by Caroline Puerto
Hormones – as girls, it’s used by our parents as a word to describe our mood. We’re told they are surging through our bodies as puberty hits, but it hasn’t been till recently that I’ve been taught what they can actually do.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and fear for a long time. What I didn’t realize was that hormones often brought on and intensified some of these struggles. Not knowing that hormones were the cause of some of my struggles, I often had thoughts that I was crazy, a lunatic, and often wondered why? Every month, halfway through my cycle, my hormones start to rage. How can I tell? I have been taught the symptoms, have been able to recognize them, and therefore have been able to more effectively handle and cope with them.
My hormones often cause my mind to race – really fast. When I am already trying to renew my mind from fearful and wrong thought patterns, this can be really discouraging. I often have tried to solve this by handling it spiritually. More prayer, more bible reading, and so on. Thankfully, Jesus rescued me from the resulting feelings of shame and discouragement as I tried harder and failed at stilling my mind. My counselor taught me that sometimes my mind racing is not always a direct result of a spiritual problem, but a physical one! She taught me that instead of trying to mentally stop the racing of my mind, I needed to focus a little more on the physical side. Doing breathing exercises calmed my mind, anxiety, and fear, as I focused on calming my physical body instead of trying to conquer some terribly wrong spiritual problem I thought I was having.
Insomnia is another sign. Once again, towards the middle of my cycle, I begin to have pretty bad insomnia. I can’t sleep at nights, and when I do fall asleep it’s restless and I often wake in the wee hours of the morning, unable to fall back asleep. Racing thoughts, anxiety, and fear flood my mind as I am awake. I also begin to have nightmares and terrible dreams. I wrongly identified my anxiety as being the cause of my insomnia. But once again, Jesus was faithful. A friend of my moms’ recommended essential oils when she heard about some of my struggles. Her daughter used the same thing. Different essential oils help to naturally balance hormones during a woman’s cycle, and when I applied these, I was able to sleep well at night – in fact, I sleep better at night when I use these oils than I ever have in my life.
One of the most powerful ways that being able to recognize hormones and their effect on me has helped, is just that: recognition. If you’ve watched Disney’s Moana, you’ll be familiar with the fiery demon, Te Ka, who we later find is actually the beautiful goddess, Te Fitti. Te Fitti was just missing her heart – that little glowing green orb that causes her to be who she is. Once that goes missing…
When I’m hormonal, I often am (or at least think I am) an evil fiery demon. I lose all sense of rationality and begin to view life through the scope of – well, a fiery demon. Everyone is out to get me, nobody likes me, I am stupid and say dumb things, I look ugly, and everybody treats me unfairly. That’s life as a fire demon. But, what I needed, just like Te Ka, was someone to tell me that is not who I am, and replace that glowing green orb of goodness. For me, that glowing green orb of goodness is the recognition that hormones, not me, are generating the irrational, fearful, and anxious thoughts that plague me. Once I know this, I can transform back into the beautiful goddess that I am.
Being able to recognize that I am hormonal allows me to discredit the thoughts and emotions I have as false. Even though I may still feel miserable, I can rest, and live out of the truth of who I am in Christ.
One last thing that has helped me tremendously when coping with hormones is to have a good cry every now and then. Jesus is so tender with His daughters, and sometimes my sole consolation has been to bring my hormonal mess to Him, lay myself at His feet, and cry. Crying lets out all the feelings bottled up inside, and releases all that has been burdening me. There is no better place to cry and let it all go than at the feet of Jesus. He has often comforted me, strengthened me, filled me with truth about myself and my situation, and helped me along. Looking back, I often have realized how silly or irrational whatever I was crying about in that moment was, yet still, I cherish the tenderness and love of God as He comforted me despite that.
Hormones are indeed a fiery demon to be reckoned with, but with Jesus’ help, we can take hold of that green glowing orb, and cope with them, not allowing them to drown and hinder us in life and in our relationship with Jesus. We can become the beautiful goddesses we are.
Please comment and share what ways you have learned to cope with hormones.