By Debs de Vries
Hormones make women mad, bad and dangerous to know. Especially at midlife when hormones seem not to do what they are supposed to do. Menopause mood swings are erratic, unpredictable and need to be controlled, don’t they?
And so, at midlife, we are told to add a bit more of this one, and a little less of that one, and sooner or later, this crazed cocktail of hormones will settle down. Relief all around. We can get back to life as normal. As it was before.
We have heard the ‘solution’ so often it has become the ‘obvious’ thing to do.
But this howl of protest and rectifying of hormonal ‘badass’ behavior needs unpicking and more closely examining. Hormones are not doing it ‘to’ you, they are communicating ‘through’ you. And, daft as it sounds, I believe they need speaking up for.
Yep, because, the current panic that has gripped hundreds of thousands of midlife women, is driving womankind towards yet another suppression of the feminine principle. And no, am not advocating for a return to doing it ‘the old way’. I’m seeing a slice of the story that needs telling,
Let us start, with some form of agreement on what a hormone is.
“An organic compound produced in animal bodies to regulate activity and behavior,” 1905, from Greek hormon “that which sets in motion,” present participle of horman “impel, urge on,” from horme “onset, impulse,” from PIE *or-sma-, from root *er- (1) “to move, set in motion.”
“ Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted directly into the blood, which carries them to organs and tissues of the body to exert their functions.
So, hormones are messengers. They carry chemicals, and chemicals take information to (in this instance) the endocrine system.”
Let me make my stance clear first. I am not ‘anti’ HRT. I am not anti a woman doing what she needs and wants to do. But I am ‘pro’ finding a wider view and broader paths through the transition process. It must be time to get a clearer picture and a broader understanding of the whole process of the midlife transition instead of adopting a knee-jerk reaction when the going gets tough. And I agree, it does get tough. I’ve been there.
I also want to be clear that I am not addressing this blog to anyone with medical or clinical conditions or offering medical advice. I speak simply from a holistic psycho-spiritual view point. By this I mean, what I share may enhance other support systems that a woman chooses during her midlife passage.
For some long time, the moods and tides of a woman’s life, where they have been at odds with the expected social norms, have been ‘blamed’ on hormones. Women are hormonal; hence they do not behave or feel ‘properly’ all the time. So women exist, to a degree (and in the view of many), as victims of their hormones.
Because of this, there is an undertow of uncertainty about our fitness to carry out responsible work, to be emotionally ‘stable’, to lead, or even to have a worthwhile opinion in some places. We are not to be trusted, all the time. (Evidence is clear from studies done in job selection for example).
My personal observation is that emotions are an indicator of ‘something’ but should not become a dictator of behaviour. Emotions are as much driven by hormones (although that is a loop that becomes habitual) as the hormones themselves are a response to emotions, or more accurately, the bio-chemistry of those emotions.
The ‘tougher’ emotions we cannot connect with or have repressed, create some of the upset, because they lurk in our psychological ‘shadow’ – like gremlins in the basement of our womb, restlessly seeking expression. We can’t ‘know’ this in our cognitive mind (at least, not initially because we have been conditioned away from it) but our body’s subconscious is totally sensitive to the impulses, for example, of anger or resentment.
And it is the body itself that creates the bio chemicals, in response to what it is sensing. It’s not your programmed mind, that part of your psyche that won’t accept or allow your shadow self. That’s where some of the problem really starts – in labelling your wayward moods and feelings as ‘not you’. This robs you of your wholeness, as messy as that is to own.
In order to step out of the ‘being at the mercy of our hormones’ state, we have to do the work that frees us. Liberation from the emotions we don’t know or dare not express, comes with skill and practice. And over a long lifetime in human development I have noticed very, very few people that actually can do this with skill, let alone mastery.
And when you meet a woman who has done so, she will stop you in your tracks. Not because of her actions or her physical beauty. She will simply exude power and presence that radiates a quality of unmistakable, unshakeable, inner confidence.
So before you correct your ‘messengers’ please understand that they are a mirror of something that exists for you and within you, as a human being. Not good, not bad, just completely human.
If you have reached the point where you just can’t function, then use the time of medication to reflect on what you were really feeling and how that feeling might just need your attention. Don’t project and avoid blame. Just place yourself in the centre and own what you felt.
Awareness will come and with awareness, balance. Your body and soul will respond. I found my way back slowly, from a pit of exhaustion and sweat and I’ve never been happier when I got that sorted.
Many women struggle to understand how midlife changed her from being a ‘nice, kind’ person to an unreliable, weeply mess!
In summary, hormones are not to be blamed for women’s moods and behaviors. They are messengers carrying information from the body to the endocrine system. Emotions are indicators, not dictators, and the hormones themselves are a response to emotions.
Liberation from the emotions we don’t know or dare not express comes with skill and practice, and owning our emotions is a vital element of our power. Killing, suppressing, or silencing the messengers will only rob us of opportunities to journey into deep places and emerge with the treasure of delicious, magnetic power and presence.
Debs de Vries is a mind/body/soul mentor for women. She helps women identify, embody and live from their unique, innate wisdom. She uses the power of alchemy, Tantra, Shamanism and over 30 years of teaching life development skills to uplift, energise and teach women how to quickly shift frequency and be able to free themselves from doubt, drama and energy drains.
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Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Editorial Staff