Guest Post: The Woman in the Mirror by Jackie Clark

Please welcome Jackie Clark from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, a leading web resource for mesothelioma cancer. She contacted me a couple of weeks ago in regards to writing a guest post for the blog. Of course, I jumped at the chance to give her a platform to share such a beautiful and important message. Even if you are not battling cancer, I think there is something we can all get out of this inspirational post.

 The Woman In The Mirror: Staying Yourself with Cancer by Jackie Clark

Take a look in the mirror. After a cancer diagnosis, it can be hard to see past the stress and struggle. "I'm sorry, but you have cancer." You have a brain tumor, or leukemia, or mesothelioma. Through the shock you have to ferry yourself between doctor’s appointments, education on asbestos exposure and carrying the burden of a prognosis that always threatens to become grim.

Weariness steals the glow from your skin. Hair starts showing up in the sink in clumps. The skin around your eyes darkens, and the vibrancy you once had seems to melt away under the weight of the burdens you bare. Cancer is not just a disease that invades your body. Left unchecked, cancer can take a grip on your spirit. It can be easy to lose yourself under reams of test results, empty IV bags, and deferred dreams. It does not have to be that way. You may have little control over what the tests show tomorrow, but you can change who the world sees you as today.

Every day, how you dress declares who you are. Fashion is a tool of self-assurance that is easy to reach out and grasp. If you give yourself the chance to look in the mirror and say, "Wow, I look amazing today," it will settle inside you and bloom.

Take who you are inside and bring it out. Every hidden bit of sass that makes you feel powerful can translate into bold clothes and edgy makeup. The softer side flows in fluttering skirts and soft, soothing wraps. A cute dress will put the spring back in your step as you work it all the way through the grocery store. Instead of seeing a sick woman, haggard and an object of pity, the world will see a beautiful woman who knows how to feel good about herself.

Fashion is a mission of self-discovery. You can find a look or brand that speaks to who you are, or you can pick and choose from here and there to form the perfect representation of you, yourself and I. Fashion never has to be stressful; it should always be fun. The only question you truly need to ask is, "Who am I?" You may be the petal pink lipstick or the daring emerald eye shadow. You could be a beach girl rocking nautical stripes, or you could be a girl on the town in wicked heels and amazing designer jeans.

Your illness may mold the landscape of your body, but your illness only reshapes you if you let it. Just as you can find power in the will to survive, you can find power in yourself. True beauty is that person fighting to live. True beauty is the strong, sexy woman that's a little flirty today and cool & collected tomorrow.

You may be bald, but bald is sleek and sleek is sexy. You may be thin, but thin is spritely. You may have spent all this morning throwing up, but you have the cutest, trendiest little purse to keep your brand new lipstick in to find a little bit of joy in. You are not your diagnosis. You are you, and you are whom you choose to be. If you look it, you will rock it. Look in the mirror and see yourself. It's one battle you can always win.

CONVERSATION

4 comments:

  1. IdreamofanthropologieApril 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Wow, what a thoughtful perspective. Wonderfully written.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts. I wish you health and healing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was beautiful! I think this message can be applied to anyone who is struggling with something in their life.

    ReplyDelete

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