Learn how to love yourself if you have cancer and why you need it to defeat it. Discover how our attachments to our parents can cause common emotional traits in cancer patients. Find out how to find love and feel great again.
The Healing Power Of Loving Yourself
I got inspired to write this blog post when I read Anita Moorjani's book Dying to be me. In this book, she described her battle with cancer and how a near-death experience changed her life. After she woke up from her out of body experience, she learned that her self-hate caused her cancer.
In this blog post, I, therefore, want to explain the importance of self-love to heal cancer. I’m going to explain why we struggle to love ourselves and where it stems from.
Then we're going to look at the ego and common emotional traits cancer patients share. Later on, you will also understand how our trauma can cause more cancer. In the last section of this blog post, you will discover how to start loving yourself again.
So let’s learn how our relationship with our parents affects our self-love.
How Our Attachments To Our Parents Form Us
Most of our trauma starts in our childhood. An infant is helpless and needs the care of both parents at the beginning of his or her life.
In the 1930s John Bowlby worked as a psychiatrist in a Child Guidance Clinic in London. In this clinic, he treated many emotionally disturbed children.
Bowlby believed that children's relationship with their mothers affected their emotional state. He observed that infants would go great lengths to avoid separation from their parents.
Behaviors like crying were responses to separation from a primary attachment figure. An attachment figure is someone who provides support, protection, and care.
Human infants cannot feed or protect themselves. They are dependent upon the care and protection of adults. Bowlby argued that infants who were able to have an attachment figure would be more likely to survive.
Later on, Bowlby formulated his attachment theory. He also worked together with Mary Ainsworth.
The Strange Situation Experiment
Mary Ainsworth was an American-Canadian developmental psychologist. She began to study infant-parent separations. Ainsworth and her students developed a technique called the strange situation. It was a laboratory model for studying infant-parent attachment.
In this experiment, 12-month-old infants and their parents entered a laboratory. They were then separated from and reunited with one another. About 60% of the children behaved in a normal way.
They became upset when the parent left the room. Later when the parent returned, the children sought their comfort and calmed down.
Other children (about 20% or less) became more distressed. When they got reunited with their parents, they had a difficult time calming down. They wanted their parent's comfort but also punished them for leaving.
Another group of children in this experiment didn't appear to be distressed by the separation from the parent. Upon reunion, they avoided their parent.
Bowlby believed that the infant-caregiver relationship formed the adult's experience. It was not until the mid-1980s, that researchers began to confirm his theory.
Hazan and Shaver were two of the first researchers to explore Bowlby's ideas. According to them the attachment between children and parents affect our romantic relationships.
Let's explore these attachment styles and how they affect our relationships.
Secure attachment is when children feel they can rely on their caregiver's emotional support and protection. It is the best attachment style.
People with this characteristic become confident in themselves. They are more likely to succeed in their relationships and trust people.
Anxious-avoidant attachment is when infants avoid their parents. They learn this behavior when their parents push them away after they seek their love. As a result of keeping their distance, they receive their parent's protection.
People with this attachment style get anxious when a relationship becomes more intimate. They can have no problem talking to people about various topics. But when a relationship turns more intimate, or they need to share their feelings they freeze.
They may have a problem voicing their opinions and instead say “I don’t know.” People with this attachment style believe that they need to avoid intimate relationships.
Anxious-ambivalent attachment is when infants feel separation anxiety when the caregiver doesn't notice them. They start to cling to their parents to get their attention.
People with this attachment style worry that others may not love them. They get frustrated or angered when their attachment needs go unmet. As adults, they often cling to others and become jealous when their partner talks to the opposite sex.
Disorganized attachment is when there is a lack of attachment behavior.
Children with this attachment style have a chaotic behavior. It is hard to anticipate how they will react. They often grew up in orphanages.
How Unconscious Parents Destroy Our Self-Esteem
Children need their parents' affection for at least two years to become secure in themselves and form stable relationships. Sadly many parents today put their children in daycare before the age of two.
It is through our bond with our parents that we learn how to feel love and accept ourselves. Most of our relationships with our parents are often stressful and chaotic. If we have critical and condescending parents, we are more likely to lack self-confidence.
Children can’t understand that their parent's anger has nothing to do with them. It has more to do with their parents' lack of loving themselves. To be a kind and loving parent you need to love and respect yourself.
