Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

 

June is traditionally the month for weddings and it is also now celebrated as Gay Pride month. Love is in the air all around. This is a juicy time of making whoopy.

But while June is the jolly season for Brides and Grooms, Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms, it is important to remember that the most primary and important love is that of Self Love. All relationships are built on the respect, esteem and affection that we have for our self.

 

Believe in Yourself! – Part 1

By Cheryl Saban, PH.D.

Are you one of your biggest fans? Do you think you’re capable and worthy? Would you pick yourself to be on your team? If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, you could use an attitude change and a healthful infusion of personal esteem.

Self-esteem is described as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities, and pertains to a personal appraisal of ourselves. Yet, unfortunately, we often make this evaluation based on cues we receive from society. In other words, we look to others to establish who we are, how we should behave, and how we’re valued, even though this societal reflection won’t be an accurate indicator of what you’re made of.

Trying to measure up to a dominant mindset, antiquated cultural rules, or stigmatizing stereotypes that don’t serve you well isn’t the best plan. Using such subjective measuring devices may also explain why you don’t always feel like a good fit. Bottom line, try not to rely totally on the outside world to validate you. A better option is to equalize the playing field by believing in, and validating yourself.

By the way, if you’re concerned about spending too much time and effort on numero uno, try remembering that you can’t be of great help to others if you don’t care much about yourself. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you’re conceited, overly self-centered, or narcissistic. It’s simply part of an overall self-care strategy for wellness and contentment. It means that you recognize the true who of you – your core being, the special present of your presence – in other words, your innate worth.

Tomorrow Believe in Yourself! Part 2

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

***

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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June is traditionally the month for weddings and it is also now celebrated as Gay Pride month. Love is in the air all around. This is a juicy time of making whoopy.

But while June is the jolly season for Brides and Grooms, Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms, it is important to remember that the most primary and important love is that of Self Love. All relationships are built on the respect, esteem and affection that we have for our self.

When I went to Paris in my early fifties, it seemed like every man between the onset of puberty and the edge of the grave was coming on to me. “But this is Paris,” I would remind myself, “not real life.” I had always heard that in Europe mature women were appreciated. And indeed, women there do seem to age particularly well. They have an incredible talent for remaining luscious and alluring well past their mere middle years and into their 70s, 80s and beyond. Think of Jeanne Moreau, Simone Signoret, Sophia Loren, Liv Ullman, Celia Cruz.

The mother of a good friend was born in Germany 98 years ago. Her face is as deeply grooved as Lillian Hellman’s. She smokes like a chimney. She has a younger lover, but does not live with him. She looks, sounds and acts like an age-progressed Marlene Dietrich. She is one hot great-grandma. I once saw Alberta Hunter belt out the blues when she was in her 80s and she was by far the sexiest woman in that room. Lena Horne once boasted, “It’s ill becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it. But occasionally we do.” What fabulous role models.

Unfortunately, in our youth-obsessed culture, the specter of an overtly flirtatious and vibrant older woman is treated as a joke. Mae West, femme fatale forever, was presented in the media as a complete laughing stock. It is always said that as she aged she became a parody of herself. But she was her Self — and more and always more so to the end. Authentic and self-invented, she lived and loved totally on her own terms.

It would seem that if you live in a society where you are appreciated at any age, you would naturally have far less fear and loathing of the aging process. You would feel free to change with time and to grow more into yourself every year. You would demand and receive honor and admiration for the rich maturity you have attained. You would have fewer constraints on the range of your self-expression, and consequently, more confidence in the impression that you create. And being confident is very sexy.

A survey of young men who were in love relationships with women much older than themselves revealed that they found young women to be too indecisive, too demanding and dependent. In the words of one 26-year-old respondent, “A beautiful woman is a woman who is confident but not focused on herself. She is a woman who only looks in the mirror when she gets dressed in the morning, then forgets about it. She cares about how she presents herself to the world, but her presence is not dictated by her physical attributes only.”

Certainly that would be the explanation for my own sudden charms. The more competent I became in navigating and negotiating the maze of my life, the more practiced and commanding, the more self-assured I became. Feeling sure of yourself is the ultimate turn on — inside and out. It is more effective in its power of seduction than the finest cosmetic, the most expensive elixir in the world. Loving yourself is like wearing the most potent perfume.

