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A diagnosis of cancer, for you or a loved one, can often trigger big questions for you such as, “what is the meaning of life” and “why are we all here”. This is not unusual and even those who do not consider themselves spiritual normally, may find that themselves seeking meaning beyond their daily activities.

This can feel overwhelming for some but can also come as some comfort to others as questions like these often lead to connecting with what is most important to them and what makes them most happy.

Spirituality can mean different things to different people. Some connect with their spirituality through a religious belief; some through being in nature; some from taking time to soak in and appreciate a special moment with family.

It is not unusual for spirituality to become more meaningful following a diagnosis of cancer, even if you have never considered yourself spiritual before. For some it can provide great comfort around acceptance of the future and what it may hold, how to live in the moment and to live as full and happy a life as possible now.

Cancer can be isolating both physically and emotionally and lead to some feeling disconnected spiritually. Often people can become angry with God for allowing them to get cancer or wonder if they are being punished. Sometimes visiting a tohunga, elder or spiritual guide can be helpful to address these feelings.