Friday, December 16, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Menopause Perspectives

To illustrate 'different perspectives', to people who insist on seeing something one way and one way only, I have been known to take an object, lets say a coffee mug, and place it on a surface between us.

Then I say, "Tell me in detail, what you see."

After they have described the pattern, placement of the handle, stains, cracks and chips, I describe what I see. Surprising to most, my description is different. There may be no chip or stain on my side. The handle may be on my left not right like my cross table companion would see and the pattern may not be visible.

Even though we are looking at the same mug, at the same time, we are perceiving that mug differently because of our position. If we literally change our positions, move to each others seats, chances are good that we will share the viewpoint of the other.

Miraculously, one viewpoint does not cancel out the other. Both perspectives exist, despite their differences. In fact, by moving slightly one way or the other, yet another perspective will emerge, and another until dozens of perspectives of a single mug are available.

With a mug, chances are good that the perspectives would be different, but the emotional reaction that my friend and I share would be similar. I doubt if I would feel happier with one way of looking at the mug over another. But if I did feel happier with one perspective of the mug, I would naturally seek that view. I'd be crazy, when pleasure was so close at hand, to deny myself such simple happiness.

What's the point of this wee exercise?

I notice that when I fix my viewpoint on some issue, let's say menopause, for the sake of relevance, and that viewpoint is negative, rigid and energy sucking, then I feel dark, stuck and drained. Thankfully, as my mug experiment suggests, I've learned that there are more perspectives available.

Unlike the mug, menopause comes with a full compliment of emotional reactions ranging from hate to love, resistance to acceptance. So the range of menopause perspectives are further weighted by emotional baggage.

I'm a big fan of pleasant, less stress, calm living. So I'm motivated to seek out just such a perspective. Perhaps something say positive, funny, maybe even a bit saucy, but easy just the same. Why would I, and I mean, I as in Sue Richards, want to cause myself pain by holding a hard boiled belief about menopause that sucked the life out of me when kinder perspectives are available?

Especially when you consider the friggin dozen year time span between peri - post menopause. That's a long time to make myself miserable.

Unless I was so rigidly stuck in a single perspective, so clued out and unaware of my own feelings due to my low level of conscious awareness that I simply didn't know any better.

Sue Richards

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