In the summer of 2015, Arlene was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“When the doctor told me, I remember, I was really calm, but I cried, of course,” Arlene recalls. “And I remember thinking, this is happening and you’re tough enough.”
Arlene was very private through her cancer journey, a decision she intentionally made for a few simple reasons.
“I knew that the world has a very fearful mindset around cancer and I knew that most of what I was going to have to face would be in my own head,” Arlene says.
“My life was on the line and I knew I couldn’t afford to buy into fear.”
Reflecting on her journey, Arlene says we’re all always taking to ourselves all the time, we’re just not usually aware of it.
“For years of my life, I had self-talk that was really harsh, very critical and judgmental,” Arlene describes. “Usually the things that you say to yourself you wouldn’t say to other people. Surely not with tone or that judgment — but we do it to ourselves in our minds all the time and usually without being aware of it.”
In recent years, Arlene had made a commitment to be kind to herself.
“That preserved me a lot. You are with yourself all the time. Not only are you talking to yourself, you’re listening,” she says. “Our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings create our actions and our actions create our results.”
So through cancer, Arlene was loving, gentle and compassionate with herself.
“Cancer was a great education for me,” she says. “I don’t wish it on anyone — but if you are in a season of cancer, or a life changing season, and to be honest, most of us are in a life-changing season of some sort all the time — look at it as a huge invitation for healing. And set your mind that this will be for your growth, not your destruction.”
Above all, Arlene says, focus on God’s promises.
“Through all the versions of me, God kept me in tack. He kept me in peace and with a sound mind,” she says. “I’m inspired and in awe to be learning that regardless of where I first learned these principles, they are all biblically based. There are scriptures that back all these truths up. So not only are they true, but they are God’s truths. I really want people to come to understand God’s truth because it will change your life, and I know that it saved mine.”
Our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings create our actions and our actions create our results.
Set your mind that this will be for your growth, not your destruction.