How to Love Yourself (After Chemotherapy)

My Pink Flower

Adapted by Laura Revels from How to Love Yourself by Louise L. Hay

  1. Stop all criticism. Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. Sometimes by choice, and in our case, because cancer made us change and we’re doing the best that we can.
  2. Stop scaring yourself. Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, (mine is of me lying in a berry patch when I was a little girl staring up at the sky through the leaves) and immediately switch your scary thought to a kind thought.
  3. Be gentle and kind and patient. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking.
  4. Treat yourself as you would someone you really love.
  5. Be kind to your mind. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change the thoughts.
  6. Praise yourself. Criticism breaks the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
  7. Support yourself. Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
  8. Take care of your body. Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise or movement can you enjoy? Cherish and revere the body you live in.
  9. Mirror work. Look in the mirror once a day. When you look in the mirror, tell yourself that you care about yourself and that you’re doing the best that you can. Express this every day. Show yourself that you care and love yourself.  It’s ok to love and care for yourself as you love and care for others.
  10. LOVE YOURSELF – DO IT NOW! Don’t wait until you get well, lose the weight, or get the new job. BEGIN NOW – You Are Doing the Best You Can!

After cancer treatments, because of the way you look and feel, having kind and caring thoughts about yourself may be difficult.  I use to have a healthy self-esteem and confidence, both which took a beating during chemotherapy, and I thought the article above was most appropriate for that time in my life.  I had started to criticize myself, and of course since my health was *ell, I thought I looked like *ell, jiminy crickets, cancer sure is a kicker ain’t it?  All we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, and be gentle with ourselves. We’ve been through a lot.

Here’s to healing for all affected by cancer.

Resources for how to deal with the emotional effects of cancer:

Mayo Clinic – Managing Emotions

National Cancer Institute – Feelings and Cancer

MacMillan (United Kingdom Cancer Site) – Your Feelings After Cancer Treatment

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