Cancer, in any form, is devastating. Breast Cancer in particular has profound effects on women, especially if a mastectomy has to be performed. Regardless of your age, race or social background, the first step to healing from the inside out is self-love. So many people can tell you you look beautiful, but if you can’t look in the mirror and believe it yourself, you’ll never feel it. The good news is, it takes time. In case you’re wondering why that’s a good thing, it’s because anything that lasts takes time. Whether it’s a weight loss program, or learning to look at yourself in the mirror after losing what feels like your womanhood, as long as you’re resisting to rush the process you’ll be alright. There are so many articles on prevention and signs to look out for, which is great information. However, no one tells you how to deal with yourself after you’ve been “cured” …when everyone thinks you’re fine. Truth is, that’s when the hard work begins. I’m by no means saying being in the process of beating Breast Cancer is easy; you get sick, lose weight, you lose your hair and you become the image of someone you don’t recognise. Once the parasite is gone and has left behind nothing but devastation, that’s when you have to rebuild yourself from the ground up. From one woman to another, you’re strong enough to do exactly that. The great news is you can become anyone your little heart desires. You may have been touched by Breast Cancer, but you’re by no means a victim. He may have disfigured you, but you survived, and that’s what’s important.
Take your time: Don’t rush what’s meant to take time. A wound doesn’t heal overnight, so don’t expect that of your emotions.
Allow yourself to be loved: By you or anyone else. Speaking from experience, that’s the toughest one to deal with. To allow someone else to see the rawness of your soul, and to allow yourself to face the work that needs to be done within you.
Be honest but kind: It’s no use pretending that what’s right in front of you doesn’t exist. The sooner you can be honest with yourself, the sooner you’ll start loving what you see.
Words of affirmation: It happens to be one of the love languages, so start using it on yourself. Look in the mirror at least once a day for a minute and tell yourself you’re beautiful. Because you are. You may not see it now, but you will in time.
Enjoy the silence: Don’t try to oppress your emotions with noise. You’ll be surprised at what you can learn when you sit in quietness and listen.
Become a blessing for someone else: Do good for others, spend time at an animal shelter, at an old age home, at a homeless shelter. Sometimes we can learn more from those in less desirable situations. Sometimes they can offer you therapy without you even know it’s happening.
Practice spirituality: You don’t need to self-love on your own. I call on God when self-love becomes too tough on my own. Even when you think you’re doing it on your own, I can guarantee He’s right there with you.
Accept and forgive: You may have some anger and confusion as to why it had to happen to you. Forgive anyway. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you make what happened to you alright, it just means that you accept that it happened. It’ll never be acceptable that it happened to you, and you’ll never understand why you had to go through the hardship and not someone else, but you’ll never heal on the inside if you don’t forgive.
Believe that you deserve to be happy: Without a doubt do you deserve all the happiness in this world. So do more of what makes you happy. Sing more if that’s what you enjoy, or go sky diving if you smile more than you do when you’re steady on the ground. Don’t feel guilty about it either. You deserve to be happy.
Pay it forward. Practice love for others as you start self-loving yourself. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction, so if you want to receive love you have to give it. Love heals.