Updated: Nov 18, 2021
There was a time when I wouldn't leave the house if I didn't have my hair brushed and dyed. Going out on weekends implied buying new clothes for each appointment.
There was a time when I couldn't be myself in front of a partner without worrying if I was dressed up enough to cover up my flaws.
I didn't think about acquiring property, a car or any other asset. I worked in order to pay for the aesthetic treatments, clothes, shoes and beauty salon. The truth is that even in the essence of these attitudes, I was wrong, because all of this was not for me or for my self-love; it was to please and listen to people's praises.
The proof of this is that I paid for a gym membership and went twice a month, spent money on skincare and didn't use it, bought clothes that weren't even my style, but that were trending at the time and many other crazy things.
This vanity was related to the lack of self-esteem and therein lays the danger of reaching exaggeration and a life without the slightest purpose. I couldn't stop, although I was often aware of what I was doing to myself. It had already become a poisonous cycle and each day I increased the dose a little more.
Life always teaches valuable lessons! And if you don't listen to what it’s saying, my friend, you're going to have to learn in whatever way it decides to teach you.
When this process was already exhausting and impacting my financial, emotional and even working relationships and friendships, I started to feel that I needed a sudden change.
But along with that feeling was the inertia to change anything or take on who I really was. But remember what I said about life?
Yeah! In this whirlwind that I thought could not get any worse, the news came with a diagnosis of cancer, more specifically Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. So, I finally understood that my options, if I survived, were to change or change. There was no other way.
Without going into details of the whole extremely painful process of cancer treatment, I just need to point out that the first lesson it teaches you is about vanity.
The hair that would not allow me to leave the house without brushing or dyeing, the eyebrows that needed to be flawless, the eye bags always disguised with makeup, all that at that moment, literally fell to the ground. The balding process began and a shiny spot appeared, the eyebrow strands no longer existed, and the bags under my eyes tripled with medication, malaise, sleepless nights and fear.
The body lost all the lean mass and the firmness that I was so concerned with maintaining, at that moment, there was no trace left of it.
And then, life, as the best of mentors, and cancer, as the best of coaches, showed me what really mattered and who I wanted to be from there on. I perceived healing as a gift and my goal is to honor it every day and every minute.
Don't you have any more vanity, Liz?
I do, of course! But it is that vanity that values my mental and physical health. I learned the importance of good nutrition, hydrating, treating the body like a sanctuary, because no matter where you go or what you have, it is your main and best home.If I want to brush my hair or even do an aesthetic procedure, it will be for me and not to please anyone or to look like someone I am not.
This vanity is no longer in the first place in my life, only in the place it needs to be: below self-esteem, simplicity and humility.
How about you? Where is your vanity placed at?