This is the third in a series of posts on authenticity. Today’s topic is how your fighting spirit will get you through anything. You’ve probably overcome challenges and maybe even tragedies in your life and it was your fighting spirit that got you through.
Here’s where I used my fighting spirit. My parents died. Raising three kids in a 22 year abusive marriage. A divorce court battle that lasted ten years. I got my college degree and my MA, I spent my junior year of college in Florence, Italy and had the time of my life. After college, I spent a year in Mexico and learned how to speak, read and write Spanish fluently. My son had a horrible struggle with alcohol, but is now eight months sober. I left a soul sucking job, January 31, 2020 and now I’m working full-time on this blog. Think about past experiences in your life. Was your fighting spirit what got you through? I know it was there for me, but I didn’t recognize it at the time.
When you step up despite being put down
Sometimes it’s hard to see, or give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished. I didn’t like my job at the state because I had a boss who passed me over again and again for promotions, as me and my co-workers watched as she advanced her “favorites” who couldn’t hold a candle to how I worked. However, because of my fighting spirit, I worked hard, was creative, trained over 6000 people in personal growth workshops, developed leadership programs, improved my technical skills and was well-liked by co-workers and staff. When I left, I took my work ethic, creativity, training expertise, technical knowledge and curiosity with me and now I pour it all into my blog ❤️.
I had a very painful marriage and endured a ten year divorce battle. I could only afford an attorney for the first few years. After that I represented myself and judges don’t treat you as well if you don’t have an attorney. My dad offered to help me pay for an attorney at year ten and she gave me the best advice ever. She said: “he hasn’t paid you for the last 10 years, why would he start now?” I was relieved. The stress of dealing with a hateful and revenge- obsessed ex, besides a broken court system, was taking all the energy and fun out of my life. I wish I’d done it sooner. So I let go of the money he owed me and got my freedom back.
At the beginning of the divorce proceedings the judge ordered me to get a job. And as I say above, I didn’t love it but I stuck around for 11 years. My tenacity paid off. I got some kick-ass skills, got to keep my awesome medical benefits and I get a monthly pension. My tenacity paid off.
The diagnosis no one wants
In March, 2016 I got diagnosed with breast cancer. I was completely blindsided and terrified. I felt like it was a death sentence. It was horrible, as those of you who’ve waited for any kind of results on a scary diagnosis know. Fortunately, they caught it somewhat early. The treatment was surgery, chemotherapy, and medication. It was surreal when I was going through it, and the side effects of chemo and losing your hair were no picnic.
But I made it through
However, I made it through. My surgeon👩⚕️and treatment doctors👩⚕️were unbelievable. At my first appointment, the surgeon, asked me what I knew about my cancer. I said I knew it was treatable. She put her hand on my knee, looked me square in the face and said: “All breast cancer it treatable.” Even though my brother, who’s a doctor, came with me, she focused 100% on me. She spent an hour and a half with me and I felt like I was the only patient she’d had all day. The attention and compassion were amazing. I feel the same way about my treatment doctor. I see her about every four months and I LOVE going to see her. Who says that about going to a cancer appointment? You never know what you’re going to get, especially when the going gets rough, but remember, your fighting spirit will get you through anything.
After surgery, the doctors did a biopsy and found no cancer in the lymph-nodes which was great news! I made it through 4 rounds of chemo, feeling worse after each treatment🤢. Watching my hair fall out was terrifying. I had some peach fuzz which was kind of encouraging, but at the end of the day I was basically bald👩🦲. Well all day actually. That’s how I discovered my fighting spirit. I don’t like the term “breast cancer survivor.” I saw a poster I liked that said “breast cancer thriver.” I can live with that.
I didn’t always recognize my fighting spirit
Honestly, during those difficult times it didn’t feel like I had much of a fighting spirit, but I really did. And, it’s not like I want to get COVID19, but hey, I battled cancer, just saying. So look at your past and see where you got out those boxing gloves and fought the hard fight. Give yourself credit for how finding your fighting spirit helped you succeed. And never forget that your fighting spirit will get your through anything!
And now for what you need to do…
Really reflect on what you’ve accomplished, whether it be going back to school and getting a degree, raising kids, tackling a challenging job or project, quitting smoking, alcohol, or leaving an unhealthy relationship. Maybe you have or are taking care of elderly parents, are new to being an empty nester, or have lost someone dear to you and miss them. And you can’t forget this COVID19 mess–what have you done to adapt to these new circumstances? Your fighting spirit is alive and well so give yourself a huge high five and know that the next time you face a challenge, that you’ve got what it takes to make it through. And remember – your fighting spirit will get you through anything!
Next week I’ll be discussing shame and trauma with some great ways you can free yourself from its control.
I would so love ❤️ ❤️ to hear from you on stories where your fighting spirit was shining through. Leave a comment or click the button below to email me.
From my pen ✍️to your heart ❤️–Kathy