A new year is a new start and so many of us resolve to make healthy changes in our daily lives. But so often these resolutions are goals having to do with what we know we should do. And soon our best intentions are turned against us, as we flog ourselves for slipping back into bad patterns.
Instead, this year let us simply resolve to love ourselves. Not to make ourselves do anything, but just to open to receive that love.
Let us be kind and caring with ourselves. Care for ourselves in the most supportive and positive manner. Not because we should, but because we deserve to treat ourselves with the same nurturing concern and affection as we show to everyone else in our lives.
We are now emerging from decades of caring for others, and many of us are at a total loss as to how to care for ourselves. It is crucial that we redirect back into ourselves some of the love and strength that we give so freely to others.
By middle age, most of us have lost already, or will soon lose, our parents, perhaps even our spouses, best friends and significant others. Who will mother us now? Who will take care of us, or more important, maybe, who will even care whether we take care of ourselves?
Now is the time for us to learn how to be our own caring best friend, sister, daughter, mother and devoted advocate. And this is our chance to be the sort of parent that we always wanted — for me it was the cheerful, optimistic, fun-loving Mary Poppins that my little girl-Self needed so badly.
But whatever our childhood was like, that was then and this is now. Now, we can give ourselves the unconditional love and support that we had or did not have as we were growing up. We can and must assume the responsibility to feed, nurture, encourage and comfort ourselves, to pamper and challenge ourselves, to whisper into our own ear each night as we slip off to sleep, “Good night, honey. I love you.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.