Dear women who have uteruses: Do you have extra long, extra heavy, uber moody, and ultra painful periods? So much so that you might need a whole week after your period to recover? in addition, the week or two before your period is wrought with a different kind of moodiness and body symptoms? When you put it all together, do you consider yourself lucky to get just a few days a month where you can forget about the physical "discomfort" of being a woman? More than likely, your OBGYN has informed you that you have uterine fibroids, but there's nothing to be done about them but "watch and wait." While other women experience a few days of inconvenience with their periods, you are dealing with it almost constantly. While medical doctors may not be able to explain why you have them or have a solution to soothe your symptoms, this BODY WISDOM post can spiritually and energetically explain what's happening, and give you some tips to help you manage it all better.
I have a very typical client, let's call her Eve. In fact, she is so typical that I might argue that 90% of the women who come to me could tell me a similar story.
Eve tells me that she gets really heavy periods. So heavy that she has to get up three times in the middle of the night to change pads so she doesn't soak her bedsheets. And, her periods are irregular. She can bleed for 3 weeks, take one week off, and bleed again for another two weeks. Her cramps are debilitating, so much so that Midol and Aleve and other painkillers barely take the edge off. To top it all off, she is moody beyond moody. She claims this rage-monster lives inside her and she watches the monster emerge over the stupidest of issues. Last week, Eve threw an all-out temper tantrum and broke half her set of dishes because home-from-college kids had overloaded the dishwasher. She told me that she should've been happy because the fact that they actually got the dishes into the dishwasher was an improvement over their teenage days, but the rage-monster inside her lost control anyway.
I always ask Eve the same question after she tells me about her period problems. I ask her about her role as a mother, and who she is mothering besides her own kids. Usually that leads to a longer conversation about how identifies herself as a mother first, and that she doesn't know what to do with herself now that her kids are growing up. She has spent the majority of her adult years taking care of others and looking down the throat of a life she cannot imagine. A life with no one to take care of, and not knowing how to let others take care of her.
While the doctors don't have an explanation, I do. An energetic one. But first, let's understand what fibroids are.
Medically, what are Uterine Fibroids?
According to Mayo Clinic, uterine fibroids are "noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years." They can be so tiny that they are undetectable to the human eye, or grow so massive that they distort and enlarge the uterus where it pushes on the diaphram and/or other internal organs. A fibroid can exist in the lining of the uterine wall, some bulge into the uterine cavity, and others protrude outside the uterus as well. Many women have fibroids and never know it because they don't exhibit any symptoms.
Women who do experience symptoms often have one or more of the following problems.
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Menstrual periods lasting more than a week
Pelvic pressure or pain
Difficulty emptying the bladder
Backache or leg pains
What the doctors often don't tell you is that women who have fibroids often experience more moodiness and more severe PMS symptoms as well. In some cases, women with fibroids can experience menstrual related disruptions to their lives for over 50% of the month.
Energetically, what are Uterine Fibroids Telling You?
From an energetic perspective, I think fibroids are your body's way of storing all the extra stuff we hold as women.
Imagine this...as a mother, you take your family to Disney world. You pack a backpack for yourself with all the mom-necessities (snacks, water bottles, extra socks, first aid kit, etcetera). Over the course of the day, your kids acquire things. Trinkets, prizes, unfinished food they want to save for later. And, they give you all the layers of clothing they don't want to wear anymore. Somehow, all that extra stuff ends up in your backpack. At the end of the day, you shed the backpack, but you still feel the weight of it, all the stuff you held for your family.
The same thing happens in terms of the non-physical energies we hold as women. Over the course of a month, we gather all the moods, and feels, and stresses, and strains that our kids, and loved ones, and even random strangers dump in our emotional backpacks. Over the course of the month, that *stuff* needs to go somewhere, so it gathers, in the lining of your uterine wall. And once a month, when you bleed, you shed that backpack. But if there is too much *stuff* the bleeding is heavier, denser, longer, and worse than usual. If you really think about it, those exceptionally stressful months when you had more "mothering" to do, your periods were always worse.
