Discovering a New You:
The Spiritual Side of Menopause
If you are going through menopause, then you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. You may feel happy, you may feel relieved, or, like many women, you may feel scared and apprehensive. In the past, menopause has often been associated with negatives: the loss of fertility, the loss of youth, the loss of inner vitality. In fact, these views couldn't be further from the truth. Menopause is a time of exciting change and spiritual beginnings.
Menopause: A Woman's Curse
Like a woman's menstrual period, menopause is often seen as a terrible "curse" to bear. It comes along with a variety of uncomfortable menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and heart palpitations. It is also associated with serious complications like osteoporosis. You can often hear women complaining that they have reached "that age" where everything seems to go downhill. But menopause hasn't always been seen as a such an awful curse.
Menopause in Matriarchal Times
In the past, menopause was seen as an exciting and powerful time in a woman's life. These views extended from thoughts about menstruation. Menstruation was associated with mystical powers and strength. Because a woman could bleed without falling sick or dying, she was given a magical status. Menstrual blood was also revered as it could provide life to unborn children.
During menopause, women became even more revered. Because they no longer lost their menstrual blood, menopausal women were thought to be able to retain even more power and strength. They could use this blood to help themselves and others. This blood also made them wiser and gave them intense spirituality.
Current Views on Menopause
Current views on menopause vary drastically from ancient matriarchal times. Standard views of menopause classify it as a "disease" or as "the end".
A Disease: We now tend to see menopause in clinical terms, using medicines and machines, doctors and nurses to treat it. It is no longer given the special status that it once was. Menopause is also typically thought of as a disease, instead of a natural part of life. Women afflicted by menopause are assumed to be in physical decline, experiencing mental deterioration, and are seen as having a lack of social worth.
An End: Menopause is often feared because it is associated with the end of life. Because it signals the closing of your childbearing years, you may feel that menopause is the end of your womanhood, youth, and freedom. Society often assumes that menopausal women are at the end of their shelf life just because they can no longer bear children.
Though you may be nervous, apprehensive, or even afraid to experience menopause, it is something that all women must go through. By redefining menopause you may find it easier to experience this natural process.
Menopause actually signals a new beginning in a woman's life. Yes, the time of menstruation is over, but with each end there is a new cycle that starts. This is a time to focus on you. In the past, you were expected to cater to everyone your partner, your children, your coworkers, and your friends. Now is the time to answer your own needs and wants. The energy that you once had to dedicate to others is now yours to use. Take this opportunity to do things that you have always wanted to do. This is the beginning of new spiritual maturity.
What Menopause Offers
Menopause can offer you so much - it's just up to you take advantage of it. You are now free from the burden of periods and childbearing and have time to get to know the real you. Consider trying some of these activities, which will help you to discover yourself and your place in the world:
- Travel: Now is a great time to see the world. With the better part of your childrearing days behind you, you can explore the world at your own pace and just the way you would like to.
- School: You may have put school on hold in order to raise a family. Or maybe you just feel the need to learn about new things. Signing up for a course at school or your local community centre can be liberating and fulfilling. You may even discover a new passion.
- Work: In the past, you may have had to work for financial reasons in order to support those around you. Or maybe you chose to work as a homemaker to be close to your family. Menopause is a great time to explore the world of work for your own benefits. You might even consider starting your own business.
Maintaining Your Spiritual Menopause
As a woman, you have the right to enjoy your menopause. It is a time for you to explore yourself and the world around you. Here are some tips on how to ensure a wonderful, spiritual menopause.
Tend to Your Body: Pay attention to the needs of your physical body. Get enough rest and relaxation. Pamper yourself and show your body love. Maintain your health through exercise and proper nutrition.
Tend to Your Mind: Menopause is not the beginning of mental decline. Instead, it is a time to expand your knowledge and embrace new ideas. Reflect on your past and acknowledge your emotions. Read books, magazines, and newspapers to absorb new information.
Tend to your Spirit: Menopause is a time for spiritual growth. Try meditation to get in touch with the inner you. Take up religion or continue with your own spiritual beliefs. Take a spiritual retreat to help nurture your spiritual health.