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  • Writer's pictureby maria

Soul Freedom: Transforming Struggle into Self-Love and Understanding

I was in my early twenties, and once again, I found myself in that small room with white walls, one hand on my forehead and the other on the toilet seat, overwhelmed by a familiar despair. For two years, I had been caught in a relentless cycle of eating and purging, each time promising myself it would be the last. Yet, here I was again, feeling that I wasn't beautiful enough, good enough, perfect enough, or happy.

However, this time, as I washed my face and prepared to confront my reflection with the usual disgust, something profound stopped me from saying, “I hate you..” A longing in my eyes sparked an unfamiliar compassion, leading me to place a hand over my heart and gently caress it. Tears of warmth cascaded down my cheeks as a new, tender voice emerged, soothing my inner child: “I love you, maria… No matter what, I love you. And though I don’t yet know how we will find our way out of this darkness. Everything is going to be okay.”

This profound moment shifted my perspective entirely. I no longer sought to simply fix the issue—or myself. Instead, I yearned to understand it and, by extension, to understand myself more deeply. It was not the end but the beginning of a true healing journey that transformed my struggles into gateways for profound self-discovery.

It’s essential to realize that our struggles, whether they involve food, habits, thoughts, or emotions, are not our enemies. They often feel overwhelmingly adversarial, but embracing them as signals rather than adversaries empowers us to seek the nourishment—emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual—our beings need to thrive.

Blue butterfly resting on the ground, symbolizing transformation and renewal, with wings spread open.
Photo by Andra C Taylor Jr on Unsplash

While pursuing my studies in psychology and battling bulimia, I learned that the clinical descriptions of symptoms I was studying academically failed to capture the essence of the emotional turmoil I was experiencing. This turmoil—feelings of emptiness, unworthiness, guilt, shame, rejection, and deep-seated pain—is universal to many struggles. I began questioning the impulse behind my actions—“What is driving me to this behavior?” It was never just about the behavior itself, like eating compulsively, but about a profound disconnection from my emotional reality, an attempt to escape from pain.

At the heart of my struggle, and perhaps yours too, is a deep-seated desire to feel loved, comforted, and whole. This yearning can lead us to seek temporary solace in ways that ultimately harm us, whether through food, substances, self-harm, or other destructive habits. These are misguided attempts at finding relief and release from our burdens.

Understanding these drivers shifts our challenge from battling symptoms to confronting and healing the emotional wounds that drive these behaviors. The root cause of our struggles often stems from an intense yearning for love, validation, and a sense of wholeness. Recognizing our struggles as symptomatic of deeper emotional turmoil is the first step toward true healing. It’s about looking beyond the symptoms to the underlying causes, paving the way for a recovery process that is as compassionate as it is transformative.

This shift towards understanding and healing is what I define as Soul Freedom, a cornerstone of my work with Authentic Movement Soul Freedom and the Feminine Wholeness Retreats. By addressing these foundational issues, we open ourselves to the possibility of moving from a place of self-rejection to one of self-love, transforming our battles into bridges to a more fulfilled and authentic self.

Throughout my long healing journey, I relied on a guiding question during tough times: “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?” Acting upon this question with small, simple steps gradually transformed my struggle into an ally. This process helped me better understand myself and taught me how to find my center again. I moved from battling low self-esteem, body hatred, depression, and bulimia to falling in love with myself and experiencing bliss.

Today, I invite you to embrace this question at any moment when you may feel confused, disconnected, alienated, lonely, or lost. Pause, ask the question, and open your heart to receive the answer. Our truth awaits to be heard and comes forth with strength when we listen.

Give yourself the gift of transformation. Ask, listen, trust, and act.



P.S.: Our journey into deeper connection with our feminine essence continues this July at the beautiful Feminine Wholeness Retreat in Greece. If you've been thinking about joining, now is the perfect time. We have a few spots left, and I'm excited to offer a 20% discount. Contact me at to get your code.


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