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February 2023: Update

It's clear from your update that February brought its challenges, both physically and emotionally. The honesty and vulnerability in your writing are powerful. Here's the content with some minor edits for clarity and punctuation:



 

I am once again at the last day of the month and have not worked on this month’s update and don’t really have the energy, so I will write a little and then post a journal entry. February was a rough month. Lots of crying and depression. Additionally, I had two skin cancers removed as well as a toenail that kept becoming ingrown. I feel like I am on the upswing though. Physically, I am the same. This month has been much more of a mental and emotional challenge. But in the midst of it, I have stumbled across some very helpful truths. Oh, and I did make a new friend this month. A girl by the name of Alanis Morissette. So, that was really cool.

 

This next part is a journal entry about some things I am learning. I have been engaged in a few minor conflicts over the past two months with various people. A couple of friends of mine, the administration at one of the kids’ schools, some family, and a few others. At first, I was annoyed by the tension and angst as I thought I had outgrown angst. However, the more I have meditated and sat with these feelings, I have come to see that I like a little conflict in my life.

 

As I reflect over my life, some of my closest friendships are with those who I had conflict with, and we worked through it together. And upon further reflection, those that chose not to work through our conflict, I have very little respect for, as I have had people walk straight out of my life rather than sit down at a table with me and discuss.

 

I used to be intimidated by conflict, but I always chose to embrace it, and it more often than not made those relationships stronger. So, if we have no conflict, how do we grow and mature? And it has me thinking, why are we so averse to conflict? And why do so many hope to avoid or escape it? It reminds me of the lyric from Arcade Fire’s song "Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)," “But a life without pain would be boring.”

 

As I have progressed in my disease, I have really come to be very good at my practices of meditation and finding my Zen. As part of that, I began to feel angst and other things fade away. So, when these feelings of conflict began to arise, I was conflicted and annoyed as to why and even upset with myself thinking I should be past this. However, my buddy, Crispin, and I have been having this ongoing conversation for about two years about the Taoist teaching that things in our lives are not good or bad. They simply are.

 

Interestingly enough, Alanis and I found ourselves having the same conversation when talking about anger and how anger is considered bad, but how anger, properly channeled, can move mountains. So, I don’t see my desire for conflict as good or bad but instead as an opportunity.

 

One thing Alanis said when I asked her if the anger is gone, and she replied, "I wouldn’t say it’s gone. I would just say maybe now I just channel it for good and for justice."

 

So, I have been wrestling through this, and though it has been difficult, it has also been highly rewarding. I told my friend today that I think I handle this disease pretty well most days, but fuck, there are some days when I just can’t handle it. That has been most of February, so here’s to March 2023. Hoping for a little more sunshine.

 

For all of you reading this. Thank you. For your meals and your thoughts and prayers, thank you. For your financial support, thank you. For being here for it. Thank you.

 

Love.

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