From Self-Loathing to Self-Love After Abortion: Learning to Accept ALL My Past Choices

by M, 44, Australia

Self-love is something I have been deepening both my understanding and practice of since becoming a client and student of Universal Medicine about 6 years ago. What I became aware of, particularly through having Esoteric Breast Massages (EBMs), was that one thing stands in the way of self love – self-loathing. I had no trouble recognising this in me for I have been my own worst critic, constantly judging myself, putting myself down, and it has taken time to gently identify and heal the many little (and some big) pockets of self-loathing that have been held in my body.

Recently, I had felt myself feeling somewhat frustrated though, that there was still self-loathing in my body as clearly revealed in a couple of EBM sessions. Following an EBM a couple of months ago, I made a choice to simply be open to whatever needed to be felt… and what came up was quite unexpected.

It turned out I had been holding something against myself that happened nearly 30 years ago when I was a teenager.

I got pregnant when I was 15 and was so scared that I didn’t tell anyone, not even a friend – or did anything about it until about 3 months in. As I write this I get a sense of the anxiousness and fear that I lived with for that period, and how I isolated myself.

There was never any other choice for me than to have an abortion, but because I waited so long it meant that the only way was to induce labour. Of course I had to tell my parents, and I’ll always appreciate their support through what I’m sure was a quite traumatic time for them as well. So I spent a few days in a hospital about an hour from where I lived so that no one would know what was happening. I can recall being in a room on my own in the maternity ward; the only people I saw were the doctors, nurses and my parents when they came in. There was a real sense of being hidden away, of being some kind of shameful secret. From memory I was there about two days before contractions started and I gave birth. My only clear memory after that was throwing up, and then being whisked off for a Dilatation and Curettage. I was a scared 16 year old pretending that everything would be OK, and that I could handle it.

This event was never spoken about again at home, nor did I tell any of my friends at the time. I have shared this with friends as the years have passed, but typically during discussions where other women have revealed they have had abortions as well, and the general theme of these discussions has been that it’s not unusual, it’s an acceptable way to deal with a problem and it’s not the end of the world. None of these discussions ever ventured into how did any of us actually feel at the time.

At the time I certainly didn’t let myself feel all, if any, of these feelings – yet what I came to realise recently was that they were all still in my body but they had been hidden by a fairly large package of self-loathing. As I started to allow myself to feel, the most obvious feelings were a sense of anger and hatred towards myself for the bad choices I’d made. How could I have so readily had sex at such a young age? Look how a reckless choice to get drunk and have sex led to this ‘mess’. I should mention that I’d been sexually active for a couple of years before getting pregnant. During a recent esoteric ovary massage I was able to feel even more underneath the hatred and realised that I had judged myself as sinful, dirty, promiscuous and that getting pregnant was for me some sort of punishment for my behaviour, as well as confirmation that I was all of these things.

At the time, however, my mind simply constructed a story around this episode in my life that made it just an unfortunate blip in my otherwise ‘good’ middle-class life, a problem dealt with so to speak, time to move on. I’ve come to realise that what happened as the years passed was that I kept constructing other layers to the story, ones of judgement and self-loathing that focussed on the fact that my reckless choice one drunken night led to this ‘mess’, that I had been responsible for a death – what would my karma be for this? When I became a mother I added another layer of self-loathing, a pattern of guilt stemming from the abortion that led me to overcompensate as a parent and then further beat myself up when I perceived I did something wrong.

I’ve also come to realise that the package of judgement and self-loathing acted as a kind of guard, a way to keep people out. How can I form true relationships with others if I keep a part of myself hidden away, from myself and from others? So that sense of isolation I felt as a teenager has also followed me for many years.

I have been astounded by the way one’s mind can override the truth that is in the body by constructing a different version of events, one that we could easily take with us our whole lives if we so choose; compared to one that stops us from opening to the possibility of self-love and the deeper love that is within us all.

I have now let myself feel the true feelings around the time of the pregnancy and abortion and have been able to accept that the choice I made one night was not sinful or dirty or shameful but simply that of a young girl trying to figure out her place in the world, to find some sense of love and belonging through sex.

For me, my choice to be open to feeling the self-loathing, which started after the abortion, has now cleared it – it no longer has any hold on me and I am revelling in a new level of joy, love and openness in my body. As an added bonus I’ve noticed I have stopped reaching for sugar – I feel no need for it anymore.

