Menopause: recognising our inner beauty as women

Thumb big a w0123 000505 dw lr

Menopause: recognising our inner beauty as women

I remember once being told that during and after menopause the ageing process accelerated and that definitely my body was going to change in a way that would not be that good – what a thing to look forward to then! And a challenge too – learning to accept these changes to my body internally, but particularly how I looked. But as menopausal and post-menopausal women, could we ever begin to see menopause as an opportunity to be recognising our inner beauty as women, and then actually enjoying the ageing process?

Post-Menopausal Woman – Flawed or Gorgeous?

In spite of this possibility embraced by some, remnants of attachment to our body image can still rear their ugly heads. Why is it that many older women often bemoan some part of their anatomy, upper arms being a favourite, and speak about themselves in such harsh or self-critical ways?

  • Whoever said that a woman in her forties or fifties should have a body that is muscular, toned, firm and smooth like a woman ten or twenty years younger?!

  • What is actually wrong with an older woman ... looking like an older woman?!

  • Why might she feel she has to look like a ‘younger version of herself’ to be attractive, sexy or even have sex appeal?

  • And how true are those menopausal ‘feelings’? Are they based on how and what we actually do feel from deep within OR are they more some kind of mental imposition we’ve placed upon ourselves from being fed a way of thinking we’ve bought into and accepted as the way it is or has to be?

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t go to the gym, colour our hair or do anything at all that enhances our physical appearance and makes us feel we are presenting ourselves in a way which honours us.

But the question is –

  • do we ever feel our own loveliness first and from there go and enhance our outer beauty,

  • OR do we automatically do the reverse and focus on the outer beautification as our first port of call?

Deeper Inner-Beauty

It is possible to connect and feel there is a deeper inner beauty that is not defined by how we look on the outside. This is something that we all know intrinsically and every woman has it.

Inner beauty is always there – below the movements of our minds and emotions – and any thoughts of self-condemnation and self-criticism that can be so habitual we almost take to be ourselves. If we can penetrate beneath these repetitious movements, we can get a sense of a quality, a fragrance of something very exquisite, subtle and deeply female that is part of our essential essence – something which has nothing to do with the so-called age or imperfections of our form.

And as the youth cycle fades with its particular activities and pleasures (and I’m not talking sex here!), Menopause is a natural opportunity to settle into the serenity being offered in our bodies, establishing or deepening a connection with our inner beauty and more ...

When this inner beauty is acknowledged, cherished and supported by the woman herself, it’s easier for her to be aware and to let go of any habitual self-condemning thoughts and feelings.

Sure as menopause graces us, we can see the sags in our bodies, the lines in our faces – but can we see through these to the deep beauty that is looking back at us through our eyes? Eyes that convey the depth and stillness of, “Yes this is Me with all the maturity of my living years and the wisdom I bring”, without a movement of thought, or of zeroing in on some imperfection, wishing for some image of ourselves that ‘once was’.

Acceptance Of Our Innate Wisdom

If this is so, then we can just see ourselves as we are, without wanting to get away from it, and with this comes acceptance – an allowing of something already within to come to the fore.

With this allowing, no longer are we so dependent on the outer world to dictate how we should be and look at this stage of our lives. And we naturally have a greater sense of vitality and joy shining through our bodies, which makes us appear more beautiful.

Even if our body is not one that would appear in a glossy magazine, we are in fact gorgeous because for much of the time we are able to recognise and feel our inner beauty as women, and this shows; telling louder than words that menopause and post menopause are not to be dreaded but embraced as natural cycles of life with their own deeply fulfilling potential.

Filed under

WisdomWomen's healthMenopauseBeauty mythsBody imageAgeingEldersSex appeal

  • Thumb small josephine bell

    By Josephine Bell, Cert IV Massage, Certificate Counselling, Cert III Children’s Services

    Mature woman, partner, friend, writer, editor, lover of the ancient wisdom, people and nature. My particular interest long-term has been women’s health and wellbeing, and what it is to live as a true woman in the world today.