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Womanhood: Through The Bloody 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.
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.
- For some, it is extreme through the otherwise pleasantness of womanhood.
- 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.
The Early Mess
Major steps from childhood to womanhood are usually accompanied by major discomfort.
See the beauty, the confidence, the sweet image of loveliness in every little girl. They all look like 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. The mess is part of the process.
There’s more to a woman than the mess in womanhood; and no-one benefits more from this realization than the woman herself.
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.
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.
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.
In The End
It is less about the mess and more about how they survived.
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.
Lessons from the physical mess offer wise principles for application in other areas of life.
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. Literally and figuratively, the following statements are meaningful:
- Mature womanhood is not a life in which there was never any mess; it is a life in which the woman has survived all the mess in which she found herself.
- The better woman is not the one who is less messy; it is the one who showed more growth despite the mess.
- Mature womanhood is sharing the wisdom gained from personal victories over mess, to help guide other women into the safest, most productive path.
- Mature 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.
Bloody Mess Quotes
- At her first bleeding a woman meets her power.
During her bleeding years she practices it.
At menopause she becomes it. ~Traditional Native American saying
- Menstruation is the weeping of a disappointed uterus ~Cuthbert Sebastian, M.D.
- Never trust something that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die” ~Linda Kage~Méré
- The great mother whom we call Innana gave a gift to woman that is not known among men, and this is the secret of blood. ~Anita Diamant
- As the gift of Innana courses through us, cleansing the body of last month’s death, preparing the body to receive the new month’s life, women give thanks — for repose and restoration, for the knowledge that . . . life costs blood. ~Anita Diamant
- If there was any justice in the world you wouldn't even have to go to school during your period. You'd just stay home for five days and eat chocolate and cry. ”~Andrea Portes
© 2013 Dora Weithers