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Can cancer open a door to a new life?

Can cancer open a door to a new life? And can life keep getting better as we age?

Absolutely.

There will be dips in our journey, of course.

But while aging has its perils and challenges just like any other phase of our lives, it also has a remarkable promise to offer – a promise that has been with us since our birth – the opportunity to experience more of our real self, our genuine nature.

It was a shock, without a doubt, being diagnosed with colon cancer recently at the age of 81. It was the last thing I expected.

But I begin to see more clearly that our challenges truly can be a door to a new life, and that there is a source of peace within ourselves that is untouched by the calamities that come upon us.

It is not only untouched and unharmed by any of our suffering, it wants to express itself in new ways and put forth new shoots.

I find myself becoming more engaged with life and conscious of new, interesting possibilities I was unaware of before. For example, I’ve never been good with figures. I’ve never been good with money, perhaps because I’m a poet at heart and was concerned with much more important things than mere money, ha-ha.

But a day or so ago, when my wife and I needed to look over our monthly bills, I actually had a practical, sensible idea how best to proceed and it impressed the heck out of her.

It was a foible I have carried with me for a long time – this disdain for money – and I finally faced my foible. Now I actually enjoy thinking about money and how I can deal with it wisely.

Is this a secret of happy aging? When we face our foibles – not judging them, or condemning them, but simply becoming more aware of them and changing our ways where needed – we can engage with life more fully and the light that is in us can shine more brightly.

It’s not only my attitude to money that seems to be changing. I see other new shoots emerging. Simple moments take on new wonder.

I went outside just now and sat in the porch to relax with a glass of wine before lunch. The neighbor’s four young children were playing nearby. It was a war game, as it often is, with the oldest child in command, as usual. As I listened and watched, I too was a child playing at defeating an enemy army. I was reminded again of the timelessness of being and of our true nature.

The beautiful truth is that whatever adversity may come our way as we age, something utterly magnificent that we could never have imagined in our wildest dreams — something that is not limited by time or compromised by disease — will put forth new shoots in us as we trust our unconquerable spirit and listen to the nudges of our heart.

I send greetings and best wishes. Please check out my new book, “The Secret Promise of Aging,” at Amazon, and of course I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Anh Phu May 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Dear Mr Foster,
I sincerely wish you well. I’ve received your newsletter and enjoy sharing you writing.
Have a good day.
Anh

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Christopher Foster May 9, 2014 at 9:57 am

Many thanks for your kind note Anh. Best wishes to you.

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Marisa May 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Dearest Christopher,
You never cease to amaze me with your insight. I have read your post 4 times, each time with a new perspective, understanding, and gratitude. Life is definitely a never ending classroom, for the mind, the body, the spirit, and the soul.
I continue my walks and support for your health, and thank you with all of my being for coming into my life with your teachings.
with love and positive energy,
Marisa

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Christopher Foster May 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

Your comments always uplift my spirits and bring joy to my heart. I don’t know of any greater gift than the gift of real friendship. Thank you so much for the gift of friendship and support that you offer and “back at you,” Marisa, as they say.

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solidgoldcreativity May 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Beautiful post, Christopher. Sending my best wishes for your wellbeing (and the wellbeing of your finances :)

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Christopher Foster May 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

A kind, cool comment. Thank you. And a special thank you for your encouragement re my finances, I need all the encouragement that I can get as far as that arena is concerned:-)

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sheela May 8, 2014 at 8:16 am

Dear Happy Seeker,
Thanks for your inspiring updates on life and its challenges. Theres something pleasant and simple in the way , you project your thoughts . And your musings on life after cancer is very touching , kindling a feeling of strong empathy. I am sure You will come out of it soon with less pain and more insight into human mind and emotions. Wishing You all the Best.

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Christopher Foster May 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

It’s lovely to hear from you Sheela. Thank you for your kind thoughts, and I really appreciate your support and good wishes. All the best to you too.

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Luanne May 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

Dear Chris,
I hear you. New shoots, indeed. They are never-ending as we meet each opportunity with radiant expression. I really love what you describe about finances. I, also, am learning to respect this aspect of my living. Maybe as we get older we can lose our grip on the derision we have held around certain things and people. We just lessen the grasp and in so doing allow the new shoots to sprout. Lovely. Lovely. Thank you.

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Christopher Foster May 9, 2014 at 10:12 am

Your words are very wise and penetrating Luanne. Thanks so much for your comment. I love your thought that it’s not really all that hard to change our ways, we just “loosen our grip” on our old ways. It’s never too late, is a favorite saying that brings me a lot of comfort.

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Carlos May 8, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Dear friend: your words bring inspiration and remind us that we have the opportunity to let our light shine in every moment, in every circumstance.
Thanks for your living example and your love.
It is a privilege to share the road with friends like you.
Much love to you, my friend!!!

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Christopher Foster May 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

What a pleasure to hear from you Carlos. So far away in one sense but so close in another sense. Life is a mystery and a wonder, isn’t it. Much love to you and thank you so much for keeping in touch.

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Gail Brenner May 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm

So simply and beautifully said, Christopher. May you flourish in your new shoots! I love your embodiment of trust, your willingness to accept so deeply whatever appears. Deepest love…

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Christopher Foster May 10, 2014 at 10:05 am

Gail, thank you so much for your kind words and sentiments. My sense of connection with you is very precious to me. On we go, right?

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David Chilstrom May 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I just finished Ken and Treya Wilber’s luminous book Grace and Grit. The book chart’s 36 year old Treya’s 5 year oddysey with a fatal breast cancer, diagnosed 10 days into their marriage. I admire the immense courage they displayed, as caregiver/husband and wife with cancer. Trial by fire. Such hardship quickly puts things into perspective and gives emphasis to the old saw “There’s no time like the present.” May your journey continue to quicken your joy and enliven your presence.

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Christopher Foster May 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

David, thank you for your good wishes, and thank you for your most interesting and touching input about Ken and Treya’s book. Grace and grit. It’s what is called for in each one of us these days isn’t it. Again, thank you again for your comments, they are much appreciated by me and by others. Love and blessings to you.

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Christopher Foster May 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

Thank you Tadalista. I appreciate your kind words.

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SandiO May 19, 2014 at 6:58 am

Thank you for sharing in your personal journey with cancer, Chris. Like your topic on ‘Death’, the big “C” word is something most all of us fear. How we accept and deal with both of these is unique in itself. Sharing a view that perhaps we haven’t considered brings comfort and hope. Thank you again for your loving spirit!
Sandi O

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Christopher Foster May 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm

I appreciate your comment Sandi, very much, and I’m sorry for the delay in responding. It is interesting how a word like cancer can become imbued with such very painful and difficult feelings, yet it’s completely understandable too, of course.

There is a scripture I have always loved: ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ I would like to think that it is actually possible to see words such as cancer and death — for example — in a new light, because our attitudes and approach to such phenomena changes.

Again, I’m so thankful for your interest and support for my blog. Blessings.

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Manju Devi May 22, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I am a new blogger and these day’s trying to become a successful blogger with my blog. Many times i feel demotivated and feel their is nothing more which i can do with my blog have your website niche. Then, i visit websites likes your and again start feeling that i have to do something and i start my work one more time.
So, i kindly want to say thank’s to you for writing such a beautiful article and keep doing this. As, it’s motivates many new bloggers like me.
Manju Devi recently posted..Soorme Punjab De Lyrics Song By Sukshinder Shinda

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Christopher Foster May 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm

What a wonderful comment Manju. Thank you so much. Believe me, you have A LOT to offer your readers and I wish you all the very best with your endeavors. Blessings.

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