January 22, 2017
One year ago today, I walked into my sixth major surgery to remove my silicone implants. As I reflect on this anniversary, what is most worthy of celebration is not solely the massive improvement in my physical health (which has far exceeded any hopes or expectations I had going into that operation), but the power of lining up my internal beliefs with my actions in the world. This particular last cut was no doubt a watershed moment for me in my personal life on many levels. More important than my individual embodiment though is how this one decision grew, and is every day strengthening, into a community around bold, brave empowerment beyond my story. My choice to act on behalf of what was most true to me in that given moment was made with a simultaneous dedication to attach words and imagery to a process we all experience over and over in life. There was, and is, a universal thread in any big life decision, or last cut moment, that connects us beyond the details of any one of our stories. We all have experienced moments in which we feel like strangers in our own lives. In some place within ourselves or out in the world, we all know what it is to sense incongruence between what we feel and we do. Those are the moments when we have the power to elicit change. Those are the times when we can boldly and bravely act on behalf of our truths in order to do what is possible to set ourselves free and help support others in doing so as well.
There is no one last cut in any of our lives. Every last cut evokes a desire that this one single action will set us free. Yet, we live in a dynamic world. Everything within and around us is constantly evolving. We have a choice as to whether or not we dedicate ourselves to staying on the pulse of that change so that, to the best of our ability and circumstance, we are matching up our values with our actions. No one day, no one action, is last and final. True freedom and growth occur when we commit to this philosophy as a way of being. When we take an oath to continually ask ourselves, “What is most true to me?” in this moment, and “How am I living it?” in this moment, and take action when called for, we begin to live the change we seek in the world around us. One day that might be the decision to remove silicone implants, if resources and an internal calling to do so collide, and tomorrow it may be standing up for the rights of millions to have access to health care. One day that might be picking up the phone or writing letters to your Congressional leaders voicing your opinion on what you desire will change. It may be informing yourself of upcoming opportunities to vote, get involved, support, speak up and advocate. It may be speaking up to a bully, or coaching your child to do so. It may be realizing the ways you are being a bully to yourself or others, and altering those behaviors. Perhaps you are in an unhappy relationship? Perhaps you are not being treated well by your partner? Perhaps you are not treating your partner well? Whatever it looks like, it is never a last opportunity to speak up, stand up and act on behalf of yourself and others who need your support.
So, today, as I honor the anniversary of my explant, I will certainly make a toast to my improved health. I am beyond grateful for the many ways I feel more like myself and healthier than ever before. However, I am most thankful today for the birth of Last Cut. I am in awe of this community we have built and the expression of an attitude, a way of life, that provides me great hope in this moment in history. As Gandhi so beautifully stated, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” That change does not happen in one moment or one action. We must do an internal inventory, as well as open our eyes to those around us who need our support. Lasting change calls for consistent dedication to what you believe in most and to taking action on its behalf.