537 thoughts on “From Self-Loathing to Self-Love After Abortion: Learning to Accept ALL My Past Choices

  1. My goodness, we are so set up to feel wretched, wrong and a waste when we take on the ideals and beliefs life throws at us! It is a thick gloopy soup that we fall into without realising it was a choice to do so. We are love and when we don’t get confirmed in this, we allow our hurts to take over entering into a whole host of behaviours that we then beat ourselves up for. Coming back to you M is a heartening story because it reveals that no matter how far down the road on self loathing we are, we can always choose to bring understanding, awareness and love back to ourselves, giving ourselves the opportunity to heal those hurts and to rediscover the power in the love that we are.

  2. As women we often feel guilt and self-loathing about what we have done, or not done. The Esoteric Breast Massage therapy is a beautiful and sensitive way to feel the harm this is doing to our body and gently let go and be free to be all the love that we are.

  3. I have found shame can be held in the body for sometime, and things like abortions can often induce a sense of shame leading to more distress then what is necessary.
    Shame does not belong in our bodies therefore it is super helpful if we can get support from a true practitioner such as those who practice the esoteric healing modalities.

  4. When we hold onto something like having an abortion it’s as if we are punishing ourselves for having made the decision at that time. Years ago I had a friend who really struggled to come to terms with what she had done and it was eating her from the inside out.

  5. A very powerful sharing that highlights how liberating it is to be honest with how we feel, address, heal and let go the hurts we carry and hold onto that often drive us to self-loath and self-abuse ourselves. For when we do we get to feel that underneath all that is something that is far greater, far more powerful, far more beautiful that represents who we naturally and always are, and that which can never truly be harmed or taken away – our love within, the Fiery light of our Soul is eternal, .

  6. I would love to see more articles like this on this blog site, as abortion is so much more common then we think and it is so very good for women to read there is away out of the shame they often hold themselves in.

  7. A powerful testimony to the power of Universal Medicine healing therapies and the choice of our selves to heal.

    1. Yes, totally agree Sarah – Universal Medicine presentations and therapies empower and support us to know and understand that we are all practitioners of medicine, as power healing is in our hands and our greatest form of medicine is living in connection to the love we are within.

  8. A powerful story on the devastating impact that our hurts, when left unresolved, can have on our lives. It made my heart smile reading this today. Awesome work resolving this.

    1. Yes, absolutely Sarah. By holding onto our hurts, it stops us from evolving and stops us from living with love because our hurts can get in the way of love being expressed and received.

  9. The way we can isolate ourselves when we feel we’ve made a mistake can be so damaging to our sense of self worth and how we relate to others. When we do something and then have to deal with the consequences, we have a choice to either hide away in self created self punishment and shame, or to embrace the learning on offer and love ourselves ever more deeply.

  10. It is amazing and inspiring to read how once you were open to feeling the self-loathing around your abortion you were able to clear it out of your body and you no longer needed sugar to sweeten the self imposed isolation that had built up because you were hiding from yourself not just other people what was really going on for you. This is huge in society and your willingness to share your journey back to self love will support others who have buried past experiences in their bodies.

  11. Is it perhaps, the influence of the institutionalised religions which have given to women a reason to loath ourselves? Whereas, without the consciousness of what is right and wrong according to these religions, women would just be making decisions according to what feels natural and true for their bodies. Is it perhaps the institutionalisation of religion, and hence of the woman’s body which has bastardised what it is to be a woman and to have the freedom of choice inherent therein?

  12. This is a great example of how we hold onto things in our bodies. Even when we think enough time has passed for something to no longer bother us, only to find that it is still directing us in one way or another.

    1. Great comment Julie, you’ve reminded of the saying, ‘time heals’, and I reckon this is not entirely true because if we bury our hurts and with time forget we are holding onto to them, it can be more damaging than we think. So, it would be more accurate to say ‘love heals’.

  13. I love the sweet lack-of-self-judgement that you have come to in this piece of writing, it is a joy to read, especially around such a delicate subject as abortion.

  14. This is great awareness and understanding, self judging and loathing is very harmful, ‘I’ve also come to realise that the package of judgement and self-loathing acted as a kind of guard, a way to keep people out. How can I form true relationships with others if I keep a part of myself hidden away, from myself and from others?’

