In the Brokenness – that is where life is lived

“That is where life is lived, in the brokenness” that is a quote from Karen Harte Morris and for me it sums up our lives. We all have our own path to take and that is what sets us apart from the lives of others. When the journey nears a possible end, it gives you the opportunity to assess what is important in your life. This is what happened to Karen, and she saw it as just that – an opportunity. As a fab plus size woman, she was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. It was too far along for lumpectomy, so she opted for double mastectomy. She was tired of the things that society dictated as a definition of a woman; she was not a size 2, she had lost both breasts and her hair to surgery and chemotherapy. Karen decided that this was an opportunity, an opportunity to assess what was really important in her life.

What are the answers? Her children, her health, and her life.

The cancer had put up a lens in front of Karen’s eyes. She could see the world, and her place in it, with a complete clarity that had been lacking before. Karen had followed a well-travelled path. She graduated college, got a job, got married and had children; this was the way everyone lived their life, right? When her marriage was struggling , it was then that she realized there was a different way. As her marriage began to crumble, she desperately wanted it to work for the sake of their children, but it wasn’t making any of them happy. However, Karen realized that she was “consciously unhappy”. One day she sat looking at old photos thinking how she ended up here and asking herself, “Where did I go?”

Karen found herself dealing with the illness of both her parents as well as the end of her marriage. She felt that because of her size she didn’t deserve success and happiness. If each and every person is measured by their character rather than their looks then society would end its obsession with size 2 models and trying to live the “perfect” life.

Looking back at the path of her life that brought her here, Karen can see through the cancer lens and looks at life differently. There are no regrets for her. Now is a time to focus on the positive things, on living her best life. Her goal is to live longer than her mother did and is absolutely determined to achieve this goal.

Karen has come out with an inspiring vision from this obstacle-filled life. She wants every woman to believe they have a value that has nothing to do with their feminine body parts or their size. That every one of us is on a journey, but only different paths.

With the diagnosis of cancer, the other great clarifier is finding out who your friends truly are. Karen found that there were people who rallied round for her, helped her out with chores, dropping off a meal or looking after the kids for a few precious hours. These random acts of kindness mean so much but with a lack of energy and focus Karen felt that she could never express her gratitude or ever repay them.

Now that she is done with chemo and surgery, she has never felt more positive and more beautiful. Her hair is growing back and she feels more at one with the world. Let life throw anything her way and she will deal with it. She is ready to take on the world, and that may even include dating. In fact, a man was flirting with her in the market the other day and she is so unused to this that she thought he was trying to steal her wallet!

Karen can look back on all of this with a certain amount of detachment. She says that there are so many aspects of life that you have absolutely no control over. But you shouldn’t get hung up on the little things, it isn’t what happens that defines you but how you react to it. Karen understands that her value is in her, not her breasts, her hair, her marriage or anything else that society believes. This resonates with us at FabUplus Magazine in every way.

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