The Prophetic Period


Gurgle. Rumble. Ooze. Bloat. Expand. Bleed. Weep.

Feelings. All of it. Too much of it.  

Chocolate. Ibuprofen. Netflix. More Chocolate. Rinse and repeat.

Menstruation is no fun.

The first few days are terrible. The pain is dull yet overpowering. The emotions burn with fury.

I have a routine. I cancel all non-emergency plans, buy comfort food, find a TV show I can binge, change the sheets (and keep spare ones on the side), and give myself permission to revert into a fetal ball of despair and gloom.

I don’t get out of bed unless I need to. My movements are slow and sleep slips away. Some days all I can muster are a few whimpers that I hope communicate all my feelings—my joy, my sadness, my shame, my excitement, my doubts, my loneliness and my stubbornness.

When I say I feel all the feelings, I mean ALL the feelings.

Instagram photos of French bulldogs make me cry. The Jane the Virgin episode makes me cry. Silence makes me cry. Everything makes me cry.

I also don’t make big decisions when I’m on my period. With my emotions running amok, I am cautious and skeptical.

“I don’t trust you,” I used to tell my body when my bloated and tender belly raged with hormones, chocolate and shame. I’d be disgusted when it bled and excreted nasty goop. I poked and yelled at my body for being so tedious and annoying.

It felt like my body hated me. So I hated it back.

I hated it for plunging me into a deep melancholy. I hated it for swelling in dull pain. But mostly I hated it for not letting me trust my mind. I hated it for robbing me of my ability to make well-informed, logical decisions. I hated it for betraying me.

It wasn’t until I found the language of embodiment that I realized that my body wasn’t against me. My body is for me. My body is me.

My body talks to me. She craves chocolate and prefers the fetal position when I’m tired. She tumbles and gurgles when I don’t know how to hold my anxiety. She plops herself in bed when I feel defeated.

When I am on my period, she doesn’t hurt me. She simply amplifies her voice.

The dull pain, the lethargy, the melancholy—it is her way of telling me, “You’re hurting, beloved.”

My body is a prophet. She listens and connects. She sees all. She protects me and shields me, but she doesn’t let me hide forever. She whispers tenderly and proclaims loudly the truth. She invites me into shalom, into a new way of being, into death, into new life.

I am learning to listen to her. I am noticing when she feels tender and when she feels tired. When she wants to move, I turn on the music and start dancing. When she’s craving something healthy, I feed her a salad. When she’s not, I feed her some cake. Sometimes I put on a few extra pounds and my jeans don’t fit anymore, but I tell my body she can expand if she wants to. I wonder if it’s an invitation to expand my heart a bit more, to expand my worldview.

I still don’t make big decisions when I’m on my period. My emotions do tend to run amok and there’s wisdom in waiting. But I do pay attention. I pay attention to the decisions I want to make. I pay attention to how I react. I pay attention to how I respond.

Later, when the hormones and the red fury subside, I tell my prophetic body, “Thank you for guiding me through another month. Thank you for speaking to me. Thank you for loving me tenderly and fiercely.”

We are one. We are whole.