From New York to London, Brussels to Sydney, a pink ribbon has become an international symbol for breast cancer awareness. First used in 1990, a particular shade of pink has become so identified with this cause that it's instantly recognizable on juice bottles, cereal boxes, and in other formats, some of which help raise money for finding a cure (www.pinkribbon.org).
Perhaps it's time to take that awareness an additional step. As laudable as the motives to increase awareness are, and as valuable as some medical advances have been, the awareness we can adopt is a healing perspective that gets to the heart of the issue: Women (and men) are spiritual, free of proclivity toward disease. Understanding this will not only reduce, but end cancer's influence.
Recognizing that spirituality defines one's life and being doesn't ignore fear and suffering. It reveals Spirit as the only Creator, and each individual as the expression of Spirit's perfection. Prayer moves people beyond material conditions (with their vulnerabilities) to perceive themselves as God's pure, invulnerable creation.
The divine Mind stands guard over its spiritual idea – male and female. In this environment, there is no place for disease to develop or invade because there is no matter, no material entity to be invaded. As Spirit's reflection, each of us is safe and at peace.
In Spirit there is also no genetic history that can harm us. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Heredity is a prolific subject for mortal belief to pin theories upon; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances, and fleshly ills will disappear" (p. 228).
Materiality, with its "dangerous inheritances," is not a real part of anyone. Our history is written in the perfection that God saw as "very good." This is our true inheritance, with its roots in the famous words, "Let there be light," that the Bible says God uttered "in the beginning." Light, the understanding of Truth, is the essence of all being, and when we embrace it, we can see ourselves and others as free of defects or destructive proclivities that could put us under threat of disease. Nor can fear lead us to believe that disease can be developing without our awareness or consent. As Mary Baker Eddy put it, "Be no more willing to suffer the illusion that you are sick or that some disease is developing in the system, than you are to yield to a sinful temptation on the ground that sin has its necessities" (Science and Health, p. 381).
We have the courage to resist the suggestion of disease, even when information about it comes with the best human motives. Daily keeping thought close to God helps ward off fear and an obsessive concern with any disease, including cancer. When Jesus healed a woman who'd suffered from bleeding for 12 years, he told her that her faith had made her whole (see Mark 5:25–34). Her conviction that healing was possible – and that she could obtain it – turned the tide. Her experience continues to inspire both men and women.
Similarly, individual protective prayer for oneself or one's family can expand to include freedom for all people. Soul is God, and the infinitude of God naturally means that all are blessed as the material version of womanhood is given up, and the spiritual and perfect woman is revealed. Each individual has an unbreakable relation to our Mother God and Her perfection. No genetic failures or flaws can come to us through Her love. This is our genuine, spiritual heritage.
These truths are not meant only to comfort. They have power to change lives and to affect the broader picture, where the pink ribbon reminds us of breast cancer awareness. They call us to the prayer that has the power to cast out this disease from human life – forever.
The highest form of cancer awareness is the awareness that its threat is false and groundless, and that anyone can be freed not just from the fear of the disease but from the disease itself. If we are diligent in prayer, there will be a time when the pink ribbons will no longer carry their present association, and no woman or her family will have to fear this disease again.
Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.