Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Would you want to be in a relationship with you?

July 5th, 2012 by Alexandra Jacoby

In yoga class the other day (I know!) while holding a pose for a while already, the instructor started asking us about our relationships with our bodies. I’m straining to hold plank pose (a push-up), determined not to be the first to give in to trembling muscles, and he, with an annoying amount of interest and ease, asked us to think about what we expected of our bodies, of how we demanded they work for us, how we neglected them, overfed and under-rested them, ignored them, took them for granted, and complained about them, how they looked, how well they performed, how they failed us—again…(yeh, my belly was on the ground a while ago)

Would you want to be in a relationship with you, based on the way you treat your body?

Think about it. It’s a relationship not much different than your most intimate and important relationships. Only it’s between you and you, and yes, your body doesn’t use words to communicate, but it does communicate, right?

Ultimately, it’s the basis for your relationship with life itself, with living.

Your body is not a machine. It’s not a sealed container. It’s not an object.

What is to you? I wonder.

and would love to hear.

Because it’s our ideas about our bodies that make up most of the relationship. We engage more with what we think than with what is. And, more often than not, tell me if you disagree, what we think is negative, complaining—wanting something other than what is.

What would it be like if we interacted with what was happening instead of what would be easier, neater, or how it should be?

How come those ideas matter more than what is actually happening?

In body-general—and relative to the menstrual cycle.

If you were to give some consideration to what you experience in your body, and in your days and nights, relative to your menstrual cycle, and see it as it actually is, what would you do differently?

Scroll back to the top where my instructor is needling you with how you don’t appreciate, or work with the body you have in partnership, and think it over: would you change anything about how you relate to your body?

3 responses to “Would you want to be in a relationship with you?”

  1. Annie Harvey says:

    Lovely piece, Alexandra!

  2. Laura Wershler says:

    I think learning how to love our bodies as they are is the first step in really caring for them. A while ago I came up with this paradoxical idea: You can’t care about what you don’t love and you can’t love what you don’t care about.

    Thanks for asking this important question.

  3. Thank you Alexandra. Indeed we are our bodies, nothing about our perception and experience of living can be had without our bodies. So I would agree that it behoves us to be a good relational partner to our corporeality, and that a driven perfectionism is not a way to make friends and love our body. It is my contention that our bodies know more about us and our reality than our rational mind. So perhaps when it is tired, or hunger, of full, or sore or whatever other symptom/sensation it is communicating to our rational selves listening would be worth our while.

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.