We hear about the downside of menopause all the time – hot flashes, irritability, sleepless nights but menopause has its benefits too. The good news is that if we can focus on these benefits we can come out ahead and feel better at this stage of our life.
As we tread the path from birth to death, we laud youth and fear getting old. In a culture that glorifies being young, thin, and rich, there is little in the ever-present media that sings the praises of growing older and (hopefully) wiser. Especially for women, aging can lead to a feeling of invisibility, so we dye our hair, plump up the lips, whiten the teeth, log long hours on the treadmill, and at least contemplate the potential benefits of cosmetic surgery—all so we won’t look as old as our bodies actually are.
There is one sure-fire marker for women that their bodies are no longer as young as they once were: menopause. At some point in their forties to mid-fifties (even earlier for some – I was 39 when I got my first menopause hot flashes), women become menopausal. Even if they have had children, and often especially if they haven’t, women see menopause as an ending, a loss, instead of as a new freedom from PMS and cramps.
Menopause isn’t as bad as you may have heard, and I speak as someone who made it through her own (difficult) menopause. I can assure you that beyond the temporary physical discomforts some experience, there are important benefits to the new stage of life into which you’re headed. (Since I’m neither a doctor nor a therapist, you’ll want to talk to a medical professional before trying any of the suggestions you find here).
While menopause is discussed more openly today, there are still persistent myths that leave some women dreading this “change of life.” But there is no reason to dread menopause, which is a perfectly natural state that all women experience as they cease to menstruate.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs in their ovaries, most of which naturally die off through a process called atresia. During menstruation, the ovaries release a mature egg during the ovulation phase of each cycle. If the egg is not fertilized, it is flushed from the body. During menopause, this process stops, meaning women can no longer become pregnant.
Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. ~Maurice Chevalier
Menopause Benefit #1 – Your Sexual Experience Can Improve Dramatically
And right there is one of the big benefits of menopause: You can’t get pregnant any more. No more worries about birth control (although condoms with a new sexual partner are wise for other reasons.) No more fear of a “mistake,” no more dealing with colic, runny noses, or having to send your aging body running after a 2-year-old, not to mention paying to send another kid through college on what should be your retirement fund.
As a corollary benefit, your sexual experience can improve dramatically. While some women find that their sexual desire has ebbed, many others find they are capable of receiving higher levels of pleasure as they get older. Sex after menopause may require some additional lubrication, but that’s a small price to pay for more all around satisfaction.
Menopause Benefit #2 – A More Balanced Life is Possible
As another benefit, if you have children, in all probability they are in school or even out of the nest, and you may finally have enough time and resources to turn your attention to yourself. When you’re no longer caught up in monthly moon cycles—the hormonal surges and drops that precipitate the emotional ups and downs, the PMS from hell, the mood swings—what a relief. You’re on a more even keel, and you can move into a more balanced way of being.
Part of being able to live a more balanced life is finally having the time, and now the inclination, to turn your attention inward. It’s in this direction that life after menopause really shines. The process you go through during menopause is often a total rewiring of the “hardware” that can lead to a spiritual transformation. It’s the body’s way to recalibrate so you can now receive information you couldn’t get before.
All the “wisdom” cultures have always turned to their wise elders, often women, as spiritual leaders. When we’re no longer caught up in our own drama, we can turn with compassion to the pain and the suffering of all. We can see with a less emotionally fraught eye. In these cultures, older women are respected and held in high regard. We definitely need to bring more of that perspective to our world.
Menopause Benefit #3 – Relationships Can Flourish
It is also during the time of menopause that the door opens to receive the wisdom of our lineage. It is a time when your relationship with your mother can undergo a profound change. She may now be of an age when her fears (or the reality) of sickness and death start to crack open the path to the next dimension.
She may be more willing to treat you as a compatriot along the path, to pass down stories you may not have heard before when you were “too young” to know the truth of her life. You may start to understand more clearly your heritage, which can reshape the way you thought about your past and free up your future.
Menopause is a great time to do inner work. I highly recommend journaling as a way to learn what is really bothering you, what you really feel, the way in which you react emotionally to your life situations, and all the other information you can discover by being truthful in your journal.
Menopause is a natural stage of life, and if we choose to, we can see the unlimited opportunities it presents to us. Whether you believe that kundalini energy is waiting to awaken through menopause or you simply view menopause as a time of increased freedom and joy, see it as a positive change in your life. Above all, see the truth that menopause is not an illness.
We are not victims, nor is this a tragedy. Learn to see menopause in a different light, and a great deal of the fear and dread will disappear. In its place, we find new awareness and acceptance. Fear cannot live in the dark—only truth can, and truth heals. Via deborahking.com