Breast Cancer and The Mind - Body Connection

The mind-body connection is being talked about more and more lately. We know now, for example, that stress can be a major factor in causing heart attacks. Eating disorders have emotional triggers. Anxiety can cause acid reflux, nausea, or even vomiting. In her 2013 New York Times bestseller, Mind Over Medicine, Dr. Lissa Rankin writes that “Loneliness can make you sicker than smoking cigarettes.” If loneliness can make you so sick, it is not hard to imagine that illness can be also caused by a deep, lingering shame.

Shame is often referred to as the secret emotion. It’s called a secret one because our shame from a situation compels us to hold onto it, to hide and repress it. If something so universal and prevalent as loneliness can cause illness, then the regret, guilt and shame that many of us feel or felt after an abortion must create quite a cocktail of problems in our bodies.

For years, the question of whether there is a link between abortion and breast cancer has been debated. In many ways, this question seems to be a vehicle for the pro-life and pro-choice camps to put a stake in the ground to further each of their positions. What if we set aside the positioning for a moment and take a different look at this theory?

Christel Nani describes the traits she found in women who have breast cancer in her revolutionary book, Diary of a Medical Intuitive. She observes, “Women with breast cancer almost always have a secret, something they can’t forgive themselves for. This lack of forgiveness lowers their vibration and shuts down the energy flowing to their heart chakra. And the heart chakra, of course, is located near the breasts. In addition, having a guilty secret makes them feel ashamed and gives them a vague sense of owing a debt. It makes them think that they don’t deserve to be happy, to have a good marriage or an easy path in life. The fallout from their guilty secret pervades their entire lives.” 

Christel’s observations in Diary, published in 2004, were ahead of their time. She does not tie breast cancer to abortion per se, but does point out her findings that holding onto a secret is one of the several elements present in causing this disease. Now, ten years later, as we find more and deeper mind-body connections, I wonder if we can start to see the truth in her work. 

One way to get rid of the secrecy is to make our world a safer and more supportive place for women who have had abortions. The organization, Abortion Changes U, began a campaign on March 25 called U R Not Alone. This campaign is being done to show women that they have support in their ability to heal from all over our country. 

It is time for a radical change in thinking.

What if the pro-life movement really was pro-life? What if instead of saying “I told you so” when the aftermath of abortion is identified, we stopped the judgment process long enough for to allow women to grieve, to heal, and to find wholeness - to support the life already here? What if the pro-choice movement stopped denying that there are aftereffects to abortion? What if we were privy to the stories of other women in a way that opens us up to support and community? 

One in every three women in the United States will have had an abortion by the age of 45. Despite this common occurrence, it remains so stigmatized that the mere use of the word in conversation triggers many women. For the sake of our grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends, aunts and cousins – for the sake of any woman who has ever had an abortion – won’t you please consider signing your name to the U R Not Alone Campaign? Please let our sisters know that they have support in their healing journey. I believe this can be a powerful first step to bridging the divide and bringing peace to the abortion debates. 

A dear friend of mine once shared with me his fear of not taking the opportunity to help someone in need when it was offered to him. This is a chance to be of service - maybe to one woman, potentially to many of us. Signing this statement of support is an easy way to make a big difference.

Thank you, from my heart, for your support.


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