Women of a certain age, emotional maturity and depth of character are extraordinarily and vitally attractive. We are substantial and robust, heady with the flavor of all that we have seen and done so far. Pungent with profound experience, with pain and loss. Lessons learned from lives lived intensely are reflected in our palate, sophisticated, subtle, firm and complex. Like fine wine and good cheese, women ripen and improve with age. Our essence becomes stronger, more challenging and infinitely more rewarding.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

***

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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Since May is Mothering Month, I intend to post a diverse array of articles for the rest of the month, about and for mothers.

 

Our Mother

by Dale Allen

 

Our Mother who art within us

Each breath brings us to you.

Thy wisdom come,

Thy will be done as we honor your presence within us.

You give us this day all that we need.

Your bounty calls us to give and receive

all that is loving and pleasurable.

You are the courage that moves us to be true to ourselves

and we act with grace and power.

We relax into your cycles of birth,

growth, death and renewal.

Out of the womb, the darkness, the void, comes new life.

For you are the Mother of All Things.

Your body is the Sacred Earth and our bodies.

Your love nurtures us and unites us all.

Now and forever more.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

***

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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Since May is Mothering Month, I intend to post a diverse array of articles for the rest of the month, about and for mothers.

Return of the Great Mother

Andrew Harvey

AT THE END OF HIS LIFE, the great Indian mystic Aurobindo is said to have said, “If there is to be a future, it will wear the crown of feminine design.” Unless we awaken to the mystery of the sacred feminine, of the feminine as sacred, and allow it to glow into, irradiate, illumine, and penetrate every area of our activity and to create in them all harmony, justice, peace, love, ecstacy, and balance, we will die out and take nature, or a large part of it, with us. Unless we come to know what the sacred feminine really is—its subtlety and flexibility, but also its extraordinarily ruthless, radical power of dissolving all structures and dogmas, all prisons in which we have sought so passionately to imprison ourselves—we will be taken in by patriarchal projections of it. The Divine Mother, the fullness of the revolution that she is preparing, will be lost to us. We must understand that comprehending the sacred feminine is a crucial part of surviving the next terrible stage of humanity….

I have often said that I think we are in the last twenty or so years (originally written 1996) of this civilization and quite possibly of the planet itself. If we don’t make major decisions—economic, political, and environmental, we will simply create an uninhabitable world and go on feeding those powers of destruction that are already threatening to ravage nature. We are certainly at the end of so-called “civilization,” and we are possibly at the end of the world. The facts of our global crisis, a crisis at once political and economic, psychological and environmental, show us clearly that the human race has no hope of survival unless it chooses to undergo a total transformation, a total change of heart. What is required is a massive and quite unprecedented spiritual transformation. There is no precedent for what we are being asked to do. Only the leap into a new consciousness can engender the vision, the moral passion, the joy and energy necessary to effect change on the scale and with the self-sacrifice that is essential to save the planet in the time we have left.

The message we are being sent by history can be summed up in four words: Transform or die out… Teilhard de Chardin wrote, “Humanity is being taken to the point where it will have to choose between suicide or adoration.” I have no doubt that we are now at that point. Human survival depends on whether we are brave enough to face the full desolation of what we have done to our psyches and the planet, and wise and humble enough to turn to the divine insight inside us to learn what we need to go forward. This is not an apocalyptic scenario—not a scenario at all, in fact. It is fact. This is where we are, this is what is happening, and it is terrifying. Anyone not in a trance of denial knows it. No amount of wishful thinking or sophisticated pseudo-historical parallels can make this agony go away.

It is hard enough for a human being to face the facts of his or her own mortality. What we have to face now is not merely our own death, but the possible death of everything and everyone we love, the holocaust of nature herself, the mother we have ignored and betrayed for so long. If we do not face up to our present danger, in all its horror, without consolation and without illusion, in the full glare of Kali’s terrifying mirror, if we don’t gaze deeply into the mirror of the goddess and see our faces, we will never find in ourselves the passion and courage necessary to change. Catastrophe can become grace, and disaster possibility, only if we transform their energy by accepting what they have to teach us and acting with complete sincerity to transform ourselves.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of  The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

*****

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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