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My Relationship With My Body

BY VICKY COOKE

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My relationship with my body growing up…

Looking back, I can remember two things I was taught about looking after my body – by my mum – and they were, after a bath always dry your belly button and in-between your toes! Other than that I would say that my relationship with my body was pretty non-existent. I do remember having a really sweet tooth and loved sugary foods like chocolate, cake and biscuits, eating these whenever I could.

Hitting puberty I wasn’t taught or presented with anything different in how to care for myself or what these changes meant for me, and so, at what I recognize now as being a significant point and change in life, my body was overlooked again. I had no relationship with my period or cycle it was just something that happened, there was no connection between my body and me – it was like we were two separate things.

A time when my relationship did change with my body was when I was around sixteen and felt I was not able to follow what I wanted to do for a job or what I felt my purpose was. Because of this I held onto one part of me that I could control: food. Eating as little as possible and living off toast and low calorie soups, my body weight dropped and this satisfied me because this, I could control.

After a few years I let go of this control around food and pretty much resigned myself to where I was at in life instead. I would say, as I got older that my relationship with my body and myself got worse, to the point of self-loathing. I had very little love for myself and alcohol became a main feature for me, drinking whenever I could. There were many times when I would wake up in the morning and my body felt beaten and broken from going out and drinking. I would think, ‘This does not feel good,’ but never had the love for myself or inspiration to do anything about it.

 

In my early 20’s I would say I started to hit the self-destruct button even more, putting myself in dangerous situations with no regard or care for myself; and although I was into alternative health this pattern did not change. I even remember a time after an end of healing course party where I got so drunk my friend had to wrap me up in a blanket and leave me at the bottom of a garden for a whole day to sleep it off…

Growing up my periods were always a bit painful but it wasn’t until I could no longer properly function because of them that I started to worry a bit. However, it still took a while for me to book an appointment with my doctor. After some scans the doctor diagnosed me with having endometriosis and could see I had chocolate filled cysts on both of my ovaries that needed to be drained and removed. I needed surgery. Not only did this bring up loads of fear about having surgery, I also felt like a complete failure. Here I was in my 30’s: no matter what I tried nothing really changed in my life and now I needed to have surgery so my body was not healthy either. Not once did I feel or think to take responsibility for my life; the choices I had made or how I had lived. Instead I simply blamed others.

I did do loads of reading about endometriosis, which included lots of scary stories, but none of these led me to the answers I was looking for. It still remains a pretty mysterious disease for the medical profession.

Around this time I stopped smoking, I was drinking less, and I started to explore various health alternatives, such as using progesterone creams. But even then the changes I was making with my diet, health and body were not coming from self-love but instead a panic or wanting to get ‘better’.

This went on for a few years and although my health changed a bit there was still a lot going on in my body that I didn’t want to feel. The not wanting to take responsibility for my choices and life played a big part in all of this. I was full of hurts, regret and sadness. I found it far easier to blame others – which my family bore most of the brunt of.

The turning point

 Looking back the turning point is very clear. It was when I met a lady who worked as an esoteric healing practitioner. Esoteric simply means ‘inner-most’ and from my work with her I began to understand that I was not only in charge of my life but also responsible for it. Whilst scary at times this has proven to be totally game changing and inspiring.

Learning to love my body…

This was the start of how my relationship with me and my body began. After meeting and spending some time with this esoteric practitioner she shared with me the background to her work – that of the teachings of Universal Medicine. I stubbornly resisted exploring this for some years but one day looked it up only to find there was a workshop running close to me in North London. So off I went to ‘another workshop’ looking for an answer to life, to me, to anything. Serge Benhayon, the founder of Universal Medicine was presenting the workshop and what he shared woke me up.

It was like the missing piece. How our body talks to us, how it responds to our choices and how this affects our relationship with life. All the time I had been searching for a fix, looking on the outside as to what could help me but not once had I even contemplated, or wanted to feel, that how I am with me or how I move and live is what affects my health.

Following this presentation, I attended Sacred Esoteric Healing Levels 1 and 2 and nearly 10 years on still attend Sacred Esoteric Healing courses, presentations and workshops. What I want to point out here is that the courses, presentations and workshops held by Universal Medicine are by no means a magic pill – I could feel my body changing, supported by the healing sessions, but it was the daily choices I made and my attitude towards myself, that really called the changes. Taking responsibility was key, along with building a gentler more respectful relationship with myself.

The one thing that really stands out for me is how on the whole we are not taught to deeply care for ourselves and our bodies. Loved ones may have the best intentions and love us to the best of their ability, like my mother saying to always dry my belly button and in-between my toes, but a deeper quality needs to be shared and taught and that is a foundation of respect and love for ourselves that means we naturally take care of and enjoy our bodies. Working with Universal Medicine has taught me that I don’t need a crisis to start loving and caring for myself. My fear moment was being diagnosed with endometriosis, before then I had taken my body and health for granted, now I live in a way that supports being well and feeling vital.

How my relationships have changed…

 Over the last few years everything in my life has had a complete turnaround. I feel more present with my body – my body and me are no longer two separate things, but together. I feel stronger and clearer within my body and love and look after my body in a way I have never done before – the fun bit being that this is an ongoing adventure.

I go to bed early, I listen to my body and the signs it gives me, I am particularly honouring of myself during my period. AND I no longer have painful periods…

I have also come to really accept that I can no longer blame other people in my life for my choices. I now have the best relationship I have ever had with my family and appreciate and love them deeply. I am doing a job I love that feels true to me and live in a very nurturing space. I was on the phone to my mum the other day and she said to me, ‘You really are on top of the world,’ which although a metaphor helped me not only appreciate where I am now in my life, but also that she could see and appreciate this as well.

Sometimes, no matter what are good intentions are, especially in changing our lives or our relationship with ourselves it can feel like we are just going around in circles with nothing truly changing.

From my experience and what I am learning I would share:

Don’t be hard on yourself, learn to accept, be gentle and appreciate where you are at right now

Understand that your health really is in your hands

Give yourself the space and time to listen to your body and respond to what it ‘says’ – does it want water, need to rest, feel like a certain food to eat

Be willing and open to accepting love