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Control plays a significant role in most of our lives, and we like to think that by planning things out, we can predict and control what happened to us in the future. On the Tougher Together Breakthrough podcast, host Rebeccah Silence shares her experience and observations about being blindsided… something with which she’s had a lot of personal experience.
We all like to plan and control our lives. Letting go of control is tough. We have to face the fact that all we can really control is our emotional reaction to anything that comes into our lives.
Does being blindsided do anything for us? Consider this… Being blindsided is like a wake-up call. When it happens, it’s time for you to learn to connect to a higher version of yourself. You can’t afford to lose sight of the strength within yourself.
Rebeccah tells us of her experience being blindsided by a cancer diagnosis while she was pregnant and 34 years old. Talk about blindsided… that was not even a remote thought at the time. They say that what you go through, you should grow through. Rebeccah is a sterling example of this.
Listen and learn how to view and cope with being blindsided when it happens to you… and it will. It happens to all of us! Pay attention to your intentions, actions, and emotions. And, if you can, take the opportunity to reinvent yourself when necessary. Who are you going to be?
Rebeccah Silence, is a speaker, coach and international media personality, who survived cancer while pregnant and has impacted hundreds of thousands of listeners through her radio programs and appearances. She is the Creator of the HEALING IS POSSIBLE movement and courses and is committed to helping others heal their traumas. As a certified world-class Emotional Healing Coach, Rebeccah is uniquely qualified to facilitate breakthroughs to wellness and transformation while she inspires hope and possibility in even the most challenging times. She is best known for healing heartbreak, and her clients frequently tell her that she brought them “back to life”!
No matter how hard we try, we can’t control or predict the future, we can be as prepared as possible. But what do you do when you get blindsided? That’s what we’re taking on in today’s Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast with me, your host, Rebeccah Silence.
This episode is brought to you by the podcast services division at Life’s Tough Media. Having your own podcast and using your voice to deliver your message allows you to creatively reach all types of audiences, from clients to prospects to your most loyal, membership-based, Life’s Tough Media makes having a podcast easier than ever before. By offering robust turnkey podcast solutions with superior remote recording capabilities and with studio affiliates located around the world. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation at email@example.com or visit us at LifesTough.com to learn more. So, what is a breakthrough? It’s finding your way out of suffering and stuck. It’s that feeling of new energy, renewed life and excitement. When I was seven months pregnant with my second baby, I received a life changing diagnosis. I had cancer. When I told my older daughter, she said “So, you’re going to die?” And the only thing that saved my life during that time was knowing how to emotionally break through. Welcome to the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast. I’m your host, Rebeccah Silence. I’m a speaker, coach and the creator of Healing is Possible. In each episode I prepare you for life no matter what challenges you’re facing. I’m going to invite you into the stories of real people who are living life in breakthrough and making the world a better place. If they can do it so can you. Breakthrough is your right. Get ready to break through. Get ready for the rest of your life.
One of the hardest parts of life, at least for me, has been to learn to let go of control. It’s such an illusion that we can control our circumstances, that we can control or predict the future. You know, I just learned that damage control doesn’t work. And today we’re going to talk about being blindsided and how to give up control where we don’t actually have control. It’s scary as hell, because at least when we’re trying to control, there’s a sense of I’m doing something, but there are just certain things that there’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing you can say. There’s nothing that could stop the train of life from going where it’s going.
And for me, a great example of a time where I was blindsided was when I got the cancer diagnosis. I was thirty-four, pregnant and completely shocked and leveled. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on life, my body. I thought I had done a really good job of mastering, trying to get ahead of obstacles and mitigate conflict and prevent certain things from happening, but none of that training, none of that control mattered. When one day I’m coaching a client who is a nurse and she said to me, you need to see my plastic surgeon husband like at 7am tomorrow to get that mole off of your arm taken away. And I saw the color drain from her face, and I knew I better get to that doctor’s office. What I didn’t know or understand was even if it was skin cancer and sure, there was a dark spot on my arm that I had asked my primary care physician years before to take a look at. He wasn’t worried about it. I just decided good enough for me. I’m busy, I’ve got a family and a company and too much to do to worry about this. Fast forward, I’m pregnant and this thing on my arm absolutely changed during the pregnancy. It changed color, it grew, it ended up bubbling up, and the morning that my nurse client and I were meeting it had bubbled up to the point where it had actually, as gross as this is, it had burst open and it was oozing and I was busy. I didn’t want to deal or worry or consider that anything seriously wrong was a factor, and once I went and got this thing taken off, it occurred to me, OK, so worst-case scenario it’s cancer. But what didn’t occur to me is that skin cancer is literally like a glacier. You know, the cells are so much deeper than the skin on the surface.
