My diagnosis of uterine cancer over 3 years ago created an ‘emerge and see’ situation, forcing me to emerge to a higher perspective and see clearly what I needed to do to save and enrich my life. Cancer, like any life calamity, is a wake-up call. It opened my eyes in many profound ways -- that’s why I call it The Big See! Here are the top ten things cancer has helped me see more clearly:

1. I see that it’s natural to feel fear about cancer. Cancer is scary. When I try to rise above my feelings, that just positions me better for them to bite me in the butt. Feelings deserve to be heard and honored. Instead of sitting on my feelings, I sit my feelings on my lap like a child and let them speak to me. Once they’re held and heard they start to relax and move through. Emotion is energy in motion.

2. I see that even though my mind always told me that I’m the biggest scaredy cat in the world, what I’ve actually discovered is that I am someone who has the courage to be present with my worst fears, one breath at a time, one foot in front of the other. We have more courage and spirit than we know. When first confronted with adversity, it can seem that life has turned on us; but instead it has turned us ON! It has turned on the big, bright, luminous light of our soul, igniting our courage and strength, inspiring us to put on our big soul panties and deal with it.

3. I see that my experience with cancer has catapulted me into the here and now, helping me to value this moment and cherish life. With time possibly limited, I am motivated to deeply immerse myself in the present moment, savoring it like delicious candy, and to my great delight, time has stretched like taffy into a sweet eternal Nooow!

4. I see that when worries are nipping at my heels, that’s a reminder to take a deep breath, surrender, trust, align with spirit, and ease into that state of grace place where everything works out. Being in a state of grace is being in the flow where synchronicity occurs, coincidences happen, just the right people, books, and events present themselves, and things work out better than I can imagine. It is the realm of unlimited possibilities. It is my “Trust” fund, which I have access to at any time.

5. I see that when our world is blown apart, we are freed from the safety and inertia of the familiar, and are challenged to make changes, take risks, and follow our hearts desire. Cancer has transformed my “someday” dreams into “today is the day, now is the time.” There are many stories of people whose illness has completely healed once they started following their bliss and living a purposeful life.

6. I see that my ego and my soul have very different agendas: my souls passionate agenda is to learn and grow and evolve my consciousness, while my ego’s agenda is to have fun and avoid suffering. When cancer came a calling, my ego wailed in a Mr. Bill whine, “Oh Noooooo. Not another learning opportunity!” My spirit said, “Oh Yeah! Another opportunity to grow! Bring it on!” My ego moaned, “We are in deep doodoo!” My spirit exalted, “Rich compost, yay!” Ego scolded, “Now we’ve gone and done it…our fear has drawn the cancer to us!” Spirit exclaims, “Cool, cancer! It will help us come face to face with fear, feel it fully, and make friends with it!” Ego wants to run for the hills and be safe. Spirit wants to fly like an eagle as high as it can go, fully experiencing life, including fear. In times of crisis our frightened ego may feel like the sky is falling, yet our awakened spirit remembers, “I am the sky.”

7. I see that my thoughts can create heaven or hell, depending on where I’m choosing to dwell. I choose to see that cancer has composted a rich and fertile soil for me, from which is sprouting creativity, inspiration, love, and learning.

8. I see that when I focus on deep breathing it boosts my immune system, activates the lymphatic system, triggers the relaxation response, and energizes and enlivens me. When I'm fully breathing, I'm fully alive. When I'm shallow breathing, I'm shallowly alive. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “He lives most life whoever breathes most air.”

9. I see that as I’m facing my fear of death, I’m embracing it, rather than bracing against it. Leonard Cohen wrote, “If you don’t become the ocean you’ll be seasick every day.” When I come into harmony with all that floats and flounders about in my ocean, I am at peace. AND, since what you resist persists, maybe now that I’m no longer resisting death, it won’t be persisting!

10. I see that Love is the answer – loving my family and friends, loving what is, loving all my feelings about what is, loving myself for not loving what is. It’s all about love. The energy of love is tremendously healing, it boosts the immune system, and it just plain feels good. The word ‘heal’ literally means ‘to become whole’. As I love every part of me, including cancer, I become whole.

For me, cancer created a rebirth that’s grabbed me by the ankles, turned me upside down, and spanked me vividly alive! I’m seeing the world through brand new baby eyes. Cancer has been an illuminating, eye-opening, I-opening Big See!

How about you – in what ways have your life calamities opened your eyes and enriched your life?

Author's Bio: 

Janet Jacobsen is the author of the book, Oh No, Not Another 'Growth' Opportunity! An Inspirational Cancer Journey With Humor, Heart, and Healing. If you or someone you know is coping with cancer or other life challenges, you can read more of Janet's uplifting and informative, FREE articles, as well as the first 4 chapters of her book, at