  15. Recently I have been talking to a number of people who are strongly against abortion, its surprised me as to me it just makes sense that a women has a right to choose – it is her body – I look at society and I see many children unloved and unwanted – in the UK we don’t have enough homes to house all the children who need fostering, why should we impose on a women she needs to have a child when if the truth of her body is saying no.

  16. Self-loathing is a deep form of self-abuse and if we indulge in it, abuse is what we will attract from others. It is deeply inspiring M to read about how you have now turned your life around and replaced self-loathing with self-love.

  17. This is why I love the work of Universal Medicine so much. Being able to truly heal and let go of past issues that have happened in our life that we have not fully dealt with, and fester away in the background affecting our lives our relationships and our family. With the support of the Esoteric modalities and with a willingness to be honest it is amazing what we are able to heal and let go of is to me a miracle, and as you show when we start to heal our past and deeply buried issues other things open up to heal too.

  18. We bury our hurts only to our own detriment. It is great to expose all we have held onto so we can let it all go and more on unburdened by our past.

    1. Absolutely it is so debilitating carrying around the burden of our hurts but it is only when we become ready to release them that we see how much they have held us back from the joy and connection of fully participating in life.

  19. When we realise who we truly are and where we will all return to we also realise that we could never fall into the trap of self-loathing again.

  20. I am sure many women will be touched through reading your very open and honest blog M, and will allow them the opportunity to feel what they may still be carrying within themselves.

  21. This was revealing to read how our minds can construct different versions of events, to avoid feeling something that we don’t want to feel. Great to read how the choice to just stay open and feel whatever was there to be felt, allowed old feelings to surface and be dealt with. When we judge ourselves we get in the way of our own natural path of expansion and evolution.

  22. We all mistakes – all the time – it’s learning to be understanding of ourselves and approach everyday as an opportunity to learn that stops us bashing ourselves when inevitable mistakes occur.

  23. I love the fact that here in the UK women have the right to choose whether they want to have an abortion or not, as a rise in pro life campaigns sweep the world its essential we don’t forget the women in all this, her body and her feelings.
    If we bring a baby into the world and its not the right circumstances it has the potential to harm the child and many around them.

    1. The choices we make from our livingness are here for us to learn. When we make judgement on ourselves or others we are far from learning and appreciating the many lessons on offer.

  24. This is lovely to read, that you are now letting go of the self-loathing, ‘my choice to be open to feeling the self-loathing, which started after the abortion, has now cleared it – it no longer has any hold on me and I am revelling in a new level of joy, love and openness in my body’.

  25. Through what we perceive as mistakes immense healing is offered. Nothing happens by chance. What occurs is not an excuse to beat ourselves up but an opportunity to welcome, embrace and appreciate… we are ready to heal as we have asked for it.

  26. Self-loathing is common in many people, ‘ I have been my own worst critic, constantly judging myself, putting myself down, and it has taken time to gently identify and heal the many little (and some big) pockets of self-loathing that have been held in my body.’ Time to say no to self-loathing and start accepting ourselves as you did.

  27. Judgements are layered upon judgements to the point that we just accept them as part of the landscape, of who we are. Unravelling these ideas we have been imprisoned by is so truly worthwhile.

  28. Wow, how many things do we hold against ourselves. I have been noticing so many pockets of criticisms which I have for myself. Little minute things which may not seem like a big deal, but the same little minute things which eat me away sometimes without me being aware. It’s incredible to clock and let go of these, indeed life becomes a lot fuller.

  29. Whoah I can feel the harshness and the chastising energy you held toward yourself and realise how familiar this is all for me too. In fact it seems like most of us women have had some version of this self-loathing going on in our lives. I am so very deeply appreciate the loving space and support offered in Universal Medicine workshops and healing sessions for us to connect to the true feelings, hurts and trauma held in our bodies, so that we can heal and free ourselves of the stranglehold imposed on our love and expression.

  30. The fact that there is only one blog on here so far on the topic of abortion shows us how there is still a reluctance and shame around this topic.
    Awesome and inspiring you have broken this silence and shared with us your experience.

  31. Wow M, your blog just gave me a moment to feel how self loathing stops the flow of love, it creates pockets that you only allow yourself to see, never being able to fully allow another to see all of you. Even more is the part you are hiding isn’t even a true part of you, it’s a made up story of an untruth we have chosen to live buy which stops the appreciation of how much love we are.

