Coming to terms with facing the unknown is one of the most vital challenges we confront in this life.  The fear of the unknown can quickly send us into the fight, flight or freeze mode, it can erode our moral code to the point that we dehumanize those whom we perceive as a threat to our survival.  Yet, if we were to to turn the tables, to be on the receiving end of those defenses that depersonalize and dehumanize, could we accept that?  When we seek to protect ourselves at any cost, we undeniably hurt ourselves, our families, our communities, our humanity.

We all need the chance to feel secure that our basic needs and rights are met, protected, and honored.  We cannot rest until this is universal.  We cannot live in a fragmented world of hate and suspicion.  We need to be open to expressing and accepting our wounds and the wounds of others.

When I faced the possibility of dying from cancer, the uncertainty I felt was raw and powerful.  I also felt deeply what I valued most about my life, my family and my community.  Believing in the sacredness of connection anchored me to my core when I needed it the most.

We are coming to terms with the cancerous parts of our country.  Just like when you face a light threatening condition, we must be fully accepting of the problems that exist and how we have contributed to them.  Let it be our willingness to live more boldly than we thought possible and more lovingly connected to one another that brings us to salvation.  For if we cannot deny our own individual rights, then how can we accept this for others?

– Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC, is an art therapist and breast cancer survivor. She began Creative Transformations to help others who are healing from a life threatening illness or injury. Creative Transformations offers individual sessions, in person or via Skype, workshops, and this weekly blog. Sign up today so you never miss one by visiting:, where you will also find the links to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.