Knowing that most of us sort of wander through life taking our bodies for granted, I must admit that the experience of your own body malfunctioning can be eye-opening.

One friend of mine who is also traveling the path towards pregnancy feels angry that her body isn’t working “right.” I’ve heard her heap insults on her own reproductive system that you wouldn’t cast on your enemies. I totally understand. It’s hard not to think of some of our parts as defective.

However, another friend (one who has been relatively lucky as she’s grown older in not experiencing too many bodily breakdowns) taught me quite a few years ago about the power of our minds over our bodies. This was kind of “hippy-dippy New Age” thinking back then, but some of the claims have since been validated by science.

My friend dabbled in all sorts of healing practices that involved steering your mind in a positive direction to directly effect the reality of your body. Granted, hers were relatively minor aches, pains, and injuries, while I was experiencing an emergency appendectomy, ooporectomy, and finally laser cone biopsy for cervical dysplasia. For one year in my mid-20’s, I really thought that my body had played out for good; it seemed to be literally falling apart suddenly after years of average, good health. It was then that I was smacked right in the face with the reality– this was definitely the only body I would ever get.

My friend talked about “loving” parts of her body– not as in “Oh, I just love my hair today,” but as in caring for those parts. It’s like a few (but not enough) popular songs have touted– looking at the word or concept of love as a verb, an action word. Something you do, as opposed to just an emotion experienced. The technique is to then apply that concept to yourself– physical and otherwise. Sure, it sounds hokey, but try facing a life-threatening or debilitating or disfiguring illness without it.

So, that brings me back to now. Yes, my body is not functioning in the way that I wish it would, that is, in a manner that would assure me of conception and a successful pregnancy. But it’s the only one that I have, and no one, not a single soul, can take care of it for me.

Does this mean that I am perfect in my body-tending ways? Heck no! I am very human and have my vices, transgressions, and unproductive behaviors. However, I think of my body now as almost a separate entity; as a child that I must tend to and meet her needs. My body has thus far hung in there through some really damaging experiences. It’s no wonder that it doesn’t function perfectly. I give it credit when it is due, and when it “acts up,” I try to determine the reasons so I can resolve the issue. This manner of thinking has come in quite handy in dealing with my fertility issues.

Thank goodness for adventurous friends!