How our parents treat us affect our image of ourselves. If parents are loving and caring their children become self-confident. They will cherish and respect themselves and others more.
Parents confuse their children when they tell them they love them in an angry voice. Negative emotions are not the same thing as love. When parents worry about their kids, they do it out of fear, not love.
Our parents are not solely responsible for our suffering. Teachers, bullies, society, and other children can also affect our self-esteem. Because of all the trauma in our lives we create an ego.
The Ego Is Behind Our Suffering
As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We call this phantom self the ego. Ego means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind. It is a collection of our negative thoughts and beliefs.
The ego is the little I that stop us from seeing who we are. All it wants is to survive, and that is the reason we become so scared of losing others' approval.
Our negative thoughts and emotions are part of our unconscious mind. We get an emotional reaction when something reminds us of our old pain. Another aspect of emotional pain is a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness.
People enter into a compulsive pursuit of the ego to fill the void they feel within. So they strive after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship. They do this so they can feel complete.
But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there. As long as your egoic mind is running your life, you cannot be at ease. You cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted.
This false, mind-made self, the ego, feels vulnerable and insecure. It always seeks new things to identify with to give it a feeling that it exists. But nothing is ever enough to give it lasting fulfillment.
Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. Common ego identifications include:
To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are important. One way it tries to find love is through romantic relationships.
Why The Ego Wants Toxic Romantic Relationships
Most intimate relationships are dysfunctional and flawed. Romantic love seems to be the answer to all the ego's problems and needs. The relationship may seem perfect for a while, such as when you are "in love." But that perfection gets disrupted as arguments, conflicts, and dissatisfaction occurs.
Most "love relationships" become love/hate relationships before long. Love can then turn into hate in an instance. The relationship then continues in "love" and hate cycles for months or years.
It is not uncommon for couples to become addicted to those cycles. Their drama makes them feel alive. When the negativity become out of hand, the relationship often collapses.
Common traits in toxic romantic relationships include:
In the beginning, you are "in love" with your partner. This experience is at first a satisfying feeling. You feel alive. Your existence has become meaningful because someone needs and wants you. When you are together, you feel whole. The feeling can become so intense that the rest of the world fades into insignificance.
However, there is neediness and a clinging quality to that intensity. You become addicted to the other person, like a drug. You are on a high when the drug is available, but feel terrible when it's gone.
In an instant, loving tenderness can turn into hate or grief. Romantic love is not real love, but fear. We cling to a romantic relationship because we believe it will make us happy.
You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite.
So let's explore common emotional traits cancer patients share.
Common Emotional Traits In Cancer Patients
Dr. Brodie was a holistic practitioner that focused on alternative and integrative medicine in the early ’70s. He treated thousands of cancer patients for fifty years. Dr. Brodie observed specific personality traits and stressors in all cancer patients.
He noticed that suppressed anger was the most common trait in cancer patients. They often felt rejected by one or both parents. This rejection often resulted in a lack of closeness with the rejecting parent or parents. Later in life, they might lack closeness with spouses and friends.
Cancer patients have a tremendous need for approval and acceptance. They tend to the needs of others while suppressing their own emotional needs.
The cancer personality becomes the caretakers of the world. They are reluctant to accept help from others. Throughout their childhood, they have learned not to be selfish, and take this to heart.
Cancer patients often suffer in silence and carry their burdens without complaint. Those at higher risk for cancer tend to develop feelings of loneliness. The patient is unable to cope with traumatic events. They experience a stressful event about two years before their diagnosis.
How one reacts to stress appears to be a major factor in the development of cancer. This traumatic event is often beyond the patient's control.
Common examples include the loss of a loved one, business, job, home, or some other major disaster. The typical cancer patient doesn't know how to cope with these extreme events.
Let's look at three cancer patients stories and how they manifested cancer. I'll start with Anita Moorjani's cancer journey.
Anita's Cancer Story
Anita Marjooni was born in Singapore of Indian parents. In her household, she grew up speaking English, Cantonese, and Indian dialect. Anita lived in Hong Kong and worked in the corporate world for several years.
Her parents wanted her to marry and raise children. She was not able to express who she was and had a hard time loving herself. Anita was afraid of failing, letting people down, and not being good enough.
Her entire life, she lived in fear of disappointing others. She battled with the part of herself that wanted to go her path. Anita dreamed of climbing Machu Picchu, enjoying paella in Spain, and visiting Paris.
