The Wisdom of the Ages

It’s satisfying to discover menopause as an unexpected gift. No longer vexed or driven by floods of hormones, I’m far more able to settle into my body in a new way; to focus more acutely on what’s essential to my growth as a human being. There’s a time to every purpose under heaven. And I believe … I believe.

When I was twenty, thirty, forty, I didn’t dread aging, rather I simply didn’t give it much thought. My fifties were the pivotal years; a transition between what propels the young forward and what captures the imagination of the old; a segue between the fires of biology and the waters of intuition; between craving and contentment.

I love the peace I have discovered in simply allowing life to be what it is; allowing others to be the imperfect fools we all, at times, prove to be. Competition and comparison really have no useful place in the depths of profound human interaction. And though these attributes may appear to be effective in the shallows, I am left feeling hollow and bereft and inadequate in their wake.

I rise daily to the possibilities intrinsic in allowing others to assume their inevitable place amongst the striving and the cunning. Soon enough, they too may begin to question the folly of their ways. If receptive to the wisdom inherent in aging, they will know to their bones the futility in contributing to their own or another’s suffering. And though it’s tempting to shoot for the moon, thankfully these later years confer enough patience to realistically observe the grinding cycles of human evolution. Surely there is benefit to be derived at each stage of our growth in the greater, grander scheme of Creation.

12 comments on “The Wisdom of the Ages”

  1. So true..very good observation and expression! I am there now…and am blessed…thank you for posting…sincerely, Carrie Ann

  2. Carrie Ann, thanks for taking time to comment. And you are welcome! I think for so long menopause has been a dirty word, but really, I’m loving it for so many reasons. Yes, the body is aging, and yes, I have to work at strengthening it whereas before it maintained easier, but the spirit and mind have never been better. May it ever be so for both of us 😉

  3. Of the many trials I have experienced menopause was definitely not a major problem.

    • That’s good to hear, Ronnie. I think growing up in the ’50’s and ’60’s, older women especially were stigmatized because they were considered ‘not sexy anymore.’ So happy things are changing for women coming after us, for I find this the very best time of life, if one isn’t solely focused on what gravity gives and what it takes away. Just keep moving, is my motto! 😉

  4. Bela, I’m going to post this for my nieces to read. Love the positive and healthy description of where menopause leads. An older woman (not my mother!) told me in my 40s that women lose their sex drive once menopause arrives. Hah! For some women perhaps. Menopause = Freedom. No more PMS. No more tampons. No more birth control. No more cramps. (And that’s just the surface.)

    Besides attaining well sorted and authentic acceptance of ourselves during and after menopause, with care, our bodies provide an opportunity to experience a depth and richness unlike any other stage in life.

    I especially like this sentence: “And though these attributes may appear to be effective in the shallows, I am left feeling hollow and bereft and inadequate in their wake.” The shallows either quickly lose my attention or bring my humour to the forefront.

    Annie LaMott, in Bird by Bird, wrote about a woman who wasn’t sure how to pray, but developed two prayers for herself. In the morning, she said, “Whatever.” And at bedtime, she said, “Oh Well!”

    That pretty much expresses the freedom I feel – most of the time.

    • P.S. Your new gravatar is stunning!

    • Thanks for passing this on, dear one. Glad you enjoyed it.

      No doubt many agree with you on sexual freedom. My focus in this piece was more about the shifting of the biological imperative to reproduce; the bobbing and weaving of the mating dance suspended through the grace of aging. How that shift frees up energy to be used in a more thoughtful, optional way. That’s what I really appreciate.

      I think after so many years of being driven by biological urges into various orbits, whether relational or directional, I’m appreciating the freedom to direct my energetic resources further within; to explore even deeper than before, then offer up what emerges in some creative way. I was far too selfish in my younger years; far too driven by physical, maternal and material impulses that all seem to simmer into a watercolor landscape these days, rather than the stark, bold palette knife strokes of old.

      Love LaMott’s invocation/benediction! Lovely.

  5. My dear! I have nominated you for Shine On Award. Congratulations! Please visit this link for details:transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/the-shine-on-award/

    • Tazein, you’re sweet. Thanks so much! I don’t ‘do’ awards, but I so appreciate the thought and sentiment behind anyone nominating me for them. Thanks again, and blessings,
      Bela

  6. Beautiful, Bela, Perhaps menopause is as a physical manifestation of a time of transition in human (female) development. For me it seemed to have been designed to adapt to a new stage in my life. I no longer seemed to belong to everyone else. I must have needed those many experiences to prepare for the time when I would be required to care for myself because now there was time to do just that. The catch is that I have discovered that caring for others was caring for myself because I seemed to need to care for whomever came into my life. I’m fairly safe from that temptation on my secluded patio. And, the blessings of diminished hearing is also a plus, which I never expected it to be. I tell everyone that I waited my entire life to be an old woman and I’m so glad that I lived long enough to get here. Age does get bad press.

    • Jean, I love your last line! And yes, aren’t we lucky to have made it this far, given the vicissitudes of life!
      Thanks for reading and taking time to comment ❤ Aloha.


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