Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

After an inevitable midlife transition period of feeling lost, confused and out of control of Her destiny, the Queen finally takes charge. She steps up to the situations of Her life and takes back the reins of Her power.

Or not.

Becoming a Queen is not automatic, nor is it instantaneous. Unlike dynastic royalty, where the only path lies through inheritance or marriage, the archetypal Queen of Her Self must earn Her own crown. As Simone de Beauvoir, the French philosopher and feminist said, “One is not born a woman, one becomes one.” So, how does one become a Queen?

In order to qualify for Queendom, we must choose to lay claim to the mighty power of self-determination and free will. A Queen is not a grownup princess gliding through life swathed in a protective sheath of entitlement. Rather, She must struggle for and earn Her authority and respect. We can step into our sovereignty only if we actually embrace it, embody it, employ it, enjoy it, and make it fully our own by conscious intent and conscientious effort. There is no such thing as Queen for a Day.

I went in through the doors of the treasury of wisdom, and I drew for myself the waters of understanding. I went into the blaze of the sun’s flame, and it lighted me with its splendor, and I made of it a shield for myself.  

Makeda, Queen of Sheba, 10th Century BCE

We women are often afraid of our own power. Afraid to be thought of as pushy or bitchy if we assert ourselves willfully with the full force of our purpose. But wise women wield power wisely and the planet is in desperate need of our wisdom. The time couldn’t be more crucial.

The first step to becoming powerful Queens is to accept responsibility and sovereignty over our own lives and to feel secure in the effectiveness of our own authority. Once we embrace the personal power of being the Queens of ourselves, we can join together with other self-directed Queenly women to take our potency out into the world to use for the benefit of all.

Now is the time to acknowledge and explore our stature and our strength. It is high time to speak our truth, walk our talk and put our money where our mouth is. We have held back long enough. Starting here, starting now, we must claim our rightful duties as healers, as leaders, as visionaries. We have the whole world in our hands.

Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but women standing together side by side, Queen by Queen, autonomous, passionate, proud and empowered can create heaven on Earth!

“There will be no heaven unless we make it.”

– Florence Nightingale

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

Despite the rude awakenings, the unsettling physical and emotional chaos of midlife and all of its frightful, presumed ramifications, an amazing number of women find this stage to be the most personally fulfilling and satisfying of their lives so far.

A recent Gallup survey of women aged fifty to sixty-five revealed that fifty-one percent of them feel happier now than they have ever before. This compares to only ten percent who thought the happiest times in their lives were their twenties, seventeen percent who were happiest in their thirties, and sixteen percent who liked their forties best.

Just what are we to make of this apparent feeling among so many women that we believe ourselves to be better off once we have lost possession of the very characteristics and trappings that society seems to value most in us — our sexual allure and childbearing capabilities?

We have lost our youthful looks and stamina. We have lost some vision, some hearing, some memory. We have lost the pigment in our hair and the elasticity in our skin. We are also losing our battle against gravity and the advancement of time.

We have lost the children we raised and we have lost our chance to have the children that we didn’t have. We also stand to lose our parents, our old friends, our spouses. We are in danger of losing our time left on the job, our visibility and our very lives.

So how does it compute that even while we are mired in loss, we have never been happier?

The Queen takes up the challenge of change, and with Her eyes wide open She engages in the daunting process of learning who She is now and who She chooses to become. It is important to Her to know that Her thoughts and feelings count, that Her work and interests are meaningful and that She, Herself, matters. Her growing Self-confidence propels Her to reach for and attain Her own authentic personal power.

We have come a long way and it has been quite a journey. We have dreamed the dream and done the work and walked the long, long highway. We have struggled to discover, comfort, cosset, encourage and change our Selves. Now, finally, gloriously, joyfully, we have arrived at our destination. The station of our authentic sovereignty. And don’t it feel grand?

                                 

You know what?

                                    I like myself.

                                    I trust myself.

                                    I know myself.

                                    I know what I want.

                                    I know what I need.

                                    I know what I have.

                                    I know what I know.

                                    I mean well.

                                    I try hard.

                                    I do good.

                                    I help.

                                    I heal.

                                    I hear.

                                    I love.

                                    I feel.

                                    I fall down.

                                    I stand up.

                                    I strive.

                                    I survive.

                                    I flourish.

                                    I thrive.

 

© Donna Henes

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

by Joan Chittister

In my mind is the memory of one lone Chinese student who, rising from the midst of the protesters in Tiananmen Square, stood in front of a moving tank whose orders were to sweep the square empty of anyone who dared to remain there once ordered to leave. The boy stood, head bowed, shoulders straight, feet planted squarely on the pavement. It was one unarmed boy against a Chinese tank. Suddenly, the tank stopped moving.