Deep down, she wanted the freedom to be herself but didn’t know how. So she went on playing it safe, walking the line between fitting in and honoring her true self.
Anita felt she had to try her hardest to measure up to the cultural rules set before her. She believed she needed to be a good Indian girl by marrying and having children.
Anita was a people pleaser and feared disapproval from anyone. She bent over backward to avoid people thinking ill of her. Over the years, she lost herself in the process. She was so wrapped up in cultural expectations that she didn’t know what was important to her.
Losing her best friend, Soni, and brother-in-law to cancer was traumatic. It wasn’t long before fear began to manifest itself in her body. At age 42, Anita found a lump in her shoulder. Later on, she got a lymphoma diagnosis, cancer of the lymphatic system.
For four years, her body became weaker. At one point her weight dropped to 80 pounds(40 kg). Anita became too weak to walk on her own. She started giving up hope that she would heal.
Anita entered into a near-death experience (NDE). In this state, she discovered the truth about life. When Anita regained consciousness, her cancer healed within weeks. I will reveal what she learned in that situation later on in this article.
Meanwhile, let's look at Mary's cancer story.
Mary's Cancer Journey
Mary experienced a sad childhood because of her parents' constant fighting. She could not remember when they didn't have tension between each other. Mary was a sensitive person and took on more stress than her extroverted brother. She felt insecure, frightened, and depressed.
Mary was forced to sit and eat with them in a tense atmosphere. Sometimes everyone would keep quiet, in an attempt not to arouse any new conflicts. As a result, she developed a strong aversion to eating food and gobbled it down quickly.
Mary also faced great difficulties at work. In her job as a teacher, she often felt frustrated. Upon returning home, she often took her frustration out on her kids. She wanted to be a good mother but didn't know how to be kind to her children.
Mary never wanted to be a classroom teacher. She always dreamed of becoming a gymnastics coach. The frustration of not fulfilling her desires was a major cause of Mary’s cancer.
Right from the beginning of her life, she learned to conform to social norms. Deep inside she had dreams that she wanted to fulfill. But she didn't want to stir up any tension with others. Mary went along with what her parents demanded of her, but inside she was steaming with rage.
Her endless attempts to suppress her inner feelings later led to cancer. All the unexpressed grief and frustration created a division within her heart. The emotional suffocation caused so much anger and frustration in Mary.
She had a fear of not being loved or liked by others, including her parents. Mary targeted these negative emotions at her own body. Her toxic mind translated into a poisonous body that threatened her survival.
The last story I want to share is Jeromy's cancer journey.
Jeromy's Cancer Story
Jeromy was born in a developing country with an unstable political situation. At the age of four, his parents sent him to a boarding school in another country for his safety. Jeromy didn't understand the reason behind this move.
He felt as though his parents stopped loving him and no longer wanted him. Losing the closeness with his parents was traumatic. His parents believed that sending him away was in Jeromy’s best interest. He lost the affection from the most important people in his life, at an age when he needed it the most.
Jeromy spent much of his life trying to prove to his parents that he was worthy of their love. He developed a relentless drive to succeed in life. When he was 21, his girlfriend left him.
This breakup stirred up the deep hurt he experienced in his childhood rejection. Like other cancer patients, he had a deep-seated fear and anger from feeling abandoned.
When Jeromy was 22 years old, he noticed two enlarged lymph nodes in his neck. A few days later, he got a Hodgkin’s disease diagnosis. Hodgkin’s disease is cancer in the lymph nodes.
Jeromy had buried the feelings of rejection in his subconscious mind. By ignoring or denying the fact that this rejection had ever taken place, he forced his body to cause cancer.
As you can see in these stories, emotional trauma can lead to cancer. Let me explain why that is.
How Our Emotional Conflicts Manifest Cancer
Unresolved conflicts are most likely the starting point of any illness, including cancer. The body always uses stress to deal with the traumatizing conflict. Significant stress causes suppression of the immune system.
Stress can alter our DNA and make us sick.Your DNA listens to every word you tell yourself, and it feels every emotion you experience. What we call disease is a perfect representation of our inner world. Cancer has a profound meaning to it. Its purpose is not to destroy but to heal what is no longer whole.
