5 Things Your Period May Be Trying To Tell You
My period arrived yesterday. I remember my first period; how could I forget it? Mine was so painful, so impatiently-awaited, so LONG, and so very heavy. I could hardly walk or eat the first couple of days. I’d heard all these stories about how your first period was supposed to be this light, flowy, exciting time for a woman. All my friends had gotten theirs, and I was only a couple months short of turning 14 and mine still hadn’t arrived. And when it finally did, it was like a beast had been released from me.
How could my body be so cruel? It lasted for 9 days, was horribly painful, and I bled through the first pantyliner within an hour. Something I’d been so excited for turned out to be a nightmare. Okay, enough of the period gore.
3 months ago I stopped taking the birth control pills I’d been taking on and off since age 16, that helped me with the cramps, that shortened the period, that helped me essentially fit into our masculine society. My period had become an inconvenience, something to be dealt with but not enjoyed, something to be largely ignored. This month, I decided to sit with my period, for the first time since ever having gotten one. I decided to listen to it. The painful cramps that I typically have–what were they trying to tell me? Here are 5 reflections that came up while on my period.
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1) A lot of anger towards men came up.
The first thing that came up was actually anger towards men. That joke, PMS is Pissed at Men Syndrome, is truer than I realized. The thoughts that came up went something like this: “Why don’t men have to deal with this, this is so unfair. If only they knew how much I suffered.” Whoa. That’s some powerful stuff coming out of my uterus. I have a feeling it is also a reflection of my anger at the patriarchy, with the workplace not being very friendly or supportive of women’s needs. But what if maybe I thought of it in a different light? What if I was able to be grateful for this time of reflection that men do not have?
2) I felt tired, like I wanted to rest.
Unfortunately I am still working full-time, though that era in my life is coming to an end soon. But I am listening to my body and realizing that it wants to rest and recover. If I was able to, I would more fully give that to it. But for now I will just give myself the compassion of knowing that maybe I won’t be as “productive” at work, to take things slow, and be kinder to myself about it.
If you are feeling tired, listen to your body. In what areas of your life could you give yourself more rest?
3) I was hurting.
The cramps are a symbol of emotional pain. Grief. Loss. The end of an era. It is truly a time to reflect on the pain of the previous month. How painful is your period this month? What “pain” are you not looking at in your daily life? Take some time to process and reflect upon it.
4) To pay attention and remember the past.
I almost feel as if my period is speaking to me. As if she tried to start a relationship with me when she first arrived, but it was so poorly received on my end. It makes me feel bittersweet, as if I am catching up with an old friend who I held a lot of resentment towards over the years, who did nothing but stand by and love me. It makes me feel sad for the lack of a relationship we’ve had, but happy that we can reunite.
It makes me feel very connected to my womanhood, something I’ve learned to feel shame towards over the years, but that I would like to start embracing again. It brings up a lot of memories about my sexuality that are painful, and gives me a reminder to treat my body like a temple in all ways.
5) The pain of being a woman.
Being a woman is painful. But it doesn’t have to be. For the most part, our current reality would say that yes, this is true. Being a woman in this society is painful. But I let myself be a victim to that pain. It’s the way I was programmed, to believe that women are less than men. To believe that our needs are not just as important. To believe that my femininity is too powerful, too much for men to handle, too much for anyone to handle.
But no more. I am taking charge of my femininity. It’s all a matter of perspective. It might be different, but I cannot pretend I am the same as a man anymore. I am EQUAL, yes. But not the same. I believe that my power is largely in my womb and heart space– the power to create, the power to be compassionate, the power to love. And that we could all use a bit of that in the world right now.
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