For me, one of the worst parts about having serious endometriosis is the anxiety it creates. I’m never quite sure how bad my period is going to be in any given month or if any changes in it mean my endometriosis is getting worse again, and, of course, there’s always the question of fertility hanging over my head. I felt more in control and reassured once I started eating more and consistently started doing yoga for endometriosis, but I still felt both afraid of and betrayed by my body. Having two surgeries and a history of often horrendous periods will do that to you.
Then one day I did a yoga meditation for endometriosis that was about sending a sense of joy and peace to the different parts of your body, and all of a sudden, it hit me: My body did the best it could. It hadn’t betrayed me and it wasn’t working against me; in fact, it had been working as hard as it could for me. This was especially kind of my body considering the fact that I hadn’t always treated it very well, whether by flooding it with stress, neglecting exercise, not eating enough, dousing it with endocrine disruptors, or disconnecting myself from it.
But worst of all, I had essentially viewed my body as my enemy and therefore approached it with fear, hatred, or indifference. I think I had never seen it as my ally because I had never consciously shown it love until that day. I realized I needed to send it a lot more loving messages like the ones in that meditation. So I thanked my body for being there for me as best as it could, even when I wasn’t there for it. And I told my body that I would take care of it unconditionally, no matter what it did or didn’t do for me in the future.
I’m not saying that my fear is completely gone, but I have found that when I do yoga or any of the other treatments for my endometriosis, I feel more peace, because I know I’m taking care of my body. I admit that I haven’t really been tested on the loving-it-unconditionally part yet — I’m thankful that I’ve been noticing a lot of good changes lately, but if the years go by and I’m unable to have children, well, that will be really hard, and I’m sure I’ll struggle more with feelings of betrayal again. But as much as I can, I want to do things for my health out of love for my body and not from fear or hatred of it. Which makes sense, because, as much as I’ve acted otherwise, my body is a part of me, and doing things out of self-hatred doesn’t work.
Plus, I saw this other day, so I think I’m on the right track: