Yes, it’s true, I had an ovarian cyst the size of a full-term baby.
But that’s not what I want to talk to you about . . . yet.
You see, I’m doing this amazing interview series about the Divine Feminine. So I’m listening to this week’s guest, the enchanting Misa Hopkins, sharing the harrowing story of being sexually molested as a child.
When that happened to Misa, somewhere deep inside of her a decision was made. In her child mind she decided it would be safer to be a boy than a girl in this world, and her body tried to accommodate that strategy. It tried to protect her by producing an overabundance of male hormones to the point that she was becoming more male than female. It’s fascinating – click here to hear Misa tell her story.
And I’m listening to last week’s guest, the radiant Jessie Kuehn, talking about her polycystic ovarian syndrome. And I’m listening to the other amazing women in this powerful series, Jenny Griffin, Joni Advent Maher, and Carla Sanders, all speaking about how dis-ease in their lives was healed through a reconnection to the sacred feminine.
And I’m not connecting the dots.
I’m listening to my guests like a child listening to an exotic tale, not realizing that the story is about me as well.
I had all but forgotten about my cyst and subsequent operation. It happened when I was 30. I noticed that my waistbands felt tight and I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I seem to be getting a little thicker in the waist! I guess this is the way the body changes when you hit 30.” (That’s back when I thought 30 sounded old – lol!)
I realized it was serious when people started congratulating me (I looked 100% pregnant). I tried all sorts of holistic remedies. I slept covered in oil-soaked flannel and heat packs. I went on an all-raw vegan diet.
I cancelled the surgery three times before my doctor finally threatened to release me as a patient if I didn’t proceed with it. The cyst was dangerous. It could burst or tear. We didn’t know if it was cancerous or benign. Going into surgery I didn’t know if I’d lose an ovary, or two ovaries, or wake up from anesthesia with a total hysterectomy.
While I was undergoing surgery, the doctors called in the hospital photographer to take a picture of the biggest ovarian cyst they’d ever seen. (Fortunately, it was benign and I only lost one ovary.)
Why I had experienced this runaway growth? I had no answer until I did this interview series.
Now I get it.
I am so like the women in this series and my story shares so much with their stories.
My experience of childhood felt to me like a war between the sexes. To my eyes it looked as if my parents wanted to destroy each other. In this polarized environment I sided with my mother, and yet my experience was dominated by my father. I was sensitive and I felt the pain of my mother being dishonored and denigrated. I was desperate for a validation of the female role, the sacred Mother figure, and of my own being as a female.
(In a recent interview by Joni Advent Maher on her terrific show, Trust Your Sacred Feminine Flow, I share the story of seeing a pregnant woman while I was walking with my dad when I was a child – click here to listen to that interview. The moment I describe was deeply important to me and is part of this story as well).
Not a Good Fit
My strategy as a child, so like Misa’s, was to adopt a masculine stance. I dominated my own feminine side to the point of near obliteration. I would be tough, strong, hard. I’d lock away any unwanted emotions, thoughts and feelings. No weakness or vulnerability would be admitted.
I replicated the pattern I learned as a child, re-creating that war between the sexes within my own body.
It was not a good fit for me, nor would it be for anyone. My ‘false pregnancy’ was my feminine side’s way of reasserting her existence. I am only now understanding that message.
I am discovering more about my own story as I explore the Divine Feminine with my guests. And I am happy to see from the response that this series is resonating with our viewers as well.
Misa’s story is extreme, as is mine. And yet there is an almost universal female experience of imbalance in this culture which favors masculine traits over feminine ones.
What does Misa’s story evoke in you?
Do you see new ways you can invite the Divine Feminine into your life?
This is a two-part interview. Next week the conversation with Misa continues and she will lead us in her beautiful ‘Holding Meditation.’ Click here to learn more about Misa’s work.
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