“What do you mean, ‘I have PMS?'”
For one or two days (at least) a month, I wake up wearing “ugly glasses.” They are the opposite of “rose-colored glasses.” These goggles make everything look atrocious.
I look ugly. My clothes look weird. My house looks filthy, the yard trashy, my children onery, and my charming husband starts to look like an ogre. I see things I dislike everywhere around me and struggle to change them. This results in hours of “angry cleaning,” which involves lots of stomping, cabinet slamming, vacuum banging, self-pity, and general misery. If I’m dressing to go somewhere, it means my entire wardrobe will be relegated to a heap on my bed, or the closet floor, in search of something that doesn’t look “awful.” Is any of this ringing true with any of you female readers? And if you’re a guy, maybe it will help you understand your wife or girlfriend or daughter or mother!
I surmise these glasses are caused by a nasty episode of PMS (commonly known as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, a.k.a. Psychotic Mood Shift, Puffy Mid-Section, and my personal favorite: Potential Murder Suspect, all from funnyandjokes.com). I’ve recently learned that “if your PMS is noticed by those around you, it’s probably PMDD.” I haven’t even tried to figure that one out. I think it means PMS double-dog. Like a double-dog-dare?
After years of enduring these “ugly” days I had an epiphany while I sniveled over the condition of my bathroom. The revelation is not new, and you’ve probably heard it before: “Your perception is your reality.”
Just like certain eye problems affect your depth perception, PMS goggles cause a change in your “reality perception.” Now, acknowledging this didn’t change the symptoms, but it certainly gave me some hope! If these “goggles” are a side effect of a temporary physical condition, then maybe I’m not a hopeless housekeeper, a terrible mother, and a lousy wife! I haven’t instantly transformed into a frump with an IQ of 18.5, and my face hasn’t really changed it’s size or shape overnight. It’s all just a perception, and tomorrow is a new day!
My question is this: If these physical changes produce such a dramatic effect on my perception of reality, what else is influencing my perceptions of the world around me? Am I yielding my emotions, my beliefs, my actions, to some external influence, instead of being influenced by God within? I read a little book many years ago about dealing with PMS as a Christian woman. The author, whose name I cannot recall, said, “Just because you have PMS symptoms does not give you the right to stop acting like a follower of Christ.” Ouch.
Here’s the good news: If you know your perceptions are off, you can let Christ compensate for your lack of accurate perception! It sounds easy, but in practice it’s a “battle royale,” as my youngest likes to say.
I wear contacts or glasses every day. Without them, I’m legally blind. I have to use “visual aids” to compensate for my physical weakness. Jesus is my “perception aid.” When someone (or everyone) is irritating me, if I allow Christ’s perception of that individual (even if it’s ME) to color mine, my feelings will change.
Talk about preaching to the choir. I think this post was for me!