There's a story I've been wanting to tell for quite some time now. And I keep putting it off. Thinking I'm not ready to share it. Today it feels right.
It started some time ago.
I went for a routine mammogram -- I'm at that age and the doc had done a check, and was well but he said, "just in case."
Everything about the day was ordinary. I didn't even have to wait in line for long.
And the test went smoothly. The technician had no expression, and gently but neutrally led me through the process. It wasn't my first time.
I finished up earlier than I had planned, grabbed a cup of coffee and went back to work. The next morning, I saw the kids off to school, tidied up the kitchen and settled down with a cup of tea in my office.
My mobile phone rang. It was the hospital. They asked if I would come back in, they needed to do an ultrasound, the next day. It was important that the doctor be there when I did the test. Yes, they had found something and they needed to check it further.
I was surprisingly calm. The next day I had an important workshop that had been confirmed for months with one of my corporate clients.
I told them I would need to come in the following week, the next available time. I put down the phone and the stories started.
You see, I'm a big believer in the mind-body connection, so the big question kept coming up.
Of course, I told myself, it's nothing. It couldn't possibly be anything serious, I'm so well, so healthy. I make all the right choices.
But that question just kept coming back. It would appear in my mind and I just kept shutting it out. And then it would re-appear. Finally I listened to the question, it made me literally shake.
I asked myself, "What have I done to manifest breast cancer; how is it possible?"
That night, I took off all my clothes and looked in the mirror.
I thought to myself, if this is cancer, well, the first thing is that I may lose my breasts. I looked at myself, really looked and the thought just jumped out at me.
"They're not that bad - quite nice actually!"
Then I realized, I could lose all my hair. And I felt sad, I've always loved my hair. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. The realization was so powerful it literally took my breathe away.
I looked at my naked body in the mirror and realized that I couldn't remember the last time I had had such positive thoughts about myself. I began to cry.
You see, usually I look in the mirror to see what's not right. To criticize and berate and judge myself. You know what I'm talking about, not thin enough, not beautiful enough, not young enough. I know that I'm not alone in this.
I can appreciate myself in so many ways, and yet, there always seems to be that shadow of criticism. That inner war.
And now, on the edge of a potential health crisis I realized that I badly I needed to be nicer to myself.
And that this could be the reason that I had manifested breast cancer.
Tears running down my face and trying to breathe deeply, in that moment, I made myself a promise. Whether or not this thing is cancer, I need to be so much nicer to me.
And I'm doing my best to keep that promise. It's not always easy. But it is a promise.
And thankfully, the ultrasound was fine. There was nothing to worry about after all.
It's been an incredible lesson and the start of an amazing journey. I had a feeling it might resonate for you too. Does it?