Debra Chew: Women And Balancing The “Change Of Life”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - by Debra Chew

My favorite act at the circus is the balancing act.  You know, the guy walking the tightrope, balancing each step he takes so that he doesn’t lose his equilibrium and come crashing down.  Sometimes life can make women feel like they are walking a tightrope and that the least change will take them off balance and they will come crashing down.

Unfortunately, women walk that daily tightrope, and when the focus is on multi-tasking, it is easy to find one’s self  emotionally, physically, and spiritually depleted and out of balance at the end of the day.  While a good diet, regular exercise, and managing stress will help you stay in balance physically, I find it is equally important to take time to feed and exercise your spiritual self.  

For years women have been told by magazines, friends, and TV personalities/doctors that their feelings are regulated by hormones and that when they reach a certain age, these will fluctuate – even more than they already do every month!  Women are also told that as long as the hormones are kept at a correct level, their emotions will, instead, have greater balance.  And, they are told that often the only way to do this is through drugs; and, sometimes, those drugs have serious side effects.  This sets up a real conundrum for 50+% of the world’s population.

If we are experiencing the monthly ups and downs of this hormone imbalance or we are at that stage in life where it is going to shift big time, what can we do?   Is there no way of managing this or permanently correcting it other than through chemicals?  My experience tells me there is.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to prove it.  I was emotional, I noticed a change in my weight, and some days I just didn’t feel like my usual happy self.  Even though I was racing down life’s roads at a velocity suitable for a Porsche, my body felt more like a slow-moving mini-van… loaded down with a cargo of unfamiliar and uncomfortable passengers.  Since I was unwilling to correct these “passengers” chemically, I knew I had to focus on my spiritual self.  And, I was confident that I did not need to be a victim of ‘change’ and find and experience the balance I needed by turning to God. 

I began taking more time for myself and used that time for prayer - concentrating on ejecting all those unwanted passengers in the mini-van.  I replaced my feelings of discomfort and negativity with uplifted thoughts about God and my relationship to Him.  As I studied and prayed, using the Bible and a companion textbook on Christian healing, I became increasingly aware that balance is a quality I get from God.  Also, that the only things real in my life – and about my health – are those things I get from God. This helped me understand that I could reject feelings or experiences that were outside of God’s Kingdom - fear, insomnia, weight gain, depression, and crazy temperature changes.  

Instead of thinking about all the physical changes going on, I focused on my spirituality and the continuity of the Divine.  God never changes – how could I, made in “His image”, change?   And, I got great comfort from a favorite hymn. A line that reads “no change my heart shall fear” really spoke to me.   I truly had nothing to fear in the “change” that was happening within me.  It wasn’t too long before I began to realize (almost as quickly as it happened) that nothing had changed, except I had ‘changed’ the way I thought about this time in my life.  And, before long, I was speeding down the road in that Porsche once again; no longer teetering on that tightrope but perfectly balanced and feeling divinely controlled.   

Interestingly, I am not the only woman who has used prayer to handle the changes in life.  In recent years, scientists have begun to study the effects of prayer on women going through “the change of life.”  These studies are showing that women indeed benefit during this time by “connecting to a force greater than themselves.”  I’m living proof that this can be an effective way to move through this period of our lives.  You can be too.    

Stop walking that tightrope --- pray --- and for goodness sake, trade that mini-van and its passengers in for a smooth, empty Porsche! 

---

Debra Chew is a self-syndicated columnist and writes about the connection between thought, spirituality and health.  She has been published in the chattanoogan.com, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Jackson Sun Health Magazine, and in the UK.  She is a Christian Science Practitioner and also the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science for Tennessee.  You can contact her at tennessee@compub.org.


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