  32. Letting ourselves feel our true feelings about any given event or incident in our lives allows for the first part of the healing to occur. If we were to shut down our feelings our hurts remains forever festering.
    Thank you for speaking out about this – it allows others to also heal and speak up.

    1. I agree Sam, healing starts with expressing what we feel about what has happened, then we can expose the layers and not feel the need to carry the hurt around with us any longer. Abortions are such a common occurance yet one so closely guarded and kept secret, the more open we are and talk about things the less room they have to overwhelm and consume us with emotiosn such as guilt, which only make the matter into something it was never meant to be in the 1st place, essentially we are masters at making mole hills into mountains.

  33. Being our own worst critic is something I can relate to, it is a pattern of putting ourselves down, always looking for where we could have done better, could have said this, where making a mistake was terrible and horrible instead of bringing in understanding and feeling the space how life gives us opportunities to learn and to let go of what is in the way of becoming more love, and that is what your blog is emanating space to be who we are.

  34. What I love is the understanding you have for yourself now, we’ve all made mistakes – small ones and massive ones – but if we can approach ourselves with this kind of understanding then these mistakes do not need to hold us back as we progress forwards in life.

  35. There is so much to unpack here about how as girls we feel such self-loathing or lack of self-worth and why that is. Not understanding that this is simply because we feel unconfirmed and rejected, turn inwards and instead blame ourselves for being the one who is wrong and/or out of line. In the casting of such judgment on ourselves, we invite this from others too and so keep repeating the cycle. Coming to terms with choices made and events as they unfold is so important because, as you say, we can live with something in our bodies for decades and subconsciously this can affect all our relationships but most of all our relationship with ourselves.

  36. Giving ourselves a hard time is definitely not the answer, is it? It keeps us locked up, shut away and often shut down. I know it because it is something I used to do a lot and still do but it is lessening. We just don’t get to see the beauty when we are hard on ourselves, and by not bringing in the self-love and understanding, how can we unpack the hurts that we are protecting with our hardness. Beautiful to read your story of unpacking the hurts and making the choice for them to no longer have place in your body, clearing the way to live more of the true gorgeous amazing you.

  37. I too was just like you trying to find my place in the world and thinking I could find it from having sex, I didn’t fall pregnant nor have an abortion but the feeling of being dirty and sinful was there. It has been deeply healing to have been able to return to this and see it for what it was and accept those choices based on where I was at. Now loving myself unconditionally for being the amazing woman I am is healing the value that I was seeking back then.

  38. Thank you M for sharing your story, we are very conditional our self love and self acceptance. We seem to have so many reasons why we are not good enough, yet as you have shared we are just trying to find our way in the world and that often means we make some good and some not so supportive choices – however it’s all a learning experience. Your feelings about yourself due to the abortion feel very much part of the belief system religion has imposed onto women. It’s wonderful you found Universal Medicine and can now heal this experience and live with self love.

  39. Hi M, I appreciate your sharing and can relate to the ill-behaviour of judgement and self-criticism towards yourself. Each time I now have these ill-thoughts its a way to know myself in a more loving way and meet myself in tenderness, and the loving sensitive man I am in expression.

  40. It’s great that you’ve seen the judgement and harshness that you were holding against yourself and how they were unfounded and only serving to weigh you down and hold you back. When we can see clearly the falsity in things that we’ve held against ourself then it makes it a natural next step to let them go and embrace a more loving way with ourselves that translates to all people and areas of our life.

  41. There can be no regrets if we look at all that life offers as an opportunity to grow and learn. Every lesson can then be welcomed no matter what it presents as.

  42. ‘I’ve also come to realise that the package of judgement and self-loathing acted as a kind of guard, a way to keep people out.’ And a way to not let your love out either. It was like an invisible wall between you and the world. You have been able to clear what was stored in your body from your past. When we open up to what is there to feel in our body without judgement we come back to loving ourselves and then we truly can let love in and out.

  43. We develop many behaviours and patterns to avoid being honest with our feelings. The moment we bring honesty to a circumstance plus understanding, rather than judgment, we bring healing and are able to truly move on.

    1. Thank you Jennifer, it’s very true, honesty and understanding are a great way to move forward. Judgement and being harsh with ourselves is a dead end.

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