The power of the spirit had never been more clear than in the face-off between the tank and the thin young man. All the power in the world could not make the young man move, could not destroy his strength of spirit, could not break his resolve. Nor could it move the driver of the tank to an act of public barbarism in the name of public order.

“Peace hath her victories,” Milton wrote, “no less renowned than war.” All the weapons in the world, in other words, were, in the end, for nothing.

Peace is such a powerful presence.

A commitment to peace, to being peaceful, to peacefulness draws from a very deep well. It is a source beyond the corruptions of either ambition or pride. It transcends addiction to either power or personality cults.

And how does peace come? Simple. By accepting who we are and what we have as enough for us. By recognizing and respecting who the other is and what they have as theirs. By finding within ourselves “the pearl of great price,” the richest thing there is in life, the sense of the presence of God who loves and companions us through all the pressures of life.

Then we find that we have changed. We have become peaceful. We have come to realize that we have all we need. We begin to see that our own role in life is only to spread the peace we have.

Then we begin to dedicate ourselves to that highest possible level of humanity that not only does good but, most of all, does no harm. To do no harm requires real care, genuine compassion, true realization that the glow of the other diminishes no glow of my own.

So we say an alleluia for the coming of peace, for the death of ambition, for the passing of pride that enables us to be happy with who we are and what we have.

 

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

By Rev. Kelly Thibeault

After a summer of waiting, the time has finally come. It is finished. After almost 24 years of childrearing, our nest is now empty. Our son, our youngest child, headed off to college in Nebraska a few weeks ago.

I’ve done a lot of thinking this summer, reminiscing over the past 24 years. I remember how nervous I was when my oldest climbed onto the school bus for the first time to head to Thacher Elementary School. I remember following the bus all the way there, just to make sure that she made it safely.

Over the years, I’ve filled out hundreds of school forms and permission slips. I’ve packed over 6,000 lunches and chaperoned countless field trips. I’ve served on parent boards and committees and volunteered to help out wherever I could.

I’ve attended innumerable soccer, softball, baseball, football and wrestling practices, games and matches. I have driven to more chorus, band and theater rehearsals than I can remember. And through it all, I have beamed with pride at each accomplishment that my kids have achieved.

I’m not going to say that it was always easy. I found myself exhausted a lot of the time, and I prayed a lot. There were countless evenings consoling my kids when they couldn’t understand their math homework (which I usually couldn’t understand, either) or that they worried over upcoming tests. It was those nights that I asked God to comfort and guide them.

There were those frustrating mornings when they woke up to tell me that they were supposed to have a three-ringed binder or a red folder or snack to share with their class. Those were the days that I prayed for patience and understanding.

There were those mornings that no one wanted to wake up and I had to drag the kids out of bed, feed them, and get them to the bus. Those were the days that I prayed for their bus drivers and teachers, and thanked God that I didn’t have to do it alone.

But there were also those days when they would come home excited to show me a good grade they got, or to show me something they made or to share a story with me about something wonderful that happened them that day. Those where the days that all I could do was thank God for the amazing gifts that I had been given.

Not only have I reminisced a lot this summer, but I’ve done a lot of thinking about this “empty-nest syndrome,” as they call it. I’ve talked to lots of parents about what they are facing and the feelings and emotions that come with it. Of course, there is a feeling of sadness and loss, because life is changing. But life always changes; it has to.

We tend to struggle with change because we like things to stay the same. We are comfortable with the way we have always done things even when the tasks are challenging. But the truth is, life is always changing, and we like are kids are always changing and growing too.

Of course I’ll continue to pray for my kids as they work to find their way in the world. I’ll listen to their stories when they call home and I’ll continue to celebrate their accomplishments, allowing them to take care of themselves now.

That’s not to say that I won’t have a day now and then that I’ll miss making their lunches or tripping over their shoes in the kitchen, but those are the days that I’ll pray for those tired moms and dads out there in the middle of it all, and I’ll thank God for the memories that I have to treasure.

For 24 years I put all my energies into raising my kids; teaching them about life, faith and how to love their neighbor as themselves. Because of what they experienced and learned, they now have the courage to step out on their own. They are doing what they are supposed to do. This is the goal that we have worked for all these years.

As parents, this is what we worked for. We tried to create good, caring people who strive to make the world a better place. They are now on their own at college, making their own choices (hopefully good ones) and improving themselves. Our main task as parents has been accomplished. I hope other parents can, like we do, find comfort in these words from the book of Matthew … “well done you good and faithful servants.”

Of course, our kids know that my husband and I are always here if they need us, but this is their time to soar.

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

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