Earlier this year I attended a workshop titled ‘Relationship with Self’, part of a new series presented by Natalie Benhayon, and Esoteric Women’s Health. The idea around these presentations is that as women today, we are not living the fullness of who we are, lacking that deep connection and knowing of ourselves as women which is impacting many areas of our lives.
At this particular presentation Natalie Benhayon was presenting alongside Miranda Benhayon and together the two women were speaking about intimacy, and in particular intimacy amongst women. They shared how as women this is actually a very natural part of us, yet in many instances it seems we are holding ourselves back from sharing this natural intimacy with one another.
For me, intimacy is the very warm and natural expression of love and affection towards myself and others. It can be found in a smile, a look, a touch, anything that comes from my body that expresses the love I am feeling. Listening to Natalie and Miranda speaking openly about this got me asking the question, “Why, when I know my very nature to be delicate, warm and nurturing, would I hold back sharing this with others”?
I realised that even though I do share intimately with people in my life, that I do this in measurements, a little bit here, a little bit for you, not so much for you today, or you hurt me, so you’re definitely not getting it from me today.
It’s as if there is a built in auto pilot that turns my intimacy levels off and on, based on how I perceive others to be around me.
What was being presented here was huge. I looked around the room at the 150 plus beautiful women surrounding me. To my eyes we were indeed different in appearance, and yet when I went beyond what my eyes could see, I could not help but feel our similarities.
I could feel at our core the deep love and warmth that was equal in all of us.
Some of the women in this room I am very close to yet I felt in that moment how much I have been holding back my naturally loving expression from them. WHY?
Perhaps where the presentation went next was offering the answer – comparison and jealousy amongst women, an issue as old as time. Natalie and Miranda spoke about the enormous harm we do to ourselves and in our relationships with each other when we come from a place of jealousy or comparison. It was a very humbling and eye opening discussion – to say the least.
From this presentation, I could feel how when I compare myself with another woman, I shut down the potential for intimacy in that relationship. It is not possible to appreciate another from that place of comparison, and it also places a very uncomfortable wall between us. This has been my experience for many years in relationships with other women, and in particular with those who are reflecting to me where I might not be living as true or loving with myself as I could be.
I was able to see that the comparison I had been choosing in my relationships was stemming from my own relationship with myself; a lack of appreciation and love for me.
In one short hour, comparison and jealousy was for me turned on its head, setting off a chain of events and choices that I knew would change my life and relationships forever.
I had landed at a crossroads and there was a choice to make – to continue to allow comparison to dominate my relationships, OR, to work on my relationship with myself, and to start appreciating more who I am.
It has been some time since this presentation and in that time I have come into so much more appreciation of myself.
I have committed to really opening up to other women in my life, allowing myself to be inspired by them, rather than compare.
Through choosing to focus on my own love for me and by starting to really value and appreciate who I am as a woman, my relationship with myself has changed so much as has how I approach my relationships with other women in my life.
There are still moments when I feel comparison enter. But I look upon it differently now. I see it as a learning and an opportunity for me to look at any images I may be holding about myself or women in general, and I also see it as an opportunity or asking of me to appreciate myself more. My mother once wrote to me when I was a young girl that ‘you cannot love another until you love yourself’. Well I have learnt that the same is true of appreciation.
I can now see that everything comes back to our relationship with ourselves and that there is no stopping point to how loving this relationship can be. Without this love and intimacy with ourselves, we cannot think to have it with others as we are always in the torment of being less or more than another, always stuck in the comparison. But free of it, and with absolute appreciation for who we are, we can start to appreciate all others in this same light.
This has been my own experience and one I am finding most beautiful. I have found that the greatest gift we can offer others is the depth of love we hold ourselves in. A foundation for true love and intimacy in our relationships.
It always comes back to the love we hold for ourselves.
by Anna McCormack
For Further Reading:
A must read article: The woman and how she belongs to herself, first.
What is true intimacy? Could it be learning to let love in and out?
What happens when comparison and competition between women gives way to inspiration and appreciation?