The breast cancer journey brings many twists, turns and surprises on the path. A big surprise is the impact on our sense of femininity and attractiveness, which naturally impacts intimacy and sexuality. How can that not happen? The balance of our emotions, thoughts and spirit greatly affect how we perceive our bodies. This is a time when tapping into the well of our wisdom can be helpful and healing.
My favorite definition of wisdom comes from Aristotle who said wisdom was the understanding of causes — knowing why things are a certain way — which is deeper than merely knowing that things are a certain way.
This is an opening to understand the relationship between our perception, which is the lens that everything passes through as we experience life, and wisdom, which contains deeper truth. Our perception is based on our beliefs. The adage that “seeing is believing” is backwards. The truth is that what we believe is what we see. Our beliefs are the foundation for everything we see, hear and experience. It’s like looking through the lens of a camera ~ a filter than can enlarge, distort or enhance a scene, altering our sense of reality.
Our perceptions reflect our core beliefs because our unique experiences and backgrounds will always color how we see things. Yet with an open mind and heart, we can go beyond our initial impressions to discover a more balanced, informed version of the wisdom of the Truth.
Perception and wisdom are a fluid process rather than a fixed state. Meditation helps to clear the grime from our lens and sets us on a path to wisdom and freedom. Just as we shower each morning to cleanse our body from the previous day’s dirt, daily meditation cleanses our mind and thoughts.
We all carry beliefs about our value as women, our attractiveness, our body and our desirability. When breast cancer comes into the picture, our perception shifts in many ways. What we thought was true and predictable may turn out to not be. How do we handle these shifts in perception that can make us feel like we’re losing our marbles?
If we can access our wisdom and observe our life and ourselves without identifying with the circumstances, we receive a gift from ourselves. We can have compassion for ourselves and begin to change those beliefs. We can believe that we are beautiful and desirable just as we are.
I encourage you to cultivate a regular meditation practice. There are many ways to meditate and all help to shed light on the nature of our thoughts. Choose a practice that appeals to you and then use it regularly.
As you observe your thoughts, you become aware of the source of your perceptions. Contemplate your perceptions of you as beautiful, desirable, sexy, sensual and sexual. Observe your thoughts as they arise in your awareness. Ask your inner wisdom if they are true. Ask for the deepest wisdom and Truth about these areas and then open to receive the wisdom. Believe that this wisdom is what’s true. As you do this, your perceptions of yourself will shift and you will realize that you are beautiful, desirable, sexy, attractive and unique. Then celebrate yourself and continue to cultivate your wisdom.