Why and for what reason are so many women getting sick in the female sex organs?
I am currently meeting several women, myself included, who are going through some illness or difficulty in our sexual organs.
Many women (more and more) are somatizing something very big in our vital-sexual center such as endometriosis, HPV, ovarian cysts, myomas, cancers, tubal obstruction, vaginitis, candidiasis, difficulties in getting pregnant, etc. The serious thing is that many of us live it in silence, in secret, inside, we are ashamed, guilt appears… and that hurts. No matter how much we continue with our daily tasks, whether we hide it or avoid it, it comes back again and again and conditions our lives. We women need to talk about what is happening to us and it hurts. Shame and guilt are part of the patriarchal heritage that it is time to transform and overcome. Talking about it does not mean victimizing oneself or looking at one’s navel forgetting the rest; I see it as a brave and generous step. Every day there are more spaces where we can share in a safe, nurturing and loving way (therapeutic groups, women’s services, women’s circles, among trusted friends…). We are not alone. Naming what happens to us helps us to heal, to find the necessary support from others who are also with the same or similar thing, and to know tools and/or professionals to understand the symptom and resolve it.
Leaving the doctor’s office with a diagnosis, the impact it has on each of us, the fear and avalanche of doubts, fears and questions such as: why me? what now? what will happen to me? what does this disease involve? … Does it ring a bell? In my process I have needed to investigate much further than what has come to me from the conventional medical community. I think it is important to continue to be accompanied by a gynaecologist, to carry out the indicated follow-ups/treatments and even to check my diet, but this has not been enough for me. So for my personal process and the work I have chosen to do accompanying women, I share some ideas or approaches that are serving me, parallel to the medical process, in this path of understanding and healing. They are not the only valid ones, there are many other possible views. I open doors and windows in case they serve you too.
Returning to the question: Why and for what reason are so many women getting sick?
We live in a society that has been steeped in a patriarchal culture for thousands of years and from which we have drawn up a series of codes and beliefs that, in general terms, underestimate the feminine and extol the masculine. By this I do not mean that the masculine is “bad” but that the imbalance between both energies and the unconscious use, misunderstanding and mischannelling of force, power, authority, aggressiveness, instinct, etc. is destructive. I know that this subject is very tricky because here also enter the constructions of gender, what we understand by feminine and masculine energies, etc. and there are several looks at it that coincide and others that differ. I’m just pointing this out to keep it in mind.
This imbalance has encouraged both women and men to despise, forget, submit, ignore our feminine side (present in both sexes, as well as the masculine energy) and hide, mould and even mutilate our nature. In the case of women, which is the subject of this article, this oblivion and suppression of the feminine, seems to be… how should I put it? revealing itself, putting itself on the table. One manifestation of this, for me, is the multiple expressions in women’s bodies in the form of diseases in the sexual organs.
And… what for? I encourage myself to propose that in order for us to attend, wake up and recognize the feminine in us, in our relationships both human and with nature, and share it with men. It is an individual and collective emergence. Individual to recover health and internal balance; collective, global, to give a turn to the massive destruction that as humanity we are exercising on ourselves and the planet.
Okay and… how do we wake up, how do we recognize the feminine? What is the feminine? On several occasions I hear that if you have any symptoms in your sexual organs it means that you do not recognize your femininity. That’s it, no more information. And what does that mean? How does that help a woman who has never considered her femininity?
From my humble experience, as I was saying, I share some aspects that are helping me and, at the same time, I see that several writers, therapists, healers, etc. agree. Although the language may be different, the background seems the same to me. Perhaps you think: fuck how many things, what a burden, buf… how do I do it… Each one will need to make their way and I trust that you will get the right people, situations and tools at the right time. If you read this, it’s already something. Although I sometimes forget, the magic of life brings gifts and clues. This is a journey of deep awareness, transformation and commitment that I make and we are making many women. It’s going to be a drop in the ocean of history. As they say in the movie Cloud Atlas, what is the ocean but a bunch of drops? I will not see the result in the short term but I believe that my drop, your drop and that of the thousands of women (and men, of course) that we are waking up, will change the course of human life on this planet. I live it as a journey for me and future generations.
Here are some clues to return to lost health:
- Reestablish the connection with your body. Feel it, nourish it and respect it. One of the results of the interference of patriarchal values has been to split the mind-body relationship. Valuing, extolling, overstimulating the mental and intellectual and underestimating, mistreating, accusing of dirty/sinful/ugly… the body. We are a walking mind carried by an armored body, anesthetized, forgotten and mistreated. Return to the body, to this vehicle thanks to which you are alive, recover the neuromuscular connections that allow you to listen to it and attend to its real needs (not the milongas that the mind tells you), feel it in order to enjoy it from the sensitive experience and love it, care for it, respect it. Contacting the body means walking towards the acceptance of it whether or not it responds to the canons of beauty imposed by the external gaze, having a record of what it needs (what feels good and what doesn’t and, beyond what you put into the body, identifying which relationships and situations feel good and which don’t). It also means connecting with matter, symbolically with the Earth, with the mother. Listening, caring for and respecting the body, leads me to listen, care for and respect nature.
- Deconstruct, explore and redefine the feminine in you. Expand your gaze and make it more flexible. What is feminine for you? How do you feel the feminine in your body, in your desire and in the experience beyond the discourse and beliefs with which you have been programmed?
- Recognize what your sexual organs look like. Their physiological and energetic functions, reestablish the relationship with them through visualizations, the symbolic, the attention, mobilize and unblock them, talk to them, etc. In the workshop “Dear Uterus” we worked especially on this point.
