Menopause as a Rite of Passage
How amazing is it that women can grow a human life in our bodies? It's amazing, sacred, and I believe that every aspect of it should be celebrated — including menses. Unfortunately, menstruation is seen as something that should be hidden, dreaded, and is currently laden with shame. It's not convenient, and it's messy, etc., but none of us would be here without it, and for that it deserves more reverence that it currently garners.
A young woman's first menses is a wonderful way to celebrate her rite of passage into womanhood and instill a value for the power of her body to create life. It provides the opportunity to see how this power should be seen as sacred and something to be cared for and protected (as in birth control) until she wants (if ever) to bring a life into the world. Seeing 1st menses as a celebration and right of passage could change things for our young women when it comes to having sex, choosing a partner, taking care of her body, loving her body.
The other side of the full cycle of menstruation in life, menopause, is a gateway into a new stage of life as well. Wouldn't it be wonderful if menopause was celebrated as a rite of passage instead of, again, something to be hidden, dreaded, and shameful of? We are looking into a new stage of life. This mid-life stage can be about discovering or re-discovering passions and interests, a time of inner growth, a deeper acceptance of who we are as people - strenghts and limits, shifting dynamics with our partner, a new relationship with our bodies, and our spiritual and emotional lives can deepen.
There are most certainly difficulties with menopause too. I have a hunch, that those difficulties would be less without all the secrecy and shame menopause currently carries.
At the root of this shift in perception of menopause would be a change in how we view women and elders. Those most def need to happen as well, and since they are all tangled up together, who knows what great changes would come? I know I'm not the only one who thinks maybe the world would be in a better state if the Grandmas had more of a say in how things go. Something to work towards for sure.