And I think that’s an amazing metaphor for life. Our fear is like cancer. Our need to control life is a form of emotional cancer because it’s literally a job we can’t win at. There is no winning at trying to control or predict life, and there’s especially no winning in trying to control or, you know, predict or get other people to do what you want them to do. It’s just an absolute guaranteed fail when you try to be responsible for anything other than your emotional experience. I’m going to say that again, quite literally the only thing that I believe we have control over is our emotional experience. That’s it. And what I mean by that is who we’re being in the moment. Are we paying attention to our thoughts, to our words, to our emotions? Are we nurturing and being gentle with and embracing our thoughts, our words, and our emotions? Or are we just in turbo gear trying to steamroll our way through the moment or control the moment or even worse, is our head in the sand and we just don’t want to deal? You know, I was both, actually, at the time of my cancer diagnosis, 34, pregnant. I was both trying to steamroll my way through life, and business, family, the pregnancy, and then at the same time, for sure, my head was in the sand because there’s no way I didn’t know something was wrong. I just didn’t understand what it was, and, you know there was nothing I could do about it, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a way that I could have been more willing to deal with what I did have control over. And I’m trying to make a really complicated topic simple. We have so much control and then we also have none at the same time. I could have been listening to my body. I could have been asking for multiple opinions on what was this thing with my arm. I could have been proactive the second I knew something’s not right here. And yet I was frozen and busy, busy, busy, busy all at once, and again, I didn’t understand the depth of the damage or the depth of what I could have done sooner until it was too late and then… It wasn’t actually too late. There was a lot I could do once I was aware and awake and willing to look at the reality and the writing on the wall. It was malignant cancer. Skin cancer isn’t just surface, and you cut it off and cut it out and that’s it, wham, bam, you’re well. I had the most aggressive type of melanoma and how ironic… This is, again, like Blindside Central.
No one in my family had ever had melanoma like this. No one in my family had ever educated me about skin cancer or melanoma, and that’s no one’s fault. I have a family of very dark olive Italian skin tone and then the Irish genes in me have me white and pasty. I’d never been tanning in my life and there was no predicting this. And that’s nobody’s fault. I think when we get blindsided, it’s so easy to want to blame, to find fault, to figure out, you know, who didn’t show up or who is responsible for this bad thing happening.
I’ll tell you; no one was responsible. I don’t think life happens to us. I don’t think life happens for us. It just happens. Life is just happening. And it blindsides us sometimes. And to me, the blindside is an opportunity for a wakeup call. It’s not a punishment; it’s not a sign that you’re weak or unprepared. It’s a sign that you have an opportunity to level up who you are and to connect to a higher, more inspired version of you. That tougher part of you that’s there, that’s maybe just not been paid very much attention to yet. So, in this scenario, it was cancer and it was malignant, and I was so confused. I had always been able to talk my way out of a paper bag, get myself out of whatever situations that I was in that were scary or unsafe, and there was nothing I could do here. There was no stopping the cancer train. And I was on it whether I wanted to be or not, with a baby inside of me still. So, all of a sudden so much was happening, we had to decide when do I get staged—when there’s a cancer diagnosis, when there’s the initial biopsy or results from the labs that indicate, OK, there is malignant cancer, the next step is to get the cancer staged. I was so uneducated. So not only was I blindsided, but I was also uneducated. And I’m not going to lie. There was this very egotistical part of me at the time that I really thought I had been through the worst of what I was ever going to go through in my life. I was only 34, but I had a childhood where I survived and endured quite a bit of abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse. And then later on I had put myself through hell with eating disorders and abused my body more than words can even describe. And then not only was I abusing my body physically, but I was beating myself up by over exercising and not eating and just treating myself so poorly.
I thought I had been through the worst of it. I truly did. I thought the past is behind me. I’m free; I did the work; I’ve been to over 100 hundred seminars; I’ve been coaching with gurus and getting my hands on every book I can possibly get my hands on. I’ve, you know, gotten out of a violent, toxic marriage and then a single mother and come out the other side. I didn’t see this one coming. And here’s the truth, there’s no way I could have. That doesn’t mean I had done anything wrong. And if you’ve been leveled or blindsided with a difficult diagnosis or if you have been in a position where you endured a heartbreak or a loss or a tragedy or a crisis that you didn’t have any idea was about to happen, that doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It means it’s bigger than you. And then if it’s happening, I want you to just consider that you are tough enough to lead your life through it, not just to manage a terrible situation or a difficult circumstance, but to lead your life through it. You have it in you to come out stronger, better, tougher, more alive.