Whatever happens in our emotional body also occurs in our physical body. The real cancer is a trapped and isolated emotion. If a cell doesn’t receive adequate oxygen cancer can follow. Our negative emotions are a big part of this process. General feelings in cancer patients are fear, guilt, anger, hatred, resentment, and frustration.
Ryke Geerd Hamer was a doctor that made over 20000 CT scans of cancer patients. He discovered that each of them had a lesion in a specific part of the brain.
He named them Hamer herds. Dr. Hamer learned that a dramatic and isolating shock caused these lesions. When the patients resolved the conflict, the CT image changed, and so did the tumor
It's through loving ourselves that we can reverse the whole situation. So what did Anita discover in her near-death experience that reversed her cancer?
Anita's Near Death Experience That Healed Her Cancer
In 2006 Anita fell into a coma after her four-year struggle with cancer. She could feel herself slip further and further away from consciousness.
Anita felt no emotional attachment to her lifeless body as it lay there on the hospital bed. She felt free, liberated, and magnificent. Every pain, ache, sadness, and sorrow was gone.
In this near-death state, she was more aware of all that was going on around than in her physical state. She wasn’t using her five biological senses, yet could take in more of the surrounding.
It didn’t feel as though she’d physically gone somewhere else. Instead, it felt as though she woken up from a bad dream. Love, joy, and ecstasy poured into her. Anita felt more free and alive than she ever had.
It was a feeling of complete, pure, unconditional love, unlike anything she’d felt before. Time felt different in that realm too. Anita was aware of her past, present, and future simultaneously.
Anita discovered that we are all connected. Every human animal, plant, insect, and inanimate object are all one. She realized that the entire universe was alive and conscious. Everything belonged to an infinite whole.
Before the NDE Anita always thought she needed to work at being lovable. But after this incredible experience, she realized she was love. Just the fact that she existed made her deserve it.
This understanding made her recognize that she no longer had anything to fear. Once she woke up again in her body, she knew that every single cell would respond to the decision.
Self-love became her cure.
Other's Criticism Can't Make Us Unhappy
Anita discovered that we are all love. Many people don’t feel self-love and try to find it in others. The only reason why they can’t feel it is because of their negative beliefs about themselves and the world. We are love and don’t need it from others.
Many people believe that the criticism we receive from others is the reason why we suffer. But others can’t hurt us if we respect and love ourselves. They can’t make you feel bad if you don’t already believe the same thing about yourself. When others make you react negatively it is a reflection of what you already think about yourself.
One time I had a colleague that criticized me for making mistakes. I felt sad and angry by his comment. It was later that I learned that I was critical of my mistakes. I then worked on my thoughts and learned to accept myself even if I made mistakes.
Self-love is the solution to our suffering. Many still believe that we have to work at being loving. But that means living in duality because there are a giver and a receiver.
Realizing that we are love transcends this. It means understanding that there’s no separation between you and me. If I’m aware that I am love, then I know that you are, too. Being love also means taking care of my own needs, and not putting myself last all the time.
You're not your body, race, religion, or other beliefs, and neither is anyone else. The real self is infinite and powerful. So how can we experience our real self? To learn more read the next section below.
Our attachment to our parents form our future relationships.
The ego is a collection of our negative thoughts and beliefs.
Most intimate relationships are dysfunctional and flawed.
Cancer patients share similar emotional traits.
Unresolved conflicts are the starting point of cancer.
We are all one.
Love is our true self.
How To Love Yourself Again
1. Realize that love comes from within
2. Don't chase happiness in external things
3. Take care of your needs
4. Work on your negative thoughts
Love already exists within you. The only thing that can keep you from being aware of it is self-limiting beliefs. You have to go beyond the mind and thoughts to experience your true self.
Once your mind goes out of the way, the floodgates open. Instead of fighting against the nature of the universe you allow it to flow on its terms.
Positive thinking will not work. You will only cover your negative thoughts we positive ones. Positivity and love is the core of who we are. It is not something we have to struggle to get.
When we live from the mind, we lose touch with our infinite self. We shift from doing instead of being. The latter means living from the soul and is a state of allowing.
It means letting ourselves be who and what we are without judgment. Once you know who you truly are, you cannot help but love, accept and honor yourself. You can no longer judge yourself for making mistakes.
One way to love yourself is to work on your thoughts and stop seeking love from other people. I prepared a workbook with different exercises that teach you how to love yourself. Learn how to let go of your ego and make your true-self shine through.