Recently I was at a community group talking with some women about their periods. Some of these women were old enough to have children of their own. I could hardly believe it when they told me that they still feel embarrassed going into the grocery store to buy pads and tampons. It got me thinking… How and when did it become so shameful to have a period? WHY is it this way?
To menstruate every month is actually a blessing.
Some people don’t get periods every month because they don’t ovulate, and therefore they can’t achieve their life goal: to get pregnant. Some people don’t get to benefit from the cyclical changes that the body goes through every month. Not to mention, menstruation is also a sign of youth! The cycle your body goes through is what keeps your hair shiny, your skin bright, your boobs perky, and your sex drive lively. Once you hit menopause, all of these things change and they’re never exactly the same as they were. I was chatting with my aunt who’s in her late 60’s the other day about periods. She said “I sometimes look at young women and think, man, I wish I still menstruated. I miss it. It was a sign of my youth”. Who thought someone would ever miss having their period?
For me, menstruating is not only a sign of my youth but it physically, emotionally and mentally cleanses my body of last month’s shit. All those things I was stressing about? Lettin’ em go. Those feelings that were holding me back from my potential? Releasing them. All that uterine tissue? Shedding it. By day 2 of my cycle (the second day of bleeding) my head all of a sudden starts to feel more clear, my body lighter. Usually by this point things have felt a bit stagnant for the past week, and my bleed signifies the natural flow of all the different energies within me reawakening and getting back to work.
“But its so inconvenient”..
Yes, I may have to wear something a little looser fitting during my period, or yes I may have to do a few extra bathroom trips, but that’s the whole point of this cycle thing. At this point in the month, my body is asking me to take a little more time to cater to it. The few days you bleed are meant to be a time for you to slow down, reflect inward and practice self-care based on your body’s needs.
I think if we want the rest of the world to take us more seriously as women and if we want to close the gender gap, we need to get comfortable with who we are. And who are, are humans who bleed from our vaginas every month. And yes this involves us touching our own vagina to keep the blood from going everywhere. And no you do not need to hide a tampon in your purse when you head to the bathroom in public, because if you aren’t even comfortable doing that then how can you expect the rest of the world to be comfortable with it?
So, next month instead of dreading your bleed, try thinking of it ahead of time in positive light and when it comes, adjust your life a little more around this important time of the month. You may just notice that its a bit lighter and less painful!