How does the flow of energy connect to physical and spiritual leaks?
Do you pee a little when you sneeze, laugh, or cough? That’s incontinence. It means your pelvic floor isn’t working optimally with the bladder and brain to keep urine from leaking out. It’s a good idea to see a urologist or pelvic floor physiotherapist to help with this problem, but there may also be a spiritual aspect to that little leak. What we’re considering here is the spiritual meaning of incontinence.
*Please note that trauma often plays a role in vaginal issues, so read on with care, be gentle with yourself, and skip this article if you’re not in a place to think about that right now. Call RAINN’s sexual assault hotline at 800-656-4673 if you need to talk to someone.
Powerful Times of Release
The vagina is a powerful energetic gateway. It can draw in energy, certainly and it can also release energy out through urination, menstruation, and sometimes childbirth. The pelvic floor is meant to be a barrier to help keep things in when they should stay in and let things out when it’s time for them to go.
With menstruation and childbirth, we are particularly open in an energetic sense. The cervix, which is normally closed, opens up during these times (which is one reason these experiences come with some pain). You’re a little more vulnerable when your cervix has opened (including if you were opened through a c-section). That means you can take on more energy that doesn’t belong to you during these moments, and sometimes that energy can get stuck inside of your body.
These are also powerful times of bleeding and release, so if we let them, these can be moments to let go of that old energy that we no longer need within us. This is already happening naturally in these moments, but we must also ensure that we allow the energy to leave and that we protect ourselves from unwanted energy coming in.
One of the things that can happen with trauma or prolonged stress is that the nervous system is constantly signaling to the pelvic floor to contract in order to keep energy in and protect ourselves. When the pelvic floor can never let go, we can never fully release the energy that shouldn’t be inside of us. Over time, this also weakens the pelvic floor, which can contribute to incontinence. Yes, usually incontinence means there is weakness in the pelvic floor, but we don’t often realize that weakness is often caused by too much tension.
The Vagina After Childbirth
For many of us, vaginal pain and imbalances can stick around after childbirth due to trauma, hormonal shifting, and injury to the vagina or pelvic floor.
Incontinence is a common aftereffect of childbirth, and in part, it indicates a loss of strong boundaries, which happens naturally when we have a young baby. The baby’s needs always come first, and we don’t always get to keep our own energy. There is a sort of “leaking” that can happen, especially when we don’t have enough support from our community or family to help us with the major task of both raising a baby and maintaining a sense of our own selves and our own separateness.
It is important that we get support during this time. Professional help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist, osteopath, doctor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, naturopath, and/or counselor can greatly help us return to balance. New parents also need other forms of support, including childcare, so they can get some space to focus on healing. If you can find a way to get help with the baby so you can go get a massage or take a yoga class, your vagina will thank you!
[Read: “Finding Balance in a Pandemic.”]
Taking some time for yourself can bring up feelings of guilt and anxiety. Keep in mind that plenty of evidence shows that parents who are calm, mentally well, and resourced tend to be more patient and loving parents. We can’t control everything about our support and resources, of course, but take a look at what you could do to put your needs first, even just once in a while. If guilt and anxiety are present, let them be friends who are letting you know you’re changing a pattern.
Self-Care & the Spiritual Meaning of Incontinence
Here are some questions to consider:
- Am I connected to the needs of my own body?
- What about the needs of my heart, my mind, my spirit, and my relationships?
- Am I able to get those needs met?
- Am I asking for help when I need it?
- Is help available?
- What is my relationship to setting limits with my child/ren? What does it feel like to say no?
- Where can I set a limit with my family in order to get something I need?
- How can I negotiate with my guilt so that I can get my needs met?
Incontinence is treatable through physical means, but because the pelvic floor is so deeply hooked into our nervous system, it may also be worth exploring the spiritual meaning of incontinence by looking at what’s happening in this area on an energetic level.
Read Julie’s exploration of the spiritual meaning of vaginal infections.