Finding acceptance for her own body after a lumpectomy or mastectomy may be the hardest thing a woman will ever face. The changes to one’s body are not just physical, but mental and emotional as well.
I am going to share some tips for acceptance of your body after cancer, and after preventative mastectomy.
I worked with breast cancer survivors for years teaching meditation and movement. What I observed is that these women were so strong. Even stronger that they themselves initially believed. Certain practices helped them and this is what I’m going to share here:
1. Remember your own resilience and trust in it.
There is a wellspring of strength inside you, and you can tap into it, in your darkest times.
Through reflection, breathwork and meditation, you can practice connecting to this inner strength, and resilience, of your spirit. These practices can help you to see your mind and your body, as not as dominant, and as not you, but as parts or you.
2. Focus on living a healthy life
Making lifestyle changes, for example, eating better, movement, resting, meditating, breathing exercises, and self/care or nurturing practices.
These can help you feel better, help your mind get clearer, and help your body get stronger. It can help focus your attention on healing and away from your external physical changes.
3. Look at your body.. like really look at it
It might take you a long time to really look at your body following breast cancer surgery. You may be scared to see the changes.
Maybe your treatment changed you so much that you can barely recognize yourself in the mirror.
Take you time, Breath. Really see yourself. Really see the changes. Try not to judge.Make space for what is. Breath. Nothing to do. No one to be. You already are.
4. Find love for yourself, and acceptance through visualization practice.
The physical changes to your body do not define who you are. You are worthy. You just need to feel love for yourself. This one can be very difficult. Even for most people, who have not gone through cancer.
So in this I invite my cancer clients to see themselves as a child. As a child we are vulnerable and need protection and love. As a child you are perfection, exactly the way you are, with all your vulnerabilities, with and without all of your scars.
It’s easier to love yourself as that innocent child, then it is to, as your adult self. The beauty is… that little child, that little girl, is still inside you and desperately needs a hug and love.
And you can do just that. See your inner child and hug her, love her fiercely, accept her, exactly the way she is and protect her at all costs. Please watch my meditations and breathing practices for self acceptance and love.
Please be patient with yourself. There will be highs and lows. Good days and terrible days. Whatever you are feeling is very real, and also transient. Meaning it will not stay forever.
With time, your physical, mental and emotional wounds can heal. Remember that those around you are in awe of your strength and beauty.