She's not Moody
Don’t call her moody. Yes, maybe she seems unpredictable. She may scare you a little. But she’s not moody. This emotional high and low tide is not her failing. It is her magic.
If you are a woman, or live with a woman, you know about every 28 days or so “she” comes out. “She” is the one that nobodylikes. “She” isn’t what we think she should be - “she’s” not the kind, thoughtful, rational, optimisitic, positive, productive, capable, and compassionate women we admire. “She” isn’t rational at all. Instead, she is scared and angry, despondent and depressed, critical and irritable. “She” has a hard time taking a phone call or sometimes even getting out of bed in the morning. And “she” is incredibly fussy - wanting to cry and be held and told she is okay, but simultaneously wanting everyone to go away.
Yes she is a pain in the ass, but she holds more of a woman’s power than you can possibly know. She is the secret to your wholeness.
She is the woman who emerges in the days leading up to your cycle. Our culture calls it PMS, but she is not a disease or a pathology. Not a sickness or not a problem to be solved. “She”is part of our wholeness, and she is only challenging because she is out of place in this world - like a giraffe in your living room or bicycle on a boat. All she really needs is the proper respect, the proper place, dare I say, the proper throne in her world.
To start at the beginning….
Women, have two main hormones ~ estrogen and progesterone. These are HORMONES people. You know, chemical soups that can change everything about you. If a woman takes the hormone testosterone, her voice deepens, her muscles and energy increase, her sex drive increases and her skin changes. If a man takes the hormone estrogen, fat will move to his hips and waist, breasts will form, and his body hair will decrease. Also, he will lose energy and his mood will be more variable.
Neither man nor woman can not control these with our thoughts or will, they are a biological functions. The affects of hormones are as powerful and pervasive as the rising sun or changing tide.
Men, the lucky bastards, have one main hormone. It is steady, constant, straight forward. It gives them energy, keeps their mood elevated, and allows them to be drivers in the world. Our culture is built on these characteristics.
Women have two hormones that are constantly rising and falling. For two weeks, estrogen is high and we are outgoing, creative, and able to birth ideas and projects into the world. The second two weeks, estrogen drops and progestrone increases. Weturn inward, reflective, observant, and become acutely sensitized to the world around us, sometimes to the point that it hurts.
Instead of accepting the cycles and learning to discover their wisdom, gifts and messages that come from the both stages, most women learn to hate the progesterone stage. We hold our birthing, creative, extroverted estrogen selves up in comparison to our inward, reflective, and receptive progesteron selves and believe we are failures for not being consistent, driving, and outward all the time. So we put “her” into hiding.
In attempts to find what we think is normalcy (i.e. one steady state) we are told to medicate our cycles. We are put on birth control pills. And yes, it is a relief to be off the roller coaster ride of liquid chemistry. But it has unintended side effects for us individually as well as collectively. In fact, birth control pills can actually worsen the mood swings they are said to address, while also leading to nutrient deficiencies, increased moodiness, and increased the risk for cancer. Plus they get your whole endrocrine system out of whack, which can affect everything in the long run.
In the end, the progestrone self just won’t be hidden. And maybe she is not meant to? Maybe she has gifts?
Historically, our ancient female ancestors would go into seclution during the end of this phase. It wasn’t becasue bleeding was dirt or shameful. Quite the opposite. It was because that magic was so powerful.
Our ancient ancestors believed that women became so sensatized to the subtle realms during this time of her cycle, that they could see between the veils into the mystical realms. Women at the end of this phase could “dream” into the future, see what was needed, and come back to the tribe with important messages and deep wisdom needed for everyone to thrive.
So imagine today, during these few days of heightened senstivity, when your whole being is attuned to pick up the most subtle of visions and vibrations, that nstead of getting still so you can listen, you are bombarded by phone calls, traffic, crying children, well-intentioned but clumsy partners, daily demands of cooking, planning, meetings, deadlines, workouts and more. Do you think your body might react by doubling over in pain? Do you think a part of you might get a little pissed off? Maybe try to set some boundaries with some anger? Or that part of you that can feel the pain of the world ~ the animals, the children, the immigrants, the women, and earth, all bought and sold as commodities instead of honored as life ~ do you think she might get a little despondent and depressed?
Trevor Noah, in his stand up show, joked that if men had periods it would be a national holiday every month. No one would expect a man to come to work and do what they were doing the rest of the month. They would give themselves the time needed.
And frankly, that’s what women need to do. They need to honor their cycles. Take a day, or an afternoon, to go into nature. To sit still. To listen. And to craft their lives from that knowing.
And men? Men need to honor the magic of women. They need to support their wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, to embrace the progesteron self. To give her the space to be sensitive. To allow women to own “her” and the wisdom “she” brings, without shame because it is different than the first part of the month. “She” is not to just be tolerated, but rather to be honored. “She” is to be given a place of respect.
Call it a throne or a she-shed, but either way find “her” her own space. An area of comfort. A place free from demands. A space of support. And then go there to listen.
If you do, you may begin to see “her” as an ally instead of an enemy? The giraffe will leave your living room and go galloping through the savanna with his enormous heart beaming into the world. And that bicycle will take you to places you never thought you could go.
Your PMS, my darling, is not a pathology. It is a warning light. So listen to it. Embrace your wisdom. And go forth into the magic that is your own.