What cancer taught me about the power of community
As a giver, I believe 100% that every good thing I put out into the world will come back to me.
When I have been in referral based networking groups, I was always in the top 10% of giving, but also in the bottom 10% of receiving. In a setting like that, I was ok with it for awhile, but even that had it’s limits.
I’ve also always been the sender of greeting cards for no reason or for the important reasons, the random phone call or text, and lots of other ways to let my network of important people know I care about them. It didn’t always come back, but again, trusting the laws of the universe that it will. I know I am making deposits into a good will banks of the people who mean the most to me.
Fast forward to October 2019, when a regularly scheduled mammogram became so much more.
Ultrasounds later and the doctor said it was likely cancer.
Six tiny letters that can invoke the widest range of feelings.
Do you ever wonder what all this networking, social media connecting, business card collecting and coffee meetings are really doing for your life and business? That is exactly what I have discovered and ultimately what this story is about.
Let me share 9 of the most important lessons I have learned through my diagnosis, treatment, surgeries, etc. I know there are so many more, but these are the most practical for anyone in my network who might be going through a tough time.
1. People WANT to help. Using the words, “let me know if you need anything” are really easy to say and what I have learned is most people REALLY mean that. ASK for it!
2. Nobody gets through this journey alone. (unless that is what you choose.)
3. A positive outlook can take you so far. I’ve shared my journey in a private FB group AND some on my personal private page. The support has been there for me in ways I never imagined.
4. Consistent authenticity will bring people to you. I have felt more love, support, and prayers than I ever anticipated and I’m able to carry those along with me every day.
5. I am surrounded by generous people. It’s really remarkable. I have received more cards and gifts this year than I have the last 10 years combined. That also might have to do with me vocally sharing my top two love languages being gifts and words of encouragement.
6. My business doesn’t need me there 50 hours a week to keep it running – this has been HUGE. The members of InSpark have absolutely had my back through all of this.
7. People have called me inspiring, which is nice – but what have I inspired you to DO. Inspiration without action is useless.
8. I am loved. And chances are, you are too – more than you know.
9. Clarity about who I let into my life and who is no longer invited. In the past 6 months, I have removed 1000 friends – for no reason. (or for reasons) But mostly these have been people I haven’t seen in years. If we are the sum of the people we spend the most time with – jerks just aren’t allowed. My social media, my rules.
Like I said, I am sure there are more.
What are the benefits you gain from being members of your communities? Are they serving you? Are they lifting you up or tearing you down? (Especially when you’re going through an experience like cancer)
Maybe it’s time for an evaluation.
Would love to hear your stories too about how your communities have supported you though amazing and challenging times alike. I am currently writing a book (Update: It’s published!) and am looking for some stories to share.
Thank you for reading!