It is officially our third year anniversary and being married to my dearest husband has certainly taught me a lot about being a woman and the intrinsic differences between genders. One of the things I have noticed is how differently my man looks at his body and particularly his private parts. I have never heard him complain about his body, whether he gains a little bit of weight or loses it. I have never heard him talk negatively about his private anatomy either. It simply is what it is.
Yet, I find myself negating my body from time to time and I notice many women being downright mean to their bodies on so many levels. The area we seem to be particularly nasty to is our womanly bits (translation: vagina, uterus, ovaries etc.), our monthly cycle and of course endo. Many of us also resent having big thighs, bigger hips or being voluptuous. What’s scary about this is that every message we tell ourselves every time we negate our bodies or put it down in any way, we are sending a message to ourselves and our bodies.
Messages like these:
“You are too fat. You should be skinnier!”
“You are weak and pathetic. Get stronger and deal with this endo already!”
“Why are you so broken? You keep letting me down.”
“I hate my period so much. I dread it every month and it never gets any better. I wish I wasn’t a woman and didn’t have to go through this at all!”
I get that having endo is hard and I also get where so many of these messages will come from. It is a place of frustration, fear and perhaps a little bit of that niggly voice that comes up for me too sometimes… “I am not enough”. We believe that if we were skinnier, healthier or that we need something out there to make us more. If we are prettier, look better, feel better or attain that vision of beauty or health we see on TV and in magazines, then perhaps we are more lovable, more worthy? We negate ourselves on the journey and wonder why it takes so much longer to get there.
The reality is that we are perfectly lovable and enough just as we are right now, with endo or not.
Repeat after me:
“I am perfectly loveable and enough as I am right now” or “I am perfectly loveable and enough as I am right now”
No amount of weight, beauty products, supplements or anything else will make that more or less true. It is merely our own perception of what beauty is and what makes us feel beautiful and lovable. We can decide to choose a different view of beauty and how we feel about our own bodies. We can acknowledge the wonder of every breath, every heartbeat and truly love those curves and all that it means to be a woman, even with endo.
I love this TED talk by Gala Darling on what it means to truly love ourselves:
What we need to do is accept our bodies and its place in this journey right now. Acknowledge it for all that it has been through. Acknowledge the endo but don’t let any feelings of resentment or hatred come up. Not acceptance or surrender but acknowledgement. A voice, a calling for help and then… support your body. Give your body and your endo all the love and care it needs to the best of your ability.
- Eat, move, think and cleanse to support your body and your mind.
- Take care of your exposed womanly bits (vagina). Don’t use nasty chemicals near your little friend! No more nasty tampons, pads or cleansing douches. Get washable pads, organic cotton or the Diva Cup for your monthly and please stop using any chemical here. This is your most delicate space and it needs lots of love and care, not patronising douches. Read this post on what to use for your monthly.
- Give yourself regular abdominal massages. Connect with those inner womanly bits (ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus). Use geranium oil or frankincense and massage away the pain with deep breaths and plenty of loving thoughts.
- Prepare for your period with the right foods. Avoid sugary foods before your period and dose up on omega 3 rich oils like fish oils and chia seeds. Please avoid flaxseeds and oils.
- Give your little sweet womanly bits some treats and extra love with a vaginal steam or healing suppository.
Where you are right now is a wonderful space filled with opportunity. There are challenges and yes, sometimes we fall off the wagon but the answers and the improvements you are seeking are finally here. Choose to focus on what is possible and the means to provide for your body and every beautiful womanly bit that you have. Cherish them. Cherish your body. Cherish your life.