In 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and suddenly every fear I could imagine came crashing down on my shoulders at once: financial, professional, relationships, vanity, fertility and of course mortality.
After undergoing a double mastectomy surgery at the ripe age of 39, I returned to Colombia terrified, afraid of leaving my family, my doctors, my city, but for the first time in my life ready to take a risk in the name of love.
I had no idea that I was about to face my most difficult challenge yet. After working for my entire life I found myself unemployed, worlds away from friends and family, with no idea what was next. My finances had dwindled down to almost nothing (who knew that cancer was so expensive), and for the first time I felt the icy cold grip of financial fear.
Aside from the physical pain, my surgery had split me open from the inside emotionally. Me, who prided herself on being strong and independent (there’s no crying on Wall Street!) was suddenly face to face with my biggest fear. I had no choice but to be vulnerable, to depend on others, to ask for help, to cry, to tell the people I loved how much they meant to me and how much I needed them.
It was in this moment of profound weakness and vulnerability that I discovered the real meaning of strength. I learned to love parts of me that I had hidden for years, and realized that loving and embracing them was in fact the greatest act of strength and bravery there is.
It is through our darkness that we get to know our light, through our weakness, our strength. My greatest difficulties, failures and defects have become my greatest assets, they are what make me uniquely qualified to guide others.
I used to hate my scars but now they fill me with pride, battle wounds of a Warrior Girl, who in her darkness found her light, and in her weakness, her strength. Sending so much love to all of you on your own paths. Remember, we are all Warriors, and I’m here to remind you if you ever forget.