“I Need You to Respect Me”
It was a lovely Saturday morning. I woke up and made my way to the kitchen to make tea. It was quiet, and I was feeling relaxed and happy thinking about a nice day ahead. The teapot whistled. I brewed the tea, added my honey and creamer. Then I took my happy ass to the rocking chair. I went to sit down and a strong cramp jumped up and grabbed one of my ovaries. “Ouch!” Followed by “Oh shit!” went through my head. I had only had this feeling once before and it was intense and persistent! I worried this was happening again.
I started to analyze it and think of all the things that could be causing this. I quickly stopped myself in my tracks. This over-analysis only added to my discomfort and it seemed to carry an undertone of fault like I did something to cause this. I wasn’t always conscious of the punishment narrative playing out, but I had become keenly aware of it in many areas of my life. I started to slowly walk around thinking I could walk the pain off, but then something in me told me to sit down.
I sat down with the intention of just letting the pain be there as much as I could without trying to get rid of it. I settled myself a little into the chair, started to rock a little and found myself saying, “Wow this is really hurting you. I am sorry it hurts. Tell me what is going on?” I sat there breathing as if I was about to give birth! In some metaphorical way, I was.
I kept telling my body, “It’s ok. You can hurt with me. It’s ok.” A few minutes later I heard, “I need you to respect me”. I kept saying it over and over wondering about it thinking “what in the world is this about?” I stayed with it and continued repeating it. Then I said, “Oh…you need me to respect you.” I realized this was my body speaking. Part of me immediately wanted to know exactly what this meant. Another part of me held space and just kept saying, “Ok. You need me to respect you. You need me to respect you.” As I did the cramp eased up and completely dissipated after a couple of minutes. Later in the day, I kept repeating, “You need me to respect you,” reminding my body that I heard it. This is one of many profound teachings my body has given me.