A woman with Stage 3 breast cancer asks BR to explain the affirmation on the cancer tape that says, "I can heal myself and live or I can heal myself and die . . . . " Dear BR,
On your cancer tape, one of the affirmations says "I can heal myself and live or I can heal myself and die . . . . " Please explain! I love your cancer tape and have been using it twice a day for a couple of months. It really helps me when I start to freak out. I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in January and am just finishing my treatments this week. I am very thankful for you and your tapes and your very soothing voice and comforting and positive words.

BR replies:
Thank you very much for the kind words. I’m delighted that the imagery is helping, and I wish you the very best in the weeks, months and years to come.

I wrote that affirmation because I felt it important for people to realize that they can heal in psyche and spirit, even when their bodies aren’t recovering from physical illness, and that ‘healing’ shouldn’t be defined so narrowly that it excludes people who are not getting physically better - a common enough mistake in our black-or-white culture.

I’ve seen people grow and heal in their attitudes and beliefs during an illness. I’ve been lucky enough to observe deep shifts in their compassion toward themselves and others, and in their sense of completion and acceptance of their lives. I’ve seen wonderful instances of healed relationships, even when the other person isn’t around. And I’ve seen powerful reconnection with the Divine.

These are some of the things that an extended illness can provide people - time and space to process these profound issues and heal at a level that many others don’t get to experience.

That is not to say that we don’t fight for our lives - of course we do. And sometimes healing these psychic and spiritual issues can have profound effects on the body. At other times, the body has gone too far to recover. We never know. But either way, we can address these things and benefit from them.

I hope that answers your question. All best wishes to you, for healing on every level.