Periodic concerns

Joey Garcia

My girlfriend has really heavy menstrual periods that occur too often and last too long. She is not at all interested in sex when she is on her period, and I get that. But now she bleeds sometimes during sex when she is not on her period, and it’s disgusting. I know she is embarrassed and doesn’t know what to do or say about it. We usually just stop. I know this question sounds gross, but it’s legit and I’m not comfortable asking anyone else. Is this normal?

No, sweetheart, it’s not. Excessive menstrual bleeding and bleeding during sex may mean that your girlfriend has fibroid tumors or a more serious condition. It’s important that she sees a gynecologist. An old-school doc may dismiss her concerns by asking if her mama had heavy menstrual cycles, too, as if that automatically condemns her to the same plight. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Advocate for the health care you need to have the quality of life you desire.

I have been dating a guy for three months. Early on we became close and called each other several times a day. Last week, he stopped returning my calls. He rarely answered the phone and hardly talked when I reached him. Short of showing up at his house, which I considered, I don’t know how to find out what is going on. I thought he was “the one,” but now he won’t talk to me. What is going on?

Your unhealthy ego whispers that you have been abandoned and that fear ignites your inner stalker. Any behavior outside of an established pattern—like the sudden loss of a phone call that tucks you into bed nightly—startles our egos. The wounded part of the ego obsesses in an attempt to understand what happened, even when it is impossible to understand. (Our limited perspective stunts our grasp of reality.)

The healed ego trusts in our own goodness. It pours energy into divesting itself of focus on the other and back into our own lives. Don’t just hit the gym more often or spend longer hours at work. Give your love to the world through random acts of kindness toward strangers and friends while expecting nothing in return.

Romantic ideals like “the one” or “soul mates” (see below) are seductive to the neurotic or unhealthy ego, but have little to do with a spiritual life. It’s difficult to wrap the mind around that kind of truth in a culture corrupted by illusion. When you shake off false idols, you are free to really love and be loved.

I can’t have a five-minute conversation with one of my co-workers without her mentioning three or four times that her husband is her soul mate. It really bugs me, because she is so pretentious and her husband is so needy that no one else would have them. Any snappy comeback I could give? You always have good ones.

Next time your co-worker mentions her attachment, try telling your brain: “How lovely that she is well-matched.”

Oh, wait! Were you asking for a clever retort to use on her? I’m all out of those today, so sorry. I do want to remind you that the term “soul mate” can be translated as “someone who accepts me as I am and would never invite me to grow into my full, spiritual potential.” Or “the person who knows me at my best and worst and still loves me.” Please do remember that in our culture, a soul mate can be a person, pet or place. So don’t be jealous or annoyed when you hear the word. It’s just a few letters strung out on a collective illusion.

Meditation of the week
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion,” wrote Albert Camus. What does democracy mean to you?

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