The Queen of My Self


January is all about new beginnings and fresh starts. Time to think about what we want and what we need in the New Year. Time to set our intentions and goals, make plans and lists. Take on projects to further our dreams and enhance our power.

By Fawn Germer

About power.

Nobody gives it to you. You don’t grow into it.

You have it. The more you use it, the more you understand it. The more you understand it, the more it grows.

You spend your 20s and 30s trying to figure out who you are and where you belong.  When you hit 40, it suddenly becomes less important to prove things, fit in and win approval. At 50, you stop wasting time. No more hemming and hawing and endlessly worrying about what others expect of you.

You set boundaries and use your power. You say “No, I’m not going there,” and you don’t.

Finally! The strength to be who you really are, the nerve to do what it is that you really want to do —  but it all comes at a time when you also have to deal with the insult of invisibility that comes with middle age. You put your foot down, but a lot of people don’t notice or care.

What the hell! I’d rather be emboldened at 50 than where I was at 30. I am sure I am not the only middle-aged woman to realize I had to make a lot of mistakes in order to earn my wisdom.

The other night, I shared some of my growth lessons with the very sharp 24-year-old daughter of a friend. She listened intently when I told her about setting boundaries and bolstering her self-esteem. She nodded in all the right places.

“When you know something isn’t right for you, act on it,” I told her.

“Everyone is insecure. It’s just a head game we play on ourselves…”

“Don’t settle…”

“You are the boss of you…”

“Who is going to stand up for you if you don’t stand up for yourself?”

There I was, mentoring. Lecturing. Is it even possible to learn the big lessons in life through other people? Battle scars are great teachers. Growth is a sequential revelation.

Would Dorothy have ever learned a damned thing if she’d known all along that she only had to click her heels to get back home? She had to encounter little people and flying monkeys and witches and The Wizard before she learned that everything she needed was right there within her. She always had the power she so desperately sought.

So, about power. Nobody gives it to you. You don’t grow into it.

How far will you travel down the road before you realize you already have it right there within 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

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