I Am Not My Breasts: Beauty Beyond Cancer

Our inner light is what makes us beautiful.

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. – Kahlil Gibran

Whenever I see this quote, I am reminded of a story that illustrates it so completely that it brings tears to my eyes.

With gratitude and love, I share it with you today:

Decked out in their finest, Mom and Dad were on their way down Route A1A in Florida to an anniversary party. They didn’t go to many social events and were excited to celebrate this special evening in the lives of their old friends. Mom chose flowing blue silk and pearls; Dad wore his best suit.

The previous summer, Mom had endured a double mastectomy for breast cancer, and this party marked a return to the small joys of life.

Now several towns from their home, cupping her hands to her chest in panic, Mom exclaimed, “Lou! I forgot The Girls!”

Her prosthetic breasts, which she carefully slipped into a specially made bra whenever she went out, had become an uncomfortable fact of life. They were heavy, and never felt quite right over her newly healed scars.

Well tonight, The Girls were home alone.

Dad, sincere and at-the-ready to help with this predicament, gripped the wheel and began to maneuver a U-turn.

“Wait.” she said. “Let’s go without them.”

As she told me later, she had the time of her life at that party and never wore The Girls again. And then she tossed out a phrase that I’ll never forget:

“I am not my breasts.”

Well, amen, Mom.

Now, whenever I get that feeling of not being enough, of having some kind of fatal flaw, of being self-conscious, of being anxious in public—I remember this:

Our beauty is the light of our soul, the light of our heart, the light of our love, the light of our spirit.

This is who we are.

When something knocks us off our game today, let’s remember that the wattage of our inner light can be so mesmerizing that what we thought was a glaring imperfection is insignificant when standing in the light of our love.

This inner light is what makes us beautiful.

Mary Davis

Mary Davis is a wisdom seeker, spiritual teacher, graphic artist, app designer and author of Every Day Spirit: A Daybook of Wisdom, Joy and Peace.

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