Dear G: Menopause, Transformation of Yin/Yang

It is like a white fluffy blanket on my bed this morning when I opened my curtain. First snow! Snow reminds me of generosity, grace, and purity. Snow evenly covers every surface that it touches (generosity), and it gently embraces all nature, regardless of righteousness or sinfulness (grace). Snow implicitly symbolizes physical, emotional, and spiritual cleanness: purity. I feel wealthy and affluent when I watch the snow falling. 

I want to talk to you about purity this morning as I enter into the season of woman’s transformation of Yin and Yang. I used to think that I would be sad and grief over my womanhood loss when I go through the menopause stage. Sometimes, I wonder whether what I experienced this summer has anything to do with menopause induced psychosis (Menopause & Psychotic Disorder).  

Dear G, you said you are fifty years old. Thus, I assume you could have experienced menopause symptoms. Most of my research on menopause and women’s health shows a gloomy forecast, just like the weather today. Interestingly, one of the positive sides of menopause and women was about the unlocking secret pleasures of menopause, which talks about women’s sexuality during menopause. (Secret Pleasure of Menopause) Are you sexually active, G? When I think of you, especially your story of “abduction” from England to this country, I often ponder about the possibility of your sexual trauma at a young age. Is that what happened to you, G? I picture pure red blood on the top of white snow when I think of your loss of virginity. 

Women’s virginity is often highly valued and emphasized in many cultures. How come? What are your thoughts on this, G? Interestingly, menopause and its sexuality showed up positively when I searched its relationship. Today’s culture and society indeed focus on sex and life. 

One of the intriguing learning points that I still appreciate the most from this quarter at my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) classes is the relationship between menopause and a woman’s transformation of Yin and Yang. Most often, we think of a woman as Yin and a man as Yang. However, we all have both elements. I often learned that menstrual blood is a symbol of impurity. My religious background might have intensified the negative relationship between mensuration and impure women. In TCM, blood is considered as Yin. Woman loses her pre-essence, which her parents gave at birth and vital element to human well-being, during her menstruation period. Therefore, entering into menopause has a transforming impact on Yin’s vital essence because she no longer loses her pre-essence! The woman becomes wiser as they enter into menopause! 

I was thrilled to learn about this quarter. I also pondered how differently we understand and interpret menopause and woman between Western and Eastern medical fields. What are your thoughts on this, G? Do you feel wiser by your age? I wonder how I would think of myself when I become 50 years old. In Confucianism tradition, we are to know our predestined purpose by 50 years old. Do you remember it is called Ji Cheon Myong (지천명, 知天命)? 

As I reflect on the most challenging season of my life this year, I feel grateful that I certainly feel a bit wiser than last year. I know it is not just because I enter into menopause but also because I endured this year with you, Joe, and my God. 

Stay warm, my friend. 

Talk to you soon.

C.S.Taylor

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