I remember a change in my mother in her mid-life years. She spoke up more for herself. She became more assertive. It was a good thing to see.
They say that in mid-life a woman finds it harder to repress pain and anger. Cheryl Bridges Johns writes that,
“Women begin to take note of the disparity in power, injustice in society, betrayal in relationships, and disappointments that they once were willing to overlook.”
I don’t know if that can be attributed to a change in hormones or not. But whatever the cause, I have seen it happen again and again as women get older.
In Johns’ new book, Seven Transforming Gifts of Menopause, she makes a case for women to use this phase of life to transform into a new way of being in the world, to use this “sacred space to discover a deeper, more mature relationship with God.”
She says there are seven developmental tasks for each woman to face, revealing seven gifts of menopause:
- The Gift of Uncovering
Uncovering the repressed and hidden parts of your life
- The Gift of Anger
Getting in touch with your anger
- The Gift of Authentic Self
Recovering your authentic self
- The Gift of Expanded Time
Living in expanded time
- The Gift of Spiritual Freedom
Claiming your spiritual freedom
- The Gift of Vision
Embracing a holy vision (calling)
- The Gift of Courage
Returning to your courageous dragon self
To receive these gifts, Johns says to lean into the storm and get in touch with your body. Feel your feelings. Remember your memories. Grieve your losses.
And don’t do it alone. Do it with friends. Do it with God.
Using the seven gifts of menopause prepares you for the second half of life as “a person with the courage, strength, and power needed to face a future that may look quite uncertain.”
Claim the gift of spiritual freedom. It comes with “an enlarged vision of God.” And an enlarged vision of yourself.
I saw it happen with my mother. I hope I’ll see it happen with myself, too.
My thanks to Net Galley
for the review copy of this book
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