Life is beautiful when you know what to ignore. An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the endless negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.

Besides medical treatments, positive attitude is the most important thing one must have during our journey to recovery from a critical illness. In my case, it’s HER2 Positive Breast Cancer.

Undergoing a mastectomy, two subsequent minor surgeries to implant and remove my chemo ports, and 49 rounds of cancer treatments, it was very tough for me. To be honest with you, I have several times felt like I had wanted to give up the fight.

Being a hopeful optimist helps. I like to see life from the brighter side of things. Seeing the glass as half full and not half empty. Looking for that silver lining in every cloud.

It does not mean that I must be happy all the time. I am human after all. I am vulnerable to a myriad of emotions. There are many times during and after my cancer treatments when I experienced emotional meltdowns. I would feel such hopelessness, worthlessness and I didn’t want to live. But I also know that I didn’t want to die either. It was like, I was stuck in a neck deep mud. Just getting through the day would feel like an effort. On some days, I would need such tremendous effort to get through the day.

When I started feeling this way, I would give myself a window of time to stay in my ‘victim story’ mode. Usually not for long. And it is so important to acknowledge that negative feelings. This is so that I can be authentic to myself and avoid toxic positivity.

Toxic positivity dismisses negative emotions and responding to distress with false assurances, rather than empathy. It comes from feeling uncomfortable with negative emotions. It is often well-intentioned but can cause alienation and a feeling of disconnection.

During this window of time, I would allow myself to express and let out whatever emotions I was feeling inside instead of suppressing or hiding them. I would allow myself to cry my heart out if I that’s what I feel like at that moment. When time is up, the window will close. I must then snap out of ‘victim story’ mode and start creating my ‘victor story’.

I would start by envisioning what my life would be like when I am winning in life. A winner needs a winning attitude. So, I would imagine I am a winner. I would imagine myself happy, healthy and wealthy. I would imagine myself creating love and being surrounded by love and people who love me.

Life is not perfect, but it is in the imperfections that we find what brings us happiness. Find little things that spark joy in our life. To be happy, we must look at the brighter side of things in life. And look at life from the perspective of gratitude and abundance.

We may think that we do not have enough. But if we look around, we will find that we are in a better situation compared to many other people. When we think in abundance, we would find it easier to reach out and help those we can help. No matter how little you think you have, you will find that you can always help someone.

For years, I have been paying it forward without thinking of ever getting anything back in return. I have always believed in a life of abundance. Karma is like a boomerang; it always comes back in many ways. Sometimes I think that whatever I have been paying it forward have been coming back to me in manifold.

At the moment, even though I may not be blessed with worldly riches, I’m richly blessed to be loved and cared for by loving, caring and thoughtful people. From many parts of the world. I am grateful for a life filled with abundance. I gave in abundance and received in abundance too. Alhamdulillah. Life is good.

In life, it’s always the end that matters most. Life is short, and I would like a beautiful ending to my life. In shaa Allah.