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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January's Theme: "Self"
Volume 7 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265

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My Journey From Denying Self to Nurturing Self
by Pam Dibbern

At different times in my life, I've seen myself in different ways. I've been a daughter, friend, student, wife, A mother, single mom, teacher, writer, an omnivore, vegetarian, cooked vegan, a raw vegan… Yet my self is much more than the roles I have played.

Merriam-Webster's definition of self includes the following: the union of elements (as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person.

My definition of self would add inner wisdom and truth, connection to the Universe, Divine guidance, values and beliefs, and the knowledge of what brings me joy and makes my heart sing.

What happens when we deny self? In our society, most of us aren't taught to celebrate and nurture ourselves. We are taught to deny ourselves for the sake of others. We are taught to conform. Don't be selfish. Most women have been taught to sacrifice our needs to take care of the needs of others. Many of us have internalized beliefs of not being good enough, not deserving.

Then one day, we get a wake-up call. It starts as subtle feelings. If we don't listen, it gets more intense. It could be an illness, loss of job, loss of relationship, menopause, or any situation that causes us to look at our lives in a different way.

My wake-up call was in the form of complications from fibroids and anemia. I didn't listen when the message was subtle. I just kept doing what I'd always done even while the symptoms got more intense. Then I lost my job, relationship, and home. It took a lot to get my attention.

In The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup says, "Fibroids can often represent blocked creativity, or creativity that hasn't been birthed yet, usually because it is being funneled into dead-end relationships, jobs, or projects."

That was certainly the case for me. I was in a relationship which had long ago become destructive to my Self. I was working in a job that was completely out of alignment with who I am. Joy was missing from my life. Yet fears kept me where I was.

Dr. Northrup also states that "the baseline energetic patterns which result in fibroids are related to blockage and stagnation of the energy of the second emotional centre. Women are at risk for fibroids (or other pelvic problems) when we direct our creative energy into dead-end relationships that we have outgrown."

With 30-50% of women in the United States having fibroids and more if we include other pelvic problems, a lot of creative energy is being blocked and misdirected. Yet most of us don't have support to explore this energetic component or make changes in our lives which honour us. We are busy taking care of others in our lives and don't have time to take care of ourselves. We don't birth our creations. We have been taught it is selfish to take care of ourselves. We have been taught it is more important to take care of the needs of others than to take care of our own needs. We don't have support in listening to our inner guidance and honouring our Divine selves.

Louise Hay says fibroids and other female problems can be caused by "denial of the self".

Many of us don't know any other way. The denial of self has been accepted and passed down through the generations. It takes courage to go against the norm and start to honour and nurture self.

My denial continued even as the messages grew louder. I didn't make the changes in my life until I had no choice. My choice for the future is to listen to the messages. My choice is to nurture myself and be true to my self. This is a new path, one I have not traveled before. Although the old fears and beliefs sometimes start to drag me back into my old ways of denial, I am committed to learn ways of releasing the old fears and finding ways to support my choice of honouring my Self.

Most of us don't realize we have so many of the same pains, doubts, and fears. We have no one in our lives to share these feelings with. Most of us feel very alone with these feelings. Sharing our stories with each other can help support a new way of being in the world, a way of honouring and nurturing instead of denial.

My hope is that we can lead the way for our daughters and granddaughters, as well as for other women stuck in denial. Maybe we can end the legacy of denial of self and start a new legacy of nurturing self.

Pam has been a special ed teacher, home-schooled her daughter, and worked in various other jobs. After some life-changing events, she is learning to listen to her inner wisdom and make changes in her life to align with her Divine Self.

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