I wrote the following and published it on Facebook the other day because of what I have learned from Parisha Taylor. Ever since I have met her, she has encouraged me to live the greatness of what God has created. She has taught me that each one of us, alive and on earth, have a gift and a purpose. It is up to us to live it…

Life is living…

For some, suffering and misery have become synonymous with life. That’s exactly where I was. This message is about how I put living back into my life. It is not a miracle that brings life back, it is our own decision, clear and without doubt, that transforms us from victims to victors. I know now that if I am suffering or miserable, I have decided to be a victim to my can’ts and won’ts.

Endurance reality shows are huge right now. We watch normal people, not super heroes, either succeed in winning the prize, or fail in the attempt. The coaches push the competitors to go beyond what their bodies say they can do, until the winners realize, it is all in their heads. Nick told his last standing team member that he is more than just his body. Nick is a highly decorated sniper. He knows that we choose our outcomes by the clarity of our minds, and the strength of our focus, not our bodies. The stronger our hearts, the greater our outcomes.

It has taken me over 3 years to know, really know from the depth of my being, that I am not a cancer victim. I am not a cancer survivor. I am a strong woman with a clear and strong decision that life is good and I am staying. The cancer cells arrived in my body because of my state of mind and self negative thoughts. But it took a near-crisis to wake up my natural will to live.

Recently, I allowed my challenges to start getting the better of me , Physical exertion, respiratory infection, chest pains, exhaustion, labored breathing… every day. Fear started to consume me. I thought about telling people that I was not doing very well and I needed to stay in bed. As soon as the thought of telling people I wasn’t well, gaining their sympathy about the cancer as a reason to go home early, I saw what that would look like. There I was, lying in bed exhausted, a victim, and believing that I was dying; getting weaker by every painful breath.


I said no to that story line. I asked myself, am I acting as a victim? Or am I choosing life? I commanded myself to stand up, sincerely appreciate the opportunity God gave me to breath and assist a project much bigger than myself. I told myself, you go until all is done. My ancestors lived so that I can stand here today. I called ass on the weakness and the pain – outward expressions of my fear. I kept moving and did not care how much I hurt. Today, I am standing. I gave everything I have.

I will die one day, but not because of cancer and not now. Just like those amazing men and women who push themselves beyond all physical challenges, I changed my thoughts and fought back the cancer. I am sharing this with you because no matter what circumstance you are in – you are never a victim. There is always a choice that means life. Make that choice and stand for your God given right to have a beautiful and rewarding life.

~ Mary A. Smith