- Take root. Close your eyes and look inward (in this culture we have learned to look outward all the time in a desperate, insatiable and often frustrated search for approval and “love”). Silence, breathing, feet on the ground, lowering your attention to your belly, to your womb, rooting yourself in the earth like a tree, connecting with the planet (Earth, great Mother… whatever you want to say), nourishing yourself and recharging yourself with vital energy. Reconnect with the inner mother and the taste for being with yourself. Do it as much as you can in direct contact with nature.
- Understand and embrace a woman’s sexual stages (infancy, menstrual cycle, pregnancy-postpartum, climacteric-menopause) Understanding that we are not linear beings nor is life linear, that is a mental idea. We are cyclical, like the moon, the seasons, life and death. We are transformation, change, impermanence. It is also important to re-establish the relationship with menstruation and the different women we are in each phase. In the talk “My cyclic body” we discussed this issue. We highly recommend the work of Anna Salvia with the project Journey to the Menstrual Cycle, Erika Irusta with El Camino Rubí, Sophia Style with Mujer Cíclica and Miranda Gray with her book Luna Roja.
- Review your sexuality and enjoy your body. In our imagination there is a tendency to reduce “sexuality” to “sex”, and “sex” to “intercourse”. In this way, how many dimensions are forgotten! Adding up the mega taboo of sexulity, of course. The sexual energy is the vital energy, the primeval one, the one that keeps us alive, the internal fire that is only extinguished completely the day our body dies. For me sexuality is a wide range that includes the relationship with the body, its cycles, the changes in each sexual stage, how I connect sexually with myself and other people, the experience of pleasure, eroticism, desire, fantasies, surrender, affection, the deconstruction of heterosexuality … Buf, a world! For this I recommend the work of Mónica de Felipe Larralde or the book Nacidas para el placer by Mireia Darder.
- Review your relationship with the masculine and men. In us there is also the masculine energy. How it is, how you manage it, etc. and how you connect with men. For me, the work of recognizing myself as a woman and as a person means taking the time and space to love, respect, listen and support myself (which is not the same as being self-sufficient)? and from there, approaching men in a healthy way.
- Attending to the female lineage. Although you may think this is weird or geeky, for me it is more real every day that we receive a lot of information, beyond genetics, from our family tree and from our ancestors who are all the women of history and humanity. I don’t know how to measure it, check it, or explain it, I just intuit it. There is a very deep pain that needs to be healed (we only need to go over the events of history) and it is somehow here too. Our uterus carries the memory. We will do what we can but I know that every liberation we make from these memories, in whatever way, our ancestors also heal. This has an impact on us and on future generations.
- Recovering the female archetypes. They are something like models or patterns that serve us to understand states, vital moments, expressions of our character. What is told in the myths and legends represented by archetypes, is shaping our internal reality and collective unconscious. The patriarchal androcentric imaginary with Judaeo-Christianity annulled the cult to the Goddess, the respect to the feminine in balance with the masculine, creating the gods of war (patriarchal models). In this process I am getting to know and recovering the archetypal feminine references in order to reconstruct a very unconscious distorted fabric. Interesting books on this subject: Red Moon by Miranda Gray, The Goddesses of Every Woman by Jean Shinoda Bholen.
- Reestablish the sorority. Weave social networks among women. Another of the interferences of the patriarchal culture has been the creation of competitive and dominant relationships. In my case I recognize that I have been competing with women for a long time and comparing myself. To recover the brotherhood or sisterhood, the cooperation, the mutual recognition, the support, the sharing of our wisdom and resources, the emotional support that we give each other among women of different ages and life moments, for me is being basic. The fabric that in great part sustained us has been broken. Recognizing me, helps me to recognize the other. Sister, mother, grandmother, daughter, friend, companion. I like you, you like me, let’s walk together. To empower ourselves, according to language, is to recognize the Goddess in me and the Goddess in you. We are complete interdependent beings, not codependent. We are not half-oranges who need our Prince Charming to be complete, to be “woman”, to be happy. When we women get together, our body generates oxytocin, the hormone of love; so something wonderful must happen, right?
- Forgiveness, permission, merit. Indignity, guilt and undeserving are also the order of the day in our patriarchal psyche and body. Reminding us that we deserve to enjoy, express, ask, receive, give, love and be loved without the need to put on the neurotic mask – what a gift! To forgive us for being who we are, for having hurt ourselves, for having given permission to others to do so, or for not knowing how to defend ourselves. I forgive myself and give myself permission to be.
- Create. Painting, dancing, singing, moulding, inventing, writing, cooking, designing, planting… creating a project, giving birth to something new… and it doesn’t matter if you draw like when you were 5 years old or you think you look like a duck when you dance or that if you sing it’s going to rain or that you don’t know, you can’t… you’d better stay as you are. Those are limiting judgments that were introduced to you as a child so that you wouldn’t be yourself. We need to create in order to be alive, it’s a natural impulse of our feminine essence that requires expression. To give activity to our right hemisphere!
And there are more aspects that serve us to regain our health, of course. What have they served you? You can enrich and expand on them by writing your comment.
In the end, what brings me back to health, I would sum it up in:
Hello body, what do you feel, what do you need, how we enjoy together, what frees you, I love us… and to live! Wake up and recognize in you the wonder of being that you are, to everything you belong and the right to express it fully.
It is not an easy path, especially when the environment continues to work the same, pressing for us to remain the same as before. But our body “screams” and if we don’t “scream” with it, the silence will drown us out.
Good night, women and men, wake up.