Patriarchal culture tells us that being a woman means we must identify with a very narrow and specific female form version. Breast cancer can leave our beautiful bodies looking different than the so-called normal version dictated by society. But that doesn’t make us any less beautiful on the inside OR the outside.
I get how it may be tough to SEE and FEEL ourselves as beautiful after the changes our bodies go through due to breast cancer. But here’s the thing – your body is not what makes you a woman. Having breasts doesn’t make you a woman. Having luxurious hair – or any hair at all – doesn’t make you a woman. Being able to have children doesn't make you a woman. Being able to breastfeed your children doesn’t make you a woman.
What makes you a woman? It's the Divine Feminine. It’s our emotions and our capacity to feel them ALL. The big ones, the scary ones, the angry ones, the gentle ones, and the caring ones. It's our capacity to nurture and love and have compassion, empathy, mercy, and grace.
We can embody these things through our actions as we feel connected to the Divine Feminine. This is what makes us beautiful inside and out. This is what ignites the inner light that we radiate out to the world. This is the essence of being a woman.
How can we reconnect with our body after breast cancer? We can start to view our body not as a separate entity from our inner selves but as the vehicle for moving through life and how we radiate our inner light out to the world.
Things shifted in a big way for me when I stopped viewing my body as a separate entity, and I began to nurture a loving relationship with her and treat her like a partner. I became mindful of how I think about her, how I treat her, and how I talk to her. I became super aware of how I could best cultivate a loving connection with her – with ME.
This is a healing journey about coming to truly accept your post-cancer body and love it for what it is. This might feel really challenging. Shame and comparison and fear might come up. That’s ok. It’s normal to feel that way. Know that you are worthy of love, just as you are. Know that you are a manifestation of the Divine Feminine just as you are.
Your body has taken you through some tough times. And it’s changed as a result of that. YOU’VE changed.
You can't go back to being who you were before your cancer diagnosis. But you can embrace what you’ve gained from going through such a life-altering journey. And it’s also important to acknowledge what you’ve lost. Grieving the loss of our pre-cancer body is a crucial step. We have to permit ourselves to let go.
This process can bring up a lot of intense emotions. We have to FEEL our intense emotions and not stuff them down.
If we don't feel the full extent of emotion, it doesn't get a chance to be fully released, which means it's stored in the body – whether in the physical body or in the emotional or spiritual body, which then impacts your physical body. Either way, an unexpressed emotion carries a negative charge and is still being stored within your physical body and collective consciousness.
If you have negative emotions, like anger, guilt, resentment, and shame, that aren’t being released, they build up like toxins in our body. We need to let these go so that we can heal.
When we begin the process of letting go of the things that aren’t serving us, we can create space to experience the connection between our body, mind, and spirit, and we can deepen our connection to the Divine Feminine that exists within us all.
THIS is what makes us a woman.
For more helpful tips to support you holistically, click here to download my free mini-course on the 3 vital steps to thrive after breast cancer!