Andrea's Story… 

Andrea Berset

I had no idea how much my body needed my love until I was given the gift of a perspective shift. Having always been basically at war with her, with my rheumatoid arthritis, for as long as I could remember.

I was determined to fix her, to change her, to find a miracle cure that would free her from the pain of feeling trapped and frozen inside of her.

In my very hot pursuit to “cure” myself, I was blinded to the real truth- that I secretly hated my body and criticized and judged the shit out of her. Every morning I carefully looked her over, searching for signs of inflammation, that I would then look at in disgust, my mind racing for ways to alleviate it...

I thought I knew what self love was, I thought that my fierce commitment to doing everything I could possibly do to “heal myself” was self love. I for sure thought that ALL of the routines I did, all of the doctors and healers I went to, and all the alternative treatments I was constantly trying or implementing, were self care.

It wasn't until I was asked a very simple question did I realize the truth.

“What if the pain just wants love?”

What do you mean the love the pain? How is that even possible? I have been hating it and fighting it and desperately trying to “cure” it for as long as I can remember…

She said to me, “surrender and embrace this as your gift, your fight against it is only exacerbating it.” I was further shocked.

My gift? I had never ever thought to surrender to it either, what would that even feel like?

I felt like my grandmother's spirit was there that day, holding my hurting hand. Like she was speaking through this angel that shared this information with me. This notion that woke me up out of the illusion of self hatred.

I sobbed for how shitty I had been to my body. I saw for the first time how much she had been through, how much I had put her through. And for the first time I didn't see her as an inflamed diseased person that needed to be fixed, I saw her as a survivor, as a warrioress.

A beautiful, strong and capable body that had actually been doing really amazing considering the circumstances, a total perspective shift. From total hated to compassionate LOVE.

I had learned a transformative Hawaiian chant from my Maui sisters for forgiveness called, ho o’ pono pono and immediately got in the bath and indulged in a full body massage with the chocolate scrub. Crying, asking her for forgiveness and sending all the love in my heart into every aspect of her.

My roommate at the time had shared a personal practice of hers where she would create space to sit down and love on her body with a massage oil and make a ritual out of it. She would light a candle and literally take time with her body, massaging her, loving her.

All of these moments came together in a lightning bolt way that totally clicked for me.

I've been free of all medications since then, over 5 years ago now. The power to heal myself was within me that entire time, the power of my own love, the ability to surrender and embrace my “problem” as my gift.

I continue to practice loving and caring for my body multiple times a week with the chocolate scrub. It is my way to pay gratitude to her, for all that we have been through together in the past and a way to love + honor the inevitable changes to come.

Creating this kind of space to love her on consistently, opens up the opportunity for new insights and inspiration to further continue on the journey deeper into self love.

It's been a long road to even having the courage to tell this story, as the fear of exacerbating the pain or the disease has kept me from sharing it. I now realize that I have been given the most incredible gift and that I absolutely must share it. In doing so, I hope that anyone else who like me might be searching for a cure, or secretly hate themselves too, will greatly benefit from hearing about my continual journey into self love.