But it’s easy when we get blindsided to try to find someone or something to blame. It’s easy to beat ourselves up. It’s easy to want to quit and stick our head in the sand. We talked about quitting earlier this season, but that just leaves you helpless, funky. But we’re as miserable. And even in the hardest of times, we don’t have to lose sight of the strength inside of ourselves. And for me, we had really hard decisions to make really, really fast.
I had a major surgery where they cut the… the cancer was on my left arm. And so they cut from my shoulder down to my elbow, down to the bone. Huge margins took all this skin and that was it; sewed me up; that was all they could do until the baby was out. So, I ended up with an emergency caesarean section at 38 weeks pregnant because that was the safest for both me and the baby. And then three weeks after the C-section, they did surgery to test my lymph nodes, found that there was cancer in one of those lymph nodes. So then two weeks later, they had to take all of the lymph nodes on the left side of my body under that left armpit breast area to make sure there wasn’t any further cancer. Luckily, there wasn’t. But, man, it was surgery after surgery, after surgery. And I had been on top of the world loving my company, on the radio, serving my community, so in love with my second husband, thrilled and proud of my older daughter who was thriving. And then… I’m having another baby and I have cancer and… What do you do? Well, I’m going to tell you what I did, and I’m going to suggest that these steps in this process is available to you too. What I did was I let my best in every moment be enough, and what I decided was that I better up my game paying attention to what I was doing with my emotions, with my thoughts, with the way I was speaking. That’s all I have control over; my intentions, my actions, and whether or not I was letting my emotions out or keeping them stuck inside; and was I emotionally processing in a healthy way or an unhealthy way? Was I speaking to myself in a way that was empowering or disempowering? Was I speaking to others in a way that was creating more connection and making room for support or pushing people away? See, I couldn’t control the cancer. I couldn’t control how far the disease had spread. I couldn’t control how uneducated and unprepared I was.
But what I could control, was feeling my way through my emotions, asking for help, looking for what was possible, and letting my best be enough. It was nobody’s fault; nobody in my family had had this cancer. Thankfully, no one in my family has had it since. But I knew it wasn’t up to me whether I lived or whether I died. What was up to me was how I played this game, as cliche as it might sound, that whether or not I wanted to be a participant in I was playing the game, I was in the game called “you have a cancer diagnosis,” and a life to live for. Who you can be, Rebeccah, how are you going to play this? And there were moments where I questioned everything. Did I even believe anything? I had been teaching, coaching, saying what were my beliefs about spirituality and life after death and disease and health and wellness and the possibility of miracles. What did I believe? Who was I? My ego shattered. It was the best thing, I believe, that could have ever happened to me. I got to decide who am I going to be now? And cancer became the ultimate seminar. Cancer became an opportunity for me to meet and become the version of myself that I wanted to be, given the circumstances that I was in and I know with all my heart, it wasn’t anybody’s fault, there’s cancer in the world. Why shouldn’t it have been me?
And then I was very much wanting to live, so I did a cancer cleanse, I did all that I could do to look at, emotionally, where was there cancer tolerations, our cancer, where was I tolerating? Where was I not using my voice? Where were my relationships? Out of whack and off and not solid in the way that I wanted them to be. How could I be more of the me that I could be proud of while I was still alive. If I got to live, how would I be different? How would I live different? What choices would I make on the other side of this diagnosis? I was in bed for nine months. I had 12 back-to-back surgeries and chemotherapy and I had a lot of time to think and process and feel and reinvent, but more importantly, to just be with me on a soul level, on a spiritual level, and I got to decide what I wanted for my life as long as I had it. And what I wanted was to use my life as a platform to serve on a much bigger scale than I had been. I wanted to be the best version of me. As long as I was still alive and I made a commitment to see the greatness in people and to speak to the greatness then people and guess what, that had to start with me. With me wasn’t easy coming from the childhood I did where my self-esteem was so low. But I believe we’re all connected. I don’t believe in a hierarchy; I don’t believe anybody’s better than anybody else. I think we definitely have different talent and skills and gifts. But on a soul level, we all matter. And so, I couldn’t make myself less than, and expect to be very supportive to anybody else. So, I had to go, OK, you’re worth this life. You’re worth living your way into what I describe as my most inspired life. And that’s what I want for you too listening. And what if when you get blindsided it’s an opportunity to reinvent yourself. And what if it doesn’t have to take a crisis for you to wake up to becoming the version of yourself that you want to be. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t let yourself love and enjoy your life as the best you that you can create, because you can we’re not, you know, finding ourselves.
