Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

You need only to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.

-Florida Scott-Maxwell

Each one of us has a story, a myth, a legend to write, to paint — and to live. The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own personalized hard-won lessons. That we each have our own singular life to live. That every one of us must figure out for ourselves the fullest, richest, most effective, ethical, and satisfying way in which to do it; and moreover, that each and every one of us possesses the wisdom, the power, and the response-ability to make it so.

The story of our lives is ours to create. We can design our own roles and ideals, compose the scripts, and author the sagas of our own futures and that of the environment around us. While we cannot necessarily control the circumstances and influences that present themselves to us in the course of living, we can choose how we will respond to them when they do arise.

Our power of choice is our sole control in the world. With each new paragraph, each turn of the page, each new dawn, each moment in time, each blink of the eye, each beat of our heart, we are gifted with another opportunity to exercise our right to choose. Coffee or tea? Lemon or milk? Right or left? Stairs or elevator? Vacuum? Vote? Cheat? Trust? Care? Dare? Change?

What paths we take, what decisions we make influence how the story will proceed and who we will be from this day forth. As George Eliot reminds us, “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.”

At midlife, we are at a major crossroads in our lives, and we can choose to move ahead, turn right or left, stay where we are, or go back where we came from. The Queen chooses always to choose, to involve Herself fully in the process of Her life and living, and to actively direct the drama of Her myth. She urges us take up the challenges of changing, of aging, of engaging in all that life has to offer — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

She reminds us to look upon the difficulties, disruptions, disappointments, fears, and failures we have experienced as important life lessons, without which we could never hope to ascend to a throne of responsibility and rule.

The Queen encourages us to entertain the entire palette of our emotions, for there is where we find our strength and knowledge and true value. Some things in life just have to be learned the hard way and evading them is counter-productive and eventually destructive. The only way to get through them is to go through them. There is a wonderful old African-American Spiritual that says, “So high, you can’t get over it. So low, you can’t get under it. So wide you can’t get around it. You gotta go through the door.” And there, on the other side of the threshold, is where we find our true power.

 

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.

-Erica Jong, American writer

 

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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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