Strength doesn’t lie within the name, it lies within the moment. Two years ago shaving my head for the Leukemia foundation I felt liberated, strong and confident; empowerment ran through my veins, I was changed from that experience and haven’t looked back. Everywhere I went people would comment and tell me how wonderful I looked, how brave I was, how inspired they were – disempowering opinions and reactions meant nothing to me. I was proud to have shaved my hair off to honor the hearts touched by cancer and vowed to do it again.
Less than two years later and I have allowed shame to enter my heart for not knowing the weight behind legitimate hair-loss. The Cancer experience meant that I shaved my hair because I ‘had’ to. Admittedly, the choice was mine to shave before chemotherapy began and at first I felt that same power within me, until the reality of my situation set in.
Everywhere I’d go I was met with sympathy and concern and in so I was reminded of my condition. I was no longer powerful, I was weak. The views of the world weakened my mind, and the chemo had weakened my body – my energy was depleting, all I needed was to feel well, feel normal, to have conversations in which I could laugh and not talk about me – especially the circumstances of my experience.
Within me I have felt the urge to take off the beanie I hide behind for some time, I have felt the pull to own and honor the strength it takes to accept chemotherapy with a full knowing of the effects on the body.
Giving into resistance and hiding seemed far easier than standing to look the world in the eyes. To truly feel and make the decision to stand must be from the heart, the process must unfold organically for my heart to be ready, to understand my own intrinsic why. Now, I understand. I am ready.
Vanity is not something that I identify with but when my trusted medical professionals told me that I would lose my eyelashes and eyebrows, it was all I could do to hold back the tears. When I got home, I cried my heart out, prayed and asked to be spared from this. Exploring my inner workings, I asked: I am not a vain Woman, so why is it that this hurts so badly?
The answer I kept coming back to is that I didn’t want to be sick in the eyes of the world anymore. Physically appearing sick took away any chance I had of a connection without sympathy and that was something I wasn’t able to take. Often people were so anxious wanting to ‘do’ things for me, we were unable to connect and the empowering love that I’d feel ordinarily turned into something else. After chemo had begun and my strength had almost diminished, and so frustration and guilt set in.
Asking the caring hearts around me to stop caring and stop asking about me in my Cancer experience seemed wrong. I could feel the caring intentions behind the questions and comments and didn’t want to stop those around me from honoring their own intentions. However, I had to do something because I was drowning, with no foreseeable way out. I was almost out of Love with life, but I knew deep down that I can Trust the processes within my experiences. Life had taught me to Trust.
Eventually, pressure got the best of me and as a result I numbed to the questions and lost my passion for speaking on the necessary views of this experience. Some people experienced me as ‘sharp and pointy’ and the guilt of those interactions wore me down further. Many years ago, a counsellor once told me “nothing changes if nothing changes” I believe that within every cell of by being. I refused to change the hearts of others and bring forward layers of awkwardness and guilt to others in their world, and it wasn’t in my best interests to remove myself, so I would have to change.
Previously I would feel a duty to respond to every person with depth and authenticity, if I wanted this experience to be for something, I had to recognise the why behind the question – and answer accordingly. Soon enough, the intentions behind the questions became clear and I was improving on my answers to the questions that once trapped my energy. I was finding myself less disengaged from inspiration, care and passion.
For those caring hearts out there who have taken this on board and find themselves assessing how they have reacted in the past, I ask: will it be helpful to dwell on what has been? For it is unchangeable. As you’ve read this, take this point of view as nothing more – for that is all it is. In listening to the feelings and thoughts of others with openness, we expand consciousness and so, begin progression. Never should we feel obligated to be anything for anyone unless we are intrinsically drawn to be so, this is a lesson unto itself.
Circling back, I feel the time has come to embrace this experience at a deeper level. Today was the first day in months that I have left my home without the safety of my beanie. It took my energy to hold my head high and greet the world with kindness and sincerity at my most vulnerable, but I did it. And, it was worth it! I believe True power doesn’t grow from a foundation of appearances, it is a statement to the world of what is possible when we look within and see we are the foundation – and always have been.
Thank you for joining me during this experience, I have been blessed with many supportive friends, family members and people I’ve not yet met who have found comfort and their own versions of Truth and Wisdom from these words. I sincerely want to acknowledge each of you, and say you’re the reason I’m here and I am grateful to you for inspiring me to keep going, you give me great hope. Thank you.
Be well, stay safe & be kind to yourself and others – always. All my love.