There comes a point as adults where we just choose who are we going to be? Who are we going to be? That’s my question for you, who are you going to be now, given the challenges that you’ve faced, given where you’re at now in your life, but even more importantly, given the possibility that exists for you? The blindside’s not your fault, and you can’t control everything, but you can always look at emotionally, mentally, physically in your relationships, where is there cancer and what are you doing about it? I am so grateful to have been allowed to keep living. That’s how I think about it. It’s a miracle. I had so much statistically stacked against me, and I just stayed intentional and committed and as emotionally clear as I could and as mentally clear as I could, and I started dreaming about and fantasizing about and plotting and planning and scheming for the future after cancer that I couldn’t wait to live into. What if that possibility exists for you? What if the blindside is a wakeup call? What if it’s a gift? To not have to control any other relationship, any other person, any other circumstance other than the experience you’re having in the moment you’re in. You can control, do you know where you want your life to go, is how you are living lining up with how you want your life to go, and how are you treating yourself along the way? That’s what you have control over. That’s it. That’s good news. Let go of the rest.
We’ve got some questions from some of you. If you have questions that you would like included in this Tougher Toghether, Breakthrough podcast with me, your host, Rebeccah Silence, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And it’s Rebeccah with an “h.” But I have two questions that we’re going to address today, from you. The first question, how do you navigate one toxic person in a family and what this listener says is we’ve all pretty much learned to just steer clear and remove ourselves from this person’s sphere. There’s no rationalizing with a crazy person. So, if things can’t be repaired amicably the only other action seems to be to give up on the relationship. So, let’s talk about this, because when someone is acting out or toxic in a family system, they’re crying out for love and help. And often they’re playing out a dynamic that’s going on in the family that most people in the family are brushing under the rug. And I’m not saying that to insult anyone, but I just want us to think about what would it be like if when someone was acting out, crying out for love, asking for help, whatever we want to call it, even if it’s in a toxic way, we didn’t shut them down or shut them out. The way to breed more disconnection is to put walls up, and that’s easy to do. But depending on what’s happening with this person, they are absolutely disconnected. And the care and the solution and the medicine for disconnection is always more love and connection. And it can even start… By the way, you’re thinking about the person in your mind. Are you holding them capable? Are you seeing them as able to heal and grow or transform, or have you just written them off? You know, and we don’t need it to get worse before we’re forced to pay attention, you know, and life blindsides us and people blindside us. And then I’m going to just ask you to consider, even if it’s just in your mind, holding space for miracles and love and healing, and then have you let the person know you care, that you’re there to support them? Or are you letting the person know that they’re wrong? They’re disappointing you. They need to be different than they are because the more someone feels ostracized or made wrong, the more disconnection occurs, so especially now with the state of the world, disconnection is only going to lead to more toxicity; and someone that you’re perceiving as toxic while they may be, while the actions may be real and not healthy, what in my opinion you can do is let them know you care. Open up space in your heart, be thinking about them in a way that sends them not just positivity for no reason, but possibility. See and speak to the greatness in them and watch space and connection begin to take flight. All right.
And I have one more question. And this one, I think is a doozy and a great question. What do we have to hold on to if we aren’t controlling our circumstances? Big question. What you have to hold on to is the power in you to choose how you’re going to live, how you’re going to be, how you’re going to lead whatever life throws at you, whether you’re blindsided or not. We can’t make life the way we think it should be. We can’t make other people the way we think they should be. They’re going to do what they’re going to do. What we can do is control how connected we are to ourselves, how connected we are to other people, how we’re communicating. Are we breeding love? Are we breeding fear? Are we open to connection? Are we disconnecting? That’s what we have control over. Life will blindside you, no matter how much growth work you’ve done, no matter how far along you are. There’s more life to live. And I want us to see a blindside as a wakeup call, not as a punishment, not as anything more powerful than you.
You’re listening to the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast with me, your host, Rebeccah Silence. Thank you. Thank you for wanting more life. Thank you for tuning in.
Please note that the content of this podcast is not meant to be therapeutic or to replace any personal growth work that you are already doing with a coach, therapist, or mentor. Take the content, have it inspire you, and then keep working with your support system. Breakthrough is your right. Breakthrough reminds us that we’re tougher together and that we’re connected to possibility even in the most challenging and possibly darkest times. I’m Rebeccah Silence, creator of Healing is Possible and proud host of the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast where we come together and we tell stories of real breakthrough that exist for you as well. Get ready to break through, get ready to live more free, and get ready to experience more breakthrough. Because that’s your right. Join us on the Life’s Tough Media website and stay tuned for more. If you want to get in touch with me visit rebeccahsilence.com. Your time is now. Your breakthrough begins now.