Womanhood: Through The Mess to Maturity
It is the nature of womanhood to be messy, but here we are concerned with the meaning of the mess, so there is no messy picture. The discussion is mainly about maturity, which will become clear as you read on.
You will also become aware if you’re not, that there’s no progress through the stages of womanhood without the mess.
- The mess signals the transition from girlhood to womanhood.
- It shows up at a woman's first sexual encounter.
- It is extreme through the otherwise pleasantness of motherhood.
- It is present at the birth of every child.
- It disappears only when she leaves her prime years behind.
No mess, no maturity—and this physical situation teaches comparative lessons in all areas of life.
It is the nature of womanhood to be messy.
The Early Mess
See the beauty, the confidence, the sweet image of loveliness in every little girl. There are photographs everywhere of little princesses smiling and posing, with anticipation of becoming the women who will rule the world. Then, as early as age nine for some, and later in their teens for others, their bodies exhibit the first major development from girlhood to womanhood, and the bloody mess begins.
Menarche, pronounced "MEN-ar-kee" is the name given to a girl’s first menstrual period.
It comes with various types of discomfort for different girls, for example: acne, cramps, tender breasts, bloated stomachs and headaches. Some girls have unfortunate experiences which cause embarrassment and threaten their self-esteem. Yet, no girl grows up wanting to avoid this mess, because it is a sign of good health.
If a girl does not have this experience by the time her parents think she should, they will make doctor’s appointment and feed her all kinds of supplements. They’re not thinking of the mess; they’re thinking that without it, their little girl may not realize maturity. Women have the same attitude toward the pain and the mess which come with loss of virginity and with childbirth.
It is obvious: Major steps from childhood to womanhood are accompanied by major discomfort.
The Woman's Focus
For the most part, healthy women downplay the physical mess in the process of womanhood. Instead, they focus on the biological, emotional and social capabilities which are influenced by it.
They prepare themselves for relationships with men, for becoming wives and mothers, for finding and pursuing their career path. They embrace their progress and improve their usefulness. They laugh and spread joy regardless of their situation, because it is also the nature of womanhood to care for others, despite personal discomfort.
It is also the nature of womanhood to care for others, despite personal discomfort.
Few people can tell the real physical or emotional condition of a woman who serves, because she does so much to please her world. She puts on makeup, styles her hair, dresses elegantly, wears a smile and distracts herself from her female vulnerabilities to facilitate a display of her strength and effectiveness.
There’s more to a woman than the mess in her womanhood; and no-one benefits more from this realization than the woman herself.
This attitude carries over to the messes in her social and spiritual life. Some happen in the basic process of trying to achieve. Some happen because she unintentionally or blatantly walks into trouble. Regardless of how it happens, she can survive the mess if that is her intention.
Just as it happens in her physical situation, so it happens in other areas of her life. Messes happen again and again. To move forward, she must deal with every episode and become more capable to deal with the next one.
The End of the Mess
Physically, if women live long enough, they mature to the stage where the mess disappears.
- No more menstrual periods
- No more virginity to lose
- No more childbirth.
Some exhale and rejoice that it was worth the wait.
Still, some grieve and complain that they’re no longer in their prime; these do worse if they experience hot flashes.
However, whether they rejoice or complain, the stories they tell will be more about how they survived emotionally and spiritually.
Womanhood is not about the absence of the mess; it is about surviving the mess in which a woman finds herself.
Favorite Womanhood Quotes
- Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece. ~Author Unknown
- A woman who cannot be ugly is not beautiful. ~Karl Kraus
- There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women. ~Madeleine K. Albright
- When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. Women go right on cooking. ~Gail Sheehy
- Beauty is the first present Nature gives to women, and the first it takes away. ~Méré
- Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weakness. ~Marie de Vichy-Chamrond
The Value of the Mess
There are several lessons on womanhood which mature women can share for the benefit of encouraging each other and also for empowering their daughters, their daughter’s friends and their friends’ daughters.
- Womanhood is not about the absence of the mess; it is about surviving the mess in which a woman finds herself.
- The better woman is not the one who is less messy; it is the one who understands the other woman’s need for help and makes the same effort for the one in need as she would for herself.
- Womanhood is recognizing that some naïve women remain in the mess because they have not figured out how to survive it.
- Womanhood is sharing the wisdom gained from personal experiences to help guide other women into the safest, most productive path.
- Womanhood is embracing other women, loving them, making it easy for them to admit their mess without giving up their expectation of sisterly love and compassion.
- Womanhood is about what the woman becomes, as much about what she overcomes--including her share of the mess on every level.
© 2013 Dora Isaac Weithers
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