There was rage inside of me today. Pure rage. I didn’t know what it was at first. I just felt rage at the hardness of heart that lacked a complete understanding of what it is to experience cancer. A complete lack of compassion. One human being unable to even imagine walking in another’s footsteps. One human being unable to feel for the plight of another.

It really unsettled me. Threw me right off centre. And while I didn’t act on the rage, I certainly felt it. And so did those around me. The air was palpable.

While I resist the idea of ‘survivorship’, the perspective we have on life post cancer is different, isn’t it. For many of us it’s about becoming real. Understanding what’s really important. Understanding what really matters. Gaining a perspective on life that was not there before. Gaining compassion for our fellow travellers.

As I talked with a friend about the rage I felt, I suddenly shifted. Because I realised that this person who was hard of heart was really the one in need of compassion. For to have compassion is to invite love and happiness into your own life and others. And to be hard of heart is to push that away.

It is a gift to be able to walk in another’s shoes. To understand and not to judge. And as I let go my own judgement and felt compassion for the one who needed it most, to my relief my rage subsided …

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” ― 14th Dalai Lama

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