Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Love

Love is hard to accept sometimes. It's hard for me to completely accept and receive it when I feel and look so very flawed. I was imperfect before, to be sure, but forging a confident sense of self, of beauty, of love-ability is even more challenging post-double mastectomy. I don't bring as much to the party of intimacy, so I sometimes wonder why my husband wants to stick around. "I love you--the whole person, not just the package," he says to me.

I am amazed at this kind of love. In some ways it easier to isolate myself and reject love--I don't have to then face my insecurities and survivor-demons. I don't have to risk vulnerability, or feeling out of control, or admitting my fear. But then not much love can be offered or received by either one of us if that's where I remain. Such love invites me to begin to love myself anew in a body that knows how to survive cancer. Wow, why would I want to trade it in for a newer or younger model? It was a gift when I received it; and it still is a gift.

Genesis promises that we are made in the image and likeness and God. I now see this not in terms of the body only, as I once did, but simply in the ability to give and receive divine love in all our human relationships. That's an image I still carry, scars and all. It's an image I can see in every person. That's big love.

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