts to stay healthy were for naught. Grief knowing death is inevitable; we all die eventually. Grief knowing my family would have to continue life without me.

In the Master Key Experience Week 20 lesson I was to create 6-10 index cards with a timeline from date of birth to year I thought I’d die. Along this timeline I was to mark where I was currently in relation to the marks for birth and death. Then between the marks where I am currently and death I was to write “How many____do I have left?”

For me, my sentence was “How many springs do I have left?” I have approximately seven more springs left. Then I was to attach what was so special about spring and really feel that connection.

I was instructed to imagine what life would be like if I could take time off from work and other responsibilities that would detract from the enjoyment of spring, and really live it. If I could go on holiday during that time and fully enjoy why spring is so special to me, even better!

Why is spring so special to me? After months of seeing gray skies, naked deciduous trees and shrubs, and decaying plant matter (what a pong!), and feeling cold and wet from frigid wind, rain, or snow, spring arrives with warmth, sunshine, countless singing birds, flowers in all shapes and colours, and green lawns. There is colour everywhere! Even when many of the spring flowers trigger my allergies, I always look forward to springtime!

I resisted the assignment. I focused more on dying than looking at the assignment and focusing on enjoying spring to its full potential. I also resisted reading Scroll V because I focused on death, not living and savoring each moment of life.

The depression demon’s strength was strong. So strong that no matter how many times I said, “I greet today with love in my heart” or “I’m whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, happy, and healthy” a thick cloud of depression engulfed me, weighing me down.

This morning I chose my weapons of love, persistence, and value to battle the depression demon. I used love as my shield to deflect the depression demon’s influence on my Subby, for I am nature’s greatest miracle! I persisted until I succeeded for I am nature’s greatest miracle!

I claimed Og Mandino’s statements:

This day I make the best day of my life. This day I drink every minute to its full. I savor its taste and give thanks. I maketh every hour count and each minute I trade only for something of value. I labor harder than ever before and push my muscles until they cry for relief, and then I continue. Each minute of today [is] more fruitful than hours of yesterday. My last must be my best. I live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.

Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World, pp. 76-77.

I embraced this new challenge. I set aside my denial, anger, and grief. I accepted that this newest treatment will help me get better and live 7+ more spring seasons. I also realized, my time off from work is during the springtime so I can enjoy spring to its full potential! Woo hoo!

Meet Deanna Pulido Baker

I’m a blue from the left coast, wet coast of British Columbia, Canada. My hobbies include collecting inspirational quotes, sending encouraging cards to people, crocheting, reading, writing, gardening, and cooking. I enjoy cultural community events, socializing with friends, and enjoying a home cooked meal with my husband.

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  • You will come through your surgery and will be able to enjoy the spring season and all it’s gifts.

  • What a great share Deanna. You will come through this next surgery with flying colours and be able to spend tons of time outside enjoying all what spring has to offer.

  • Deanna, thank you for your powerful insight, and determined spirit! You ARE whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy! Spring is right around the corner!

  • Beautiful share Deanna! Thank you for giving us the gift of your trust to share your personal journey. Congrats for applying the Law of Substitution and Dual Thought to proactively choose what you are focusing on and the meaning you are giving to it. Giving yourself permission to go thru the different emotions and use them as tools for new perspectives and path forward. Cheers to being present and living each moment to the fullest.

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