Love and a Higher Power

by Yahira TorresSurvivor, Breast CancerApril 29, 2022View more posts from Yahira Torres

Content/Trigger Warning: Sexual Harassment 

Does a higher power exist? I believe so and always have. Although, throughout my life, I have had a hard time connecting with it. There would be nights that I would pray to God but felt silly, so I would stop. Honestly, I think my lack of connection stemmed from my fury that bad things happen to good people. And I just could never wrap my head around why that was.

My struggles with faith started when I was a child. At a very young age, I had to deal with a family member that would go out of his way to harass me sexually. I would be in a constant state of panic when I was alone with him. His sexual harassment went on for many years, even when I became an adult and had my own children.

I’d ask God, “Why?” Why does he have to be this way? Why can’t God give me the strength to stop this harassment? If I say something, will I destroy my family? One day I was just fed up and decided to put a restraining order against him. What hurt me the most was the lack of support I received from my family. I had to learn to make choices without them.

Years went by, and I wasn’t any closer to being a religious or spiritual being. However, I eventually decided to put my energy into those who supported me and loved me. That positivity kept me from building up anger and resentment towards my family.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the power of love is what guided me through that tough time. This realization was found after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At 31 years of age, I found a lump on my breast. After having a breast biopsy, it was confirmed that I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, grade 2, ER positive, PR positive, HER2/neu negative breast cancer. Soon after, I tested positive for BRCA2, a genetic mutation predisposed to different types of cancers.

Cancer forced me to stop. It made me reevaluate everything in my life. My purpose and my time on this earth became my mission to learn. I will never say that going through cancer was a blessing, but I will say that it has changed my life. Before cancer, I would constantly flood my brain and time with stuff that wasn’t feeding my soul. Now I know that your energy shifts when you focus on love—things you love and people you love.

I choose to relish those positive love feelings through meditation and writing. When you don’t know where to start, a great tool is to write down ten things that you are grateful for daily, which can help you reflect on all the great things in your life. Although, I am not saying one should ignore negative feelings or go around spewing only positivity all the time. We are human, and we all get upset, but I simply choose not to dwell on the negatives for too long. I know that in order for me to enjoy the time I do have in this world, I need to do the things I love, be with those I love, and just radiate love. Unfortunately, I can’t do that if I am drowning in my own sorrows.

So what about the things we can’t control? And again, why do bad things happen to good people? I can’t answer that, but what I can say is whenever you experience happiness and laughter, there is no denying that you feel lighter and rejuvenated. I believe all positive feelings are the universe (God) existing through us. I believe God created us to live freely. We are free to create our own lives with the time that we do have on this earth. We have the power to overcome any circumstance by using the power of love.

I mean, let’s take a moment and discuss this famous question. What would you tell someone that has only a few days to live? You probably would tell them to drop everything unimportant and instead do the things they enjoy the most. You might also say they should spend every moment they have left with those who matter the most, right? This is the mindset that I try to practice every day of my life—I do what I love to do every day, and I am around those I love every day. That’s how I learn to heal — by enjoying my life to the fullest. So, what I hope you take from this is that God is love, and love is accessible to us all through him. Find your love, and you will find your peace.

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