In my own mind-body health maintenance plan, I have recently been focusing on being as completely authentic as possible. I’ve noticed over the years that the more tuned in to my body I am, the more it leads me to be completely honest with myself about myself.
Before my years of vulvodynia, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis, I did a lot of hiding from myself and others. I was afraid to be who I really was and spent many an hour criticizing myself and avoiding looking at what I really wanted out of life. I worried constantly about what others thought of me and sought approval and validation outside of myself. I couldn’t love me, so I wanted other people to do the job. Turns out it doesn’t work that way.
My body, under the constant stress of me rejecting myself, soon balked. As many of you know, the road to pain relief includes accepting yourself—all parts of yourself—learning how to love who you really are, and live your life authentically. This might mean something concrete and obvious, like shifting your career to mirror your life calling, or something more subtle like expressing your true opinions and emotions instead of making them wrong. It might mean doing both.
I have found that to stay pain-free, I must continually be aware of any attempts to hide and, instead, bravely be myself. First, alone, and then with others. The moment I forget to do this, I accumulate tension somewhere in my body, and we all know that is the precursor to pain. Though being completely authentic might sound scary at first, I’ve learned that it’s worth the initial eeek! you might feel every time you go one level deeper. The rewards include pain-relief, good-bye vulvodynia etc., and also the incredibly important but often overlooked experience we call joy.
As I’ve shed a few more layers in the last couple of months, I’ve reveled in an ever-increasing state of authenticity and joy. You’ll notice I wrote about being not okay and about implementing the self-love practice I call the “Love List.” I’ve given myself the homework of being absolutely real in each and every post. It’s sometimes a little scary, but it’s always worth it.
The funny thing about hiding is that we usually only think we’re hiding something. Then, when we’re not looking, it squeezes out through the cracks and becomes blatantly obvious to those around us. So, hiding is utterly useless anyway.
I’ve discovered I’ve been making a futile attempt to hide a gigantic chunk of who I really am from you, and it’s not working. I’ve had thoughts about you, faithful reader, such as you will stop reading if I reveal this part of myself. Thankfully, I am onto those thoughts and am no longer giving them any credence. So, here goes …
For me, the result of choosing a mind-body path to end the pain of vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, etc., was much larger than pain relief and health. It was the beginning of an entirely new awareness, often referred to as spiritual awakening. I am certainly not claiming enlightenment, but I am claiming a new understanding of myself and a connection to something bigger. I like the word Source, but you may prefer Universe, God, or something else.
I had no idea that having severe vulvar pain and an annoying host of bladder symptoms would become a spiritual experience. Had you told me that in the early stages, I would have laughed and rolled my eyes at such utter ridiculousness. And yet … that’s exactly what happened. I ventured into a completely new world, in which Source was love, and I was the recipient of this love. It was immensely healing, on all levels.
I met many people who taught me and guided me on my spiritual path. At first, I was skeptical and could hardly believe I was even considering all these spiritual and mystical concepts. Yet, there I was, experiencing the power of energy healing, not just from healing touch practitioners, but from my own light-energy meditations and visualizations. I was benefitting from these experiences, so often given little credence and referred to as “out there” or “woo-woo.”
I didn’t want to become a crazy “woo-woo” person who spent all her time in alternate realities, wore odd clothing, and smelled of incense. I didn’t want to terrify my husband, lose friends, and be termed a weirdo. Yet, I continually found myself in mystical bookstores, yoga classes, and other such places. My reading list became largely spiritual and energy-healing related. I loved it.
Over time, more and more of this “woo-woo” stuff made its way into my life. (I use the term woo-woo affectionately. I kind of like it.) I read a lot of books and learned how to integrate spirituality and practicality—keeping one foot firmly planted in everyday life, so to speak. I discovered that I can reap the benefits of a spiritual practice and still enjoy and use science and rationality. I found a comfortable balance for myself.
Now, the time has come to come out of the woo-woo closet. The truth is, I use energy healing daily and feel a deep connection to Source. This plays a huge role in my continuing health and happiness. If I don’t start writing about this, I am depriving you of incredible healing tools. I am also not being fully authentic, and that just doesn’t feel right. I will never force any spiritual tools on you, and I can certainly teach you how to heal without focusing in that direction, but my soul is asking me to write about this, at long last. I have learned how to hear the messages from my soul without needing the pain messenger, and so I will do as my soul asks. It feels right and relaxing to do so. Even as I write this, I feel a bubbling up of joy and delight. I love being fully authentic, and authentic me includes a large dose of woo.
It is possible that you are hiding parts of yourself, too. Most of us are, but if you keep peeling back the layers and revealing your true self, I promise you that your health will get better and better. You’ll feel self-love, joy, and peace. I am not sure if we ever finish this authenticity process, but I am sure that it’s worth doing. Today, take a moment to write in your journal. Is there something you know about yourself that you’d like to fully embrace? Start by embracing it all by yourself, with the door closed. Baby steps are perfect.
And look forward to many more blog posts about spiritual healing tools and a variety of practical woo-woo concepts you can use in your daily life, should you so desire.