Thursday, September 1, 2011


“Have you forgiven your body?”

This question has lingered in my mind for weeks now since I had dinner with one of my girlfriends. She told me a very personal story about losing her baby during pregnancy. After some time, she and her husband tried to have another child and she was not getting pregnant. It wasn’t until she went to an acupuncturist that she was asked the question: "have you forgiven your body?" She burst into tears as she realized the importance of the question. She was finally able to let the anger and guilt subside. And wouldn’t you know … she has a beautiful family now. Amazing grace.

We talk about forgiveness when it comes to our relationships, but what about our bodies? We are so terribly critical of ourselves, myself included. We get angry and embarrassed about baby weight and stretch marks ... but did we stop to thank our body for the ability to give life? Joint injuries stole our athleticism away at a young age and plague us with chronic pain ... but did we stop to thank our body for still having the ability to walk and ride a bike? Which left me thinking, had I forgiven my body for having cancer?

I spent several weeks thinking about the question and allowing myself to go back into that dark place of sickness and feel all those difficult feelings again. I looked back through my photos and reread my blogs and felt the anger, confusion and hurt boil back to the surface again. I HADN’T forgiven my body. Why should I??? I was only 26 years old when I was diagnosed.

Once the knee-jerk feelings settled, the anxiety subsided and the tears dried, I was able to think more clearly about how amazing my body truly is. My body beat stage-3 breast cancer. It bounced back from ten surgeries. Survived 18 weeks of chemotherapy without my blood count ever plummeting. It healed after six weeks of intense radiation therapy leaving me with third degree burns. It gave me the strength and mental capacity to work through the psychological pain of losing my breasts, being covered in 18 scars and dealing with body self-consciousness for the first time in my life. It gave me the courage to love unconditionally despite the fact that I no longer viewed myself as a long-term investment for another person. My body gave me a new appreciation for life and taught me patience and true compassion. My body is amazing and I am truly grateful and appreciative for the experience of learning to love myself.