On 9 January 2009, the cancer site of Cancerstory.com became dormant.
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Art transforms into compassion
The 8 Overcoming Tools : How to Overcome Your Fear of a Diagnosis of Cancer

Problems Are Your Best Friends

One way to avoid fear and other types of negative thinking and the bad results that usually follow is to rename your problems by thinking of them as friends.

After all, the word "problem" is just a name we use to label an event or a situation. The event itself is never changed by what we call it or what we think. But your state of mind can be greatly influenced, one way or the other, depending on your reaction to the problems you face in life.

The Chinese word for "crisis" has the same root word as "opportunity." They have the right idea.

Many times, a so-called problem can yield positive benefits. A few years ago I heard a talk that got me interested in eagles. Baby eaglets are hatched in large nests called Series that the eagles build in high places, on cliffs, on mountains or atop tall trees. An eerie is usually quite large and very sturdily built. In fact, a small child would have plenty of room to sleep and play in a typical eagle's nest. The baby eaglets are totally cared for by their parents for several weeks until the mother decides it's time for the baby to learn to fly. When that day comes, she takes the eaglet to the edge of the nest and drops it into the air.

This, of course, is how eagles teach their young to fly. There's no instruction manual for the little eaglet to read; he's got to learn it on his own. But think of the situation I just described from the baby eaglet's viewpoint. He's been pampered and fed his whole life in a spacious playpen and all of a sudden, without warning, he's dropping through space on his way to crash on the ground below.

Now this is a real problem! But he doesn't quite reach the ground. The mother eagle swoops down and catches him, brings him back up to the nest to rest, and a while later, tosses him out again. Pretty soon his natural wing-flapping instincts are awakened and he learns what his wings are really for. So, what appears at first to the little fellow as a problem is actually his introduction to one of the greatest abilities of any creature in the animal kingdom, the ability to "soar as an eagle."

Now, if you're beginning to compare the baby eagle's experience of being dropped out of a nest a few hundred feet above the ground with your own experience of learning you have cancer, what is the corresponding benefit to you that would compare to an eagle's learning to fly? I believe you will find that there are several ways that problems can be your very best friends.

First, problems or crises reveal resources within us that we never knew we had. Resources like courage, determination, friends and a strong will. And after the crisis is past, those resources are permanently available for you to use as you need them.

Second, problems change priorities. The day before a person gets a cancer diagnosis, it might be difficult to pinpoint the most important priorities in life. But the day after, everything can be seen in proper perspective. This is why so many cancer overcomers have told me they found so much peace as a direct result of being confronted with a life threatening disease because of the gift they received. They were able to see more clearly where their priorities should be.

Problems are friends because they bring us ideas and answers if we just look for them. They cause us to slow down and pay attention. Best selling author, Robert Fulghum of All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten was right about the last thing on his list of things learned. He called it the most important thing: LOOK.

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