For most of my life, I didn't consider that my breasts were even part of my body....
I was aware that they were there and aware that they were growing but never did I consider their significance.
I learned about breasts through the outside world, through the women around me and through the media. This mish mash of messages was confusing to say the least, ranging from small and insignificant all the way to large, sexy and revealing.
So what did this mean for me, and my relationship with my breasts as I grew into a woman?
The value I placed on my breasts was based on the ideas that came from the outside. For so many women, we are led to believe that our breasts are nothing more than their function i.e. to be used for sexual pleasure and seen as sexual objects or to feed and nourish our babies. Not dissimilar to our bodies, our careers or our family ideals, if our breasts don't meet certain criteria and tick the boxes that we have created, then we can all too often fall into doom and gloom, enormous disappointment and thinking that we are simply not good enough.
For me, as I grew up, it suited me that my breasts were small. I was quite ok with this 'little girl' facade and kept it up for a pretty long time. Yet even though this was a suitable way to stay small and hidden and to remain little and lost, I also felt quite inadequate. As far as I could see, my breasts were just two insignificant mounds on my chest. Somewhere along the line I picked up on this idea that small breasts means you are less of a woman. So in hindsight, it was the size of my breasts and the seeming insignificance of them that played on the way I felt about myself and my value and worth as a woman. I was the one who was always on the outer edge, especially when it came to boys!
Later down the track, with a growing level of confidence, I simply responded to what men enjoyed about my breasts. Women's breast's are increasingly and openly sexualised in society today with women feeling pressure to meet impossible standards and to use their body as a means of being recognised, valued and loved. In hindsight and all honesty, I simply used my body and my breasts in a way that gained sexual pleasure but there was no real love, no honouring and certainly no true intimacy. My breasts were like sexual objects and without being overt, this is how I secretly placed value on them because that's how others placed value on them. Again, placing emphasis on the messages I received from outside of myself.
If women are not preoccupied with the size of their breasts, whether they be too big or too small or even questioning their shape and balance, then they are sure to be testing their efficacy and value when it comes to breastfeeding. Society ideals give women some pretty tough benchmarks to live by, which can lead them astray in their pursuit for perfection.
I certainly took a path that led me further and further away from being the woman I desperately wanted to be, simply because I chased the ideal and the outside ideas about what a woman was. So of course, when I became pregnant, my relationship with my breasts changed yet again. I had this idea that breastfeeding and mothering was going to give me purpose in life. I had a very grand picture about being the 'au natural' mother, providing loving nurturing for my baby, coming back to my natural roots and instinct's and resenting and shunning modern parenting...and breastfeeding was a huge part of this picture.
How is it possible for a stressed out mother to provide loving nurturing for her baby when she is so intent and focused on doing it all right that she loses sight of how to take care of herself first?
I was 24 years old, still a little girl in many respects, was stressed out to the max and about to have a baby on my own. With my body in this state, it was no surprise that I couldn't carry the pregnancy to term with the baby arriving 6 weeks early. The combination of him being early and my lack of milk production meant that breastfeeding was a real challenge. I pushed myself through the next few months, expressing milk every 3 hours 24 hours a day to get the result I was looking for...a breast-fed baby that was lovingly nurtured. Only to literally crash and burn when my desperation and sleep deprivation was most definitely having an affect on me AND my baby. No amount of breast milk is going to provide loving nurturing to a baby with the mother in this state. I know now that true nurturing comes directly from my connection, firstly to me, and then naturally to my child and others, with not a drop of breast milk in sight!
Women carry enormous burdens and guilt around breastfeeding and being a 'good mother' so I know I am not alone here. My relationship with my breasts at this point was strained from deep seeded feelings of inadequacy, setting myself up on an even further trajectory of proving myself.
So the extent of my relationship with my breasts over these years spanned from -insignificant as a teenager, to sexual as a woman to broken as a mother.
This was a familiar and well-worn path in my life thus far and one I think many women traverse...however it was one I eventually realised was not a sustainable one and one that I no longer wanted to walk. This way of living, pushing and proving myself, hardened me and my body and in retrospect it was a pretty ruthless way of being in the world and conveniently kept people at a distance so that no one would see the mess that I was in. From the outside I couldn't be faltered but if I were to really let people close to my inner world, I was afraid I may fall apart. I was exhausted and unhappy but I just kept on going. Being vulnerable was just too much and the last thing I wanted was for those around me to think that I couldn't do this and for them to see that I didn't have it completely covered.
With the support of the Esoteric Breast Massage, I began to discover quite quickly that I had been neglecting myself. I was met with absolute tenderness by the EBM practitioner and when I got past the initial uncomfortableness of someone massaging my breasts, I could feel how much I had missed my own tenderness. Through the EBM I was able to recognise that there was a vast chasm between the inner delicate and tender quality of my essence and the way I had been choosing to live. The natural qualities I remember in myself as a child and the qualities I see and feel in children all the time had dwindled away. Gosh, the absolute preciousness of a baby and the sweetness of a little girl is so palpable and knowing that this was once me, I began to wonder how I had become a master of hiding it to the point that I had forgotten it was even there.
How is it that girls are growing up every day, they are travelling through the years of puberty, menarche, emotional changes, bodily maturity and breast development and yet they can go through their entire life, without knowing that their body is constantly communicating enormous wisdom?
As the mother of a now 14 year old boy. I know now that I am first and foremost a woman and I also know that this is exactly what my son wants of me. He responds beautifully to my tenderness and vulnerability, which through the EBM I have re-developed a connection to these qualities. Embracing vulnerability and seeing it for the enormous strength that it is, connects me more deeply to myself and to others, which means I am out experiencing the world in a much more light and playful way. And thank goodness for that...a serious, imposing and needy mother is not a very nice experience for a growing boy!
I'm discovering a cheeky, playful and sexy woman who is always finding new depths of honouring herself. This is a woman, who at 38, has finally stepped into womanhood and feels the fullness and richness of her life, her body and her ever-developing relationships with people.
I am still discovering so much more about the woman that I am and what a beautiful discovery it is. You could say it is like an inner quest of the most ancient treasure one will ever find, a treasure that never hides itself once it is revealed and one that continues to expand ever more as it is claimed as ones own.
Serge Benhayon has delivered a modality, for women and by women only, that allows a woman to feel who she truly is. The essence of every woman is eternally sacred and every woman deserves to know this in full. Through the EBM women have a way to feel how lovely and natural it is to know their own beauty without feeling they have to hide it in any way, shape or form. This heavenly modality brings a woman to the very real issues and practicalities of being in a woman's body and supports her to honour herself and hold herself precious throughout her every day.
Clinic Owner and Complementary Health Practitioner