We hold on to these as we grow. Things like ‘You have to work hard to make money and to be a good member of society’, ‘Travelling on your own as a woman is dangerous’, maybe a distrust of your body because you’ve watched all the women in your family suffer through their cycles, dogs are good and cats are bad, this is right and that is wrong…
We all have beliefs about the way the world works and the way life is. I’m sure you have heard that saying before.
Something bad happens and then ‘Welp, that’s just the way life is.’ And maybe you have even said it – I know I have.
Until we start to question the things we think day in and day out, our lives are kind of lived on autopilot: There is a stimulus, some comment made or a situation occurs and the automatic response is something we have been thinking and responding with for years.
There is no thought, no time to question the validity of this belief.
As digital cameras became more popular, I resisted. I believed that film was better and it never occurred to me to even think twice about it.
Automatic response time – I got way too upset for what was happening. I went home and fumed for a while.
“The world is too technology driven, nothing is sacred anymore, kids these days.” Your basic run-of-the-mill-can’t-deal-with-change moment!
And then for some reason, my mind saw it differently. This wasn’t my fight. Why did I want to develop film? I couldn’t think of a better reason than it looks cool on TV, so I went back into that shop and bought a sweet used digital camera that I still use to this day.
Once I questioned the validity of my belief in film cameras, I relaxed and moved on with my life.
These are ideas that have been passed down from woman to woman or that we have just come up with on our own, and I would love to see this misinformation stop!
Let’s get into the myths:
1. I just have to make it to menopause and I’ll feel better.
This one is suggesting that when we hit menopause we have no need for our sex hormones anymore. “Sex hormones be damned! I’m in menopause now. See ya later, estrogen. Good riddance, progesterone. You two, and your friends, were kind of bitches anyway.”
It’s like saying all of your problems will disappear once you move 5000km away from your ex. Both are equally untrue and silly.
The truth is that we need our sex hormones throughout all of our life and all of our life stages.
The point is, work on hormone balance now before menopause, or there could be a rude awakening.
Another myth inside this myth is that the list of symptoms I just gave you is normal for menopause – that all women go through that.
This is simply not true. It may take a bit of work, but menopause doesn’t have to look like that, just as our menstrual cycles do not need to mean suffering.
2. All the women in my family suffered through terrible menstrual symptoms, so I am stuck with it – it’s genetic.
This one isn’t a myth in the typical sense. This one is true for a lot of women.
The reason I mention this one is because it is not helpful. It’s a great example of creating what you have been taught to believe.
I will note here that I am no geneticist. I’m just really interested in this stuff.
While it may seem that the pain your mother, grandmother, aunts, go through is passed on to you through your shared genes, let me have a little fun with your brain here!
Now think about this: What do families have in common? They usually eat the same food, live in the same environment, have similar lifestyles, and share the same stories and beliefs.
And all these points have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, either good or bad.
So is it our genes or is it the food we eat, the area we live, the amount of steps we take per day, and the thoughts we repeat to ourselves over and over again?
I lean strongly toward the latter because we can see major changes in health and hormonal balance by altering any of these.
There are great studies showing the change in health that occurs when people move from a country with a healthy diet to one that isn’t, like anywhere in North America. Rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes… increase when people alter their traditional diet to that of the standard American diet (SAD).
The great thing is that we can change the food we eat and the number of steps we take. We can change our environment if it is harmful to us. We have our own power back, and that is never a bad thing!
3. The contraceptive I am on right now has cured my menstrual problems.
Sure, it sounds good. Especially when you hear it from the person giving you the prescription.
But here is the test: stop taking those pills, or the shot, or take out the IUD…
It’s like saying you own your home and then being late on a few mortgage payments. Pretty soon you’ll know that it is the bank that really owns it.
If you can/when you can, it is best to deal with the root cause of the issue. This will lead to lasting change.
You do not need to do anything you do not feel comfortable with or that doesn’t fit your life right now. But know that when you do come off that prescription, there is support for you.
There is a time and a place for everything, and only you know what is right for you. So be true to who you are and what you want. You deserve only the best!
Our thoughts are powerful creators of our life and our health, so get them on your side!
P.S. If you are interested in this topic, I highly suggest looking up Bruce Lipton – especially his book The Biology of Belief. It is life changing!