I donned a T-shirt that said it all as I dragged myself out of my warm, cozy bed and into the gym one recent Monday morning. In big, bold letters it read “THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!” Oh, yeah. Believe me when I tell you, I am one of the LEAST physical people I know and at every turn I will avoid exertion of any kind. Yet, there came a time when my body began to retaliate against this kind of neglect and I could no longer avoid the reality of what my body was saying: “I’m tired, I’m heavy, I’m thirsty, I’m hungry, I HURT!”
We have nothing short of a spiritual crisis in womanhood.
I know that I am not the only woman who carries this kind of reality within her body. We struggle with negative self talk and lack of respect for our own bodies. The cultural pressures that impact women’s relationship with her physical self abound. We are inundated with images that exploit, distort, and dismantle the vital and natural life-giving connection that woman was created to have with her own body.
A diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome at the age of 14 inspired one suggestion for treatment: the birth control pill. Unaware of better alternatives, my mom and I agreed to try it, and I walked out of my OB/GYN’s office with a prescription in hand.
What followed were months of suffering side effects: in short, I became a moody monster. Severe irritability, prolonged sadness, and a general mean-ness replaced my typically joyful disposition. School – still one of my favorite things – ceased to excite me and I found less and less enjoyment in spending time with friends.
It eventually occurred to my mom that the Pill might be responsible for these odd changes. She was right – I stopped taking the Pill and returned to my normal self.
It eventually occurred to my mom that the Pill might be responsible for these odd changes
Fast forward to the age of 20, when I decided to pursue treatment for PCOS, again. Before visiting the OB/GYN, I researched on my own. I was hesitant to go on the Pill a second time, but realized that my young age (i.e. being an angsty high schooler) may have exacerbated its effect on me.
Do you know what’s at the root of insecurity?
Fear of not being liked.
Or not being good enough.
Or being too much.
Or not being lovable.
Or being too intimidating.
Or not being able.
Or being alone.
“Fear is the enemy of love” says St. Augustine.
Let that sink in.
Read the original question here.
I totally understand how you feel.
I always saw myself as the “working woman” and figured I’d follow in my mom’s footsteps. She worked full time my whole life, attended all the school things, and was/is a great mother. I never felt as if she didn’t love me or my siblings.
When my first baby came along, I was fresh out of college and I felt my talents and gifts were wasting away. I struggled so much with staying home, yet I felt guilty for feeling that way.
Did you see that Mother Mary is making an appearance in the press this month?
Can you sift through the unrealistic standards and expectations that society sometimes puts on women?
Do you ever struggle with that feeling that you’re not enough? At work, you might feel like you aren’t as talented or knowledgeable as your co-workers and that you’ll never reach your career goals. In your relationships, you might feel like you aren’t lovable enough as a person. If you are a mother, you might constantly fear that you aren’t enough as a parent. And as a busy, modern woman, you might feel like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. At your most stressed, you might feel like you never achieve enough balance in your life between work, your personal life, your self-care, etc.