Sunday, April 21, 2013

I am beautiful no matter what I think

Thanks to Tin who tweeted about it, I came across this video which Marc wrote an entry about. It IS true, if you're a man (husband, brother, father, whatever...) you never ever want to find yourself in the middle of a discussion about a woman's looks. Whether it be her face or her body - more so her body! If for some unfortunate reason you find yourself in one, learn from it and charge it to experience haha. It really is a delicate topic. Is it universally delicate? Yes, as the video tells us. The issue exists in women everywhere. 

Here's why this video made me cry. 

I'm 44 with 2 kids, my body isn't what it used to be. But things became even more "complicated" after my breast cancer diagnosis and the surgeries that had to be done. Everyone knows what a mastectomy is, right? A part of me - a body part that helps define a woman, the size of which sometimes impacts a woman's self-worth (admit it!) - had to be taken away. At 44, I have one less breast. I struggled with this in the beginning, even if I had the breast reconstructed. I cried about it, even if I knew that having it removed was part of my treatment plan and would eventually lead to my healing. In light moments when talking to friends about it, I would tell them, "Pun*eta, flat-chested na nga, mababawasan pa.". I got over it right away though. I prayed hard for comfort and strength and the Lord was so kind to me. In no time, I was okay with it. I even bravely explained it to my girls and honestly to me at that exact time, all that mattered was I was going to be better off without it. 

I didn't cry while watching this video because I went back to that dark place. I'm still okay with one reconstructed breast (by the way, a reconstructed breast does NOT look like a normal one still), N doesn't seem to care at all about it (and if he does after all, I'm going to throw him an upper cut). I certainly don't have any issues. Not anymore. I look at myself in the mirror all the time, unlike other women I know who still can't or who feel a discomfort when doing so. The breast is gone but so is the cancerous tumor that was there. That's all that matters to me. 

A slightly protruding tummy
The onset of varicose veins
Crow's feet
Laugh lines 
A double chin
My c-section scar
My appendectomy scar
My tummy tuck scar (not an aesthetic procedure, I had to have it in relation to the breast recon)

And now ... a mastectomized and reconstructed left breast

All these, when looked at without much thought, are not so pleasant reminders. But when I look at them long enough, I see something else. They're badges of honor and I've learned to look at them with pride in my heart, instead of sama ng loob

Of course I would still love to look good in a bikini at this age. What other mothers would give to be able to fit into one beautifully after having children! I'm never going to deny that there's a part of me that's going to continue to wish for that. But I'm all good if it doesn't happen. 

What a way to begin my Sunday. I teared up again while watching this. I'm sure you will, too. 

"I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and the friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children. It impacts everything. It couldn't be more critical to your happiness."

"We spend a lot of time as women, analyzing and trying to fix the things that aren't quite right when we should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like."

Have a blessed Sunday!

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