Joy is the name of the cat we used to have when we lived in our old house. She had three legs because of some accident. I always liked the name, but never really thought of the word itself. I think a week after the diagnose, Eugenie told me that there was a lack of joy in my system. I didn’t really understand what it meant, because I was laughing at jokes and you know, just having fun, right? But when I was laying on the beach yesterday, completely satisfied with everything, I suddenly got the image of the doctor in my head. It was on the 26th of March and my sister and I were at the hospital to make a picture, because the doctor at home heard something weird in my lungs. We had to wait a long time for the doctor to tell us what was going on, and when he came back, he looked really scared and said something like ‘we can’t see what it is that is going on, but it looks really bad’. Of course, everything went like a rollercoaster after that…

So I was getting a tan, drinking some juice and when I got the image of the doctor’s face in my head, I got this feeling of joy that made me want to laugh all the way from my toes. I realized that, even though there is (for as far as I know now) a (now slightly smaller) tumor that grew into my heart and spreaded to some places, I’m here in Sri Lanka at the beach, having a vacation because I just don’t feel like worrying anymore about it (here you can even say you’re some sort of drug dealer and it still doesn’t matter because no one knows you, so it makes it sooo much easier to just drop all the worries and fears). Of course, I don’t know what will happen with the hospital stuff when I get home, but the fact that I can let go of fear and the need to control things, is maybe even better than getting a good picture from the hospital.

I also just remembered that during the second round of chemo, I was in the hospital actually having a pretty good time by biking on the hometrainer and drinking tea and hanging out with people. But what really gave me the feeling of joy, was the thought; ‘right here and right now, there’s nothing bad going on. I’m not in a life threatening situation (okay, I can see how there are different ways to look at it, but I meant that I was just hanging out in the hospital and being relaxed, feeling no pain and no sickness) and I don’t have to do anything.’

So I started to understand that joy is not something on the surface of someone’s behavior, but something that gives a feeling of being completely connected with everything. It’s kind of like being a child again; everything is interesting and beautiful and there’s no need to overthink anything. To me, joy is freedom.

Some people asked me what I think is the cause of the cancer. I always answered something like ‘freedom; feeling the need to fit into some sort of system and being disconnected with my feelings with everything I did’. When I got the healing from José at the end of May, I was a little bit in my head the next day about what I could do to get the best result and not be in the way of the healing. It was on my grandma’s funeral and once I got out of the chaos of people feeling shitty for themselves or other people to just take a moment for myself, I could come back feeling nothing but the love for my grandma and the love other people had for each other and my grandma. I had great conversations with people, just because I was talking to them from the heart. People were writing things down about the alternative treatments I did and even though they never heard of those things, they were really interested. I had just gotten out of the hospital two days before after the chemo and I was feeling so much energy because I was having amazing conversations with people.

What I mean by this situation, is that freedom to me is being able to feel joy, no matter what situation you’re in (even if you’re a cat with three legs). Because if I can accept whatever happens to me and what situation I’m in, I can feel the joy and gratefulness of being able to learn and actually just being alive. I know that this is something that sounds easier than it is, because you get sucked into people’s drama, but now that I know that this is where I want to go, it makes it easier to get there. Setting an intention every once in a while (it doesn’t always have to be such a big one) already gets me halfway there, because of course, you create your own world with your thoughts.

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