health

A Letter to Materialism

Dear Materialism

I don’t care much for you. Not anymore.

Oh but I used to. My goodness I was all about you. I think I may have been your biggest fan.

But, in truth, it was kind of an emotional relationship, perhaps verging on an abusive one.

I mean I constantly tried to get away from you, but there you were, lurking everywhere, telling me I wasn’t good enough without you.

On the TV, in the magazines, on social media, even in some of my friends houses.

You are so intrusive!

But I’ve left you now.

Good riddance to all the pressure you brought me.

I still see you lurking in the same old places but I call you by your other names now; fear, lack of self worth, shame. You don’t like that and it makes you shrink away a little more each day. Maybe one day you’ll vanish altogether.

Maybe.

I know that when I used to buy three outfits for a night out, only to wear something I already owned, that it wasn’t you, dear materialism, that made me do it, it was fear, it was because I didn’t think I was enough with what I already had, it was because I was worried I wasn’t good enough to just show up as me.

When I persistently bought ‘trinkets’ for my home it wasn’t you either, it was the fear that I wouldn’t be perceived as being good enough without them.

Every time I bought something I didn’t need to impress someone else, all I did was squash down the real feelings I needed to face. All I did was avoid looking at how much value I was placing on ‘things’ instead of on myself.

I see that now.

And now I value me above anything material. I value my happiness and my joy and I know that, for me anyway, that’s not found in a new pair of jeans, sofa or candle holder but in the rain hitting my face, the waves crashing against my body, the wind in my hair.

I don’t need or want you in my life to justify who I am anymore.

I love myself now and I’ve realised, finally, I’m happy just to be me.

So you can lurk wherever you want, because I don’t need you anymore.

And with my head held high, and self love in my heart, I can walk past you now, unaffected by your desire to tell me I’m not good enough.

Goodbye. I will not be shamed by you anymore.

Love, Fi xx

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When I write these words, these letters, I personify the emotion and then I meet it and sit with it. It’s a wonderful healing tool for me. It really helps me to listen to and connect with my heart and soul.

Do you have a suggestion of what I should write to next?…comment below with suggestions (such as love, death, pain or joy) and I’ll see what I can do (I have a growing list – thank you!)

Like my words? Check out my book ‘How Long Have I Got?’ available now on Amazon WORDWIDE!

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ovarian cancer

Thai Chi: Chemo 4 – Day 18

Today I made another visit to my local Maggie’s centre.

In a bid to help me relax I had signed up for a Thai Chi class – again offered for free thanks to an exceptional volunteer providing their skills to support cancer patients on their journey.

I wasn’t sure what to expect – my usual, pre-cancer exercise routine had involved kettlercise, running and a personal trainer with the occasional yoga class thrown in as an attempt to relax my busy mind so the idea of Thai Chi was completely alien to me.

I arrived early because I was told the class filled up quickly and wasn’t surprised to see that everyone else was at least 60…had I chosen the right course?

Then a younger woman arrived. About my age and with the same unsure look on her face. We got talking and I felt instantly more at ease – It turned out I wasn’t the only one trying someone new in an attempt to calm a mind filled with thoughts of cancer and worst case scenarios…

The class started with some breathing exercises and gentle movements. When we paused for a break I was so lost in the experience that I couldn’t have told you how long we had been doing it for…I thought our hour was up but, as it turns out, only 30 minutes had passed.

Following the break we moved on to individual routines including the turtle, dragon and snake…I think!  

So what’s my verdict?…amazing! I utterly loved the session and have signed myself up as a regular. I felt completely lost in the breathing and movement. I was so focused on what the instructor was doing that I didn’t have time to think about anything else. I was, for once, living in the moment and, as a result, felt calm and relaxed.

Just as with my experience with the therapeutic touch session that Maggie’s offer – which had given me physical peace for the first time since my diagnosis – I felt this was my first opportunity to embrace emotional peace. Whilst I meditate daily, my mind inevitably wonders (not always to cancer, sometimes to the dishes in the sink!) but with Thai Chi I felt completely focused on the task in hand.

I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone struggling to still their mind and in need of giving themselves permission for some valuable me time.

Another huge thank you to Maggie’s for their support and the generosity of their wonderful, selfless volunteers.

Love and light, Fi xx