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Self-love: the complicated relationship with my body

I’m going to show my most vulnerable side and get very personal here. I have a complicated relationship with my body. And this covers several layers. I could write a whole book about it (and maybe I will someday), but I’ll try to summarize it succinctly. It can be divided into the subcategories appearance, sexuality, emotions, femininity and health.

Appearance
From a young age I have been trying to change my body so that it is attractive to the outside world.
I remember my teenage years as always watching my weight and always dieting. Hiding the parts of my body that don’t meet society’s standards. Always externally focused and filled with shame. It made me very insecure. Now that I’m hitting 40, I realize that I’ve probably spent half my life thinking about other people’s opinions about my body. I have decided to do things differently for the next forty years. My body is my temple and I want to feel good in and about her. I love my body as she is and I will only change her when it feels right or necessary for me. I’m not going to hide anything anymore, because my temple is worth seeing. And if anyone has a problem with that, they can just look away!

Sexuality
I am a sexual being. We are all sexual beings. I still don’t understand why we as humanity have decided that this is taboo. In my opinion, it creates unnecessary difficulties. Everything that is not allowed or mysterious draws attraction. That is why the sex industry is booming business. I have been very insecure about my sexual expression. It’s something I used to tuck somewhere far away, something that wasn’t supposed to be seen by others. But you can’t really stop or deny what is already there. It wants out and will find a way. And that way might not always be the path of light, I know this from experience. That is why I now welcome my sexual expression, so that I can meet it from the light and no longer from the dark shadow. She is part of me and may also be fully present in this world.

Emotions
I have learned to analyze and make choices with my “mind” or my head. For me, this often resulted in going through all kinds of scenarios and living very much in the future. Always busy with the next step and associated worries, so that I actually lived in a constant (light) form of fear. Because of this, I also find it difficult to feel emotions in my body. This is troubling because my emotions tell me a lot about what I need in the present moment. The present moment is actually the only moment. You cannot influence the rest, because it has either already happened or it is yet to come and cannot be predicted. I’m working hard to get out of my head and feel more in my body. An inspiring phrase I heard recently at a retreat: “a moment will never come back in that exact composition or shape ever again, so try to really enjoy every moment.”

Femininity
For me, to a large extent, femininity coincides with child-bearing. Unfortunately this is not for me.
I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which means that I do not ovulate or less often and I also do not have my periods every month. My ovaries make too many male hormones. So there is a disturbance in my hormonal balance. In my previous relationship we went through a medical process to get pregnant. This was successful, but resulted in an ectopic pregnancy that required the removal of a fallopian tube. Miraculously, in my current relationship, I fell pregnant naturally, but again had an ectopic pregnancy with the other fallopian tube removed. This means that there is no natural way for me to get pregnant. In 2019, my current partner and I considered an IVF trajectory. On the first test I had to do to assess whether an IVF attempt would be successful, the result was negative. That was enough for us to decide not to continue the process. Our desire to have children is not big enough to put my body and emotional state through such a dragging process. Yet all this has influenced and questionned my femininity. I don’t feel the connection some women have with their bodies and their wombs. I can even say that I am somewhat disappointed in my body and my femininity. And I’m sure more women experience this, but unfortunately we never talk about these things in public. I am now at peace with the decision and the fact that I will not be a mother. And I try to express my femininity in other ways. I find women’s circles very inspiring, especially because it is a safe place to share and process trauma.

Health
My health is becoming increasingly important. The older I get, the more involved I am in it. Heart disease and other hereditary conditions run in my family. I am becoming more and more aware of this and I also try to pay better attention to what I consume. I try to exercise regularly, such as yoga and roller skating, to eat and drink less alcohol/sugars/meat/fish and I recently started a vegetable garden. Soon I hope to eat more from my own harvest. I believe that the way we live, produce and exhaust the earth also affects our health. And I’m still doing far too little to improve this. It is sincerely my intention to work on this because I believe it will benefit all of us. Out of love for yourself, you can also share love with others.

Despite all the layers in my relationship with my body, I can still look at her with love. Perhaps you are wondering how I came to these insights and self-love? And maybe you want to know how you can make a transformation yourself to love your body more? Then I may have a disappointing but honest answer for you. There is no “quick fix.” This is the result of more than 10 years of working on myself. Continuously working on my personal development and growth process. The great thing is that you will understand and appreciate your body more and more. I have a complicated relationship with my body, but I still love her dearly.

I am curious. What is your relationship with you body? Drop a comment or emoji.

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