Fibroids happen when there is either too much stuff to sluff off. Or worse, you can't let go of the *stuff* because it still needs to be held. And then they grow, because you're holding more. Or you never let go of stuff that you should've let go of long ago. Fibroids are that extra gunk that gets stuck at the bottom of the backpack, the half-eaten sticky lollipop that was so sticky that it gathered all the wrappers and tissues and bandaids. you just never got around to cleaning it out, so you just layered more *stuff* on top of it. Eventually it becomes a big bunch of YUCK.
Then peri-menopause happens and your body says, "I'm not supposed to have this *stuff* anymore!" Usually this happens around the time the kids are on the verge of empty-nesting, but you don't know how to stop holding for them. Your body is trying to push out the extra *stuff* but it is so stuck in there that it can't get out...so your cramps are worse, the bleeding is worse, the moods are...well...rageful...because your body is PISSED THE F*** OFF from all the crap it is holding. It's become toxic. Rancid. Ragefully gross!
I tell Eve, you need to learn to LET GO. To trust your children to be the grown-ups that you taught them to be. Whether they are your children by birth, or adoption, or even grown-ups who have come to your for mothering of some sort or another, at some point your body is telling you that you are done MOTHERING. Gulp. That's hard a really hard pill for Eve to swallow, especially if her entire identity is wrapped up in being a mom. But it is the natural flow of life. All mothers must eventually let go.
Learning to let go may not get rid of the fibroids, but it often lessens the symptoms. And if the fibroids are just too damn big, and Eve gets them surgically removed (or a full-on hysterectomy) the surgery and recovery teaches her how to let go and not hold anymore!
I also recognize that those women who have a healthy balance of mothering and letting go do not have the same issues with fibroids and period pains. Don't hate me. I'm one of those lucky ones. I learned long ago, in my school-teaching days, that I couldn't fix or save all my students. I couldn't mother them all. I got frustrated when they came back time and again wanting me to do things for them. Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. I somehow have lived by this concept, of teaching my students/clients/loved ones so that they can do for themselves.
I tell Eve, she needs to learn the difference between EMPOWERING her "children" and loved ones vs ENABLING them. I suggest that it is time that she give each of her children their own backpack at Disney world, and that she teach them how to pack and unpack and hold their own *stuff*.
About the Body Wisdom Series
Our emotional issues live inside our physical tissues.
Ever since Louise Hay published You Can Heal Your Life in which she links specific positive affirmation to various body parts and ailments, the depth of information about the connections between emotional issues and body ailments has grown. You may have read the book The Body Keeps Score written by a psychiatrist Bessel van de Kolk, who studies the links between emotional trauma and physical illness. Or, I may have suggested in the past that you pick up Messages From the Body by Narayan Singh. What always frustrated me about these texts is that they focus on what is wrong and often fail to demonstrate the miraculous capacity and ability of the human body to adapt and adjust. Clients usually walk away from these books with varying levels of hypochondria, which only encourages your brain and body to believe something is wrong, thus perpetuating the wrongness.
If you listen to your body when it whispers,
you will never have to hear it scream.
This Body Wisdom Series is intended to highlight the magic and power and wisdom that lives inside your body. I also hope to teach you how to pay attention to your body, become body-mind aware so that you can better manage your introvert/hsp/empath sensitivities. If you sign up for the Membership Blog, you will receive the simple mind-body MOZI Method exercises to help you embrace and empower your brain and body to live up to its ultimate magical and miraculous potential and ability.
My goal is always to simplify and clarify the link between science of how our body works and the spirit of how we feel. This series focuses on that purpose.
If you have issues with uterine fibroids, your menstrual cycle, or other "female reproduction related challenges, or you just need to learn the difference between empowering and enabling, book a mentoring appointment for a personalized analysis of your issues and specific homework to address them.