EMBRACING YOUR POWER WOMAN
AT MID-LIFE AND BEYOND
by Barbara Wilder
STEP ONE - THE POWER OF SELF LOVE
(Excerpt from Embracing Your Power Woman: 11 Steps to Coming of Age in Mid-Live by Barbara Wilder
“Love yourself first and everything else falls
into line. You really have to love yourself to
get anything done in this world.”
-- Lucille Ball
The foundation of a Power Woman is her own self-love. Without self-love we have nothing to build upon. We are unanchored, adrift, and afraid. To be a Power Woman we must have, first and foremost, the courage to look inward. Self-love is a romance with self. It has all the ups and downs of any relationship, but when we finally do fall in love with ourselves, we will be in a relationship that will last for the rest of our lives.
“We can only learn to love by loving.”
-- Iris Murdoch
As we face this new half of life with no road maps or guidelines, it can be scary. And the fact that we are having night sweats, hot flashes, and losing our memories doesn’t help our self-esteem. Terrified and alone, with bodies acting like they have never acted before, we flounder. We try to find answers by examining the past, but none of the old ways work.
The one thing we have always been able to fall back on is our ability to nurture. But for many women at this time of life there is no one to nurture. For many, the children are grown; for others, there have never been children; for still others, the husband they have nurtured for so long is suffering his own midlife crisis, sometimes with devastating consequences.
We find ourselves running in circles, trying to find ways to stop what seems to be a downward spiral into darkness and futility. This is when we should call on our instinct to nurture. But instead of reaching out to help others now we must turn the nurturing inward. We must mother ourselves. Because in the downward spiraling there is an end, and that end is the birth of a new human being. Ourselves!
Because of our cultural role as nurturers of others, the mere idea of loving and mothering ourselves (even to the exclusion of others) can feel anarchical, subversive. But this is exactly what we must do. We must love ourselves selfishly, the way we loved our babies when they were tiny. We must nestle ourselves into our own bosoms and suckle ourselves, until we’re ready to emerge as magnificent butterflies.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER (or Journal about)
- When was the last time you were nurtured by anyone?
- Do you think you are lovable?
- Have you ever considered mothering yourself?
How would you go about it?
REVISITING OUR TEEN YEARS TO FIND OUR POWER
To become deeply acquainted with our self-love we must revisit adolescence, because it is at some point during those early transitional years that young women experience deep self-love. Although many of us can’t remember the feeling, for at least a brief moment we all knew who we were. We envisioned a brilliant future, and we loved ourselves. We loved our developing bodies. Our developing personalities had a sense of the heroic in them. We were on top of the world.
But too quickly, women who came of age 1950s, 60s, 70s, and even into the 80s, that glorious sense of self was quelled. Stifled. Stopped. We were told not to dream big dreams. Not to be selfish. Not to be all that we knew we were. And to some degree we all succumbed to the pressures of our families and society. My dear friend, the journalist and poet Judy Simmons, wrote to me recently, remembering our teenage years together, “We were talented, naive, gutsy, passionate and, above all, conscious – so in love with life. Who knew how hard it gets?”
We can never change the era in which we were raised or the way our parents, our teachers, and our peers treated us. But we can revisit that time to rescue our teenage girl and bring her up to speed with the Power Women we are becoming. We can help find her self-love and help her stand up against that old-fashioned society and say: “Move out of my way. I have some important things to do. I have interesting ideas to share, art that needs to be created, science that needs to be explored, ecological changes that need to be enforced, music that needs to played, books that need to be written, political offices that need to be won!”
QUESTIONS TO PONDER (or Journal about)
- Can you remember a moment when you felt you could conquer the world?
- Did you have support from your family for your adolescent dreams?
- Did you ever confide your adolescent dreams to anyone? If you did, what was the response?
Lovers exude and attract love. As self-lovers we will do the same. And the more we open to recognize our goodness the more goodness we will have to share. As Power Women we can help reshape the world. To do that we must embrace that new shape within ourselves. And that shape is Love.
is an internationally acclaimed author, teacher, and healer. She is the author of Embracing Your Power Woman: 11 Steps to Coming of Age in Mid-Life and Money is Love: Reconnecting to the Sacred Origins of Money. A former actress, screenwriter, and film production executive, Wilder studied light-energy healing and growth techniques in The School of Actualism, a Hermetic Mystery school based on Agni Yoga & the works of Alice Bailey & Rudolf Steiner. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she writes, teaches, and maintains her practice as an transformational therapist and light energy healer. For more information on Barbara and her work, please visit her website www.BarbaraWilder.com.
Copyright © 2005 by Barbara Wilder