Midlife is that time of life when we can focus on ourselves; rediscover who we are, what we like, what we want to do, what we want to let go of and step into our true selves.
We can put ourselves first. It is a gift we give those who depend on us. But how many of us are afraid to do so, feel uncomfortable doing so, and as a result choose not to even begin. And the few times when we do, we do so with anger, resentment and I believe a deep understanding it will be a fleeting victory. As a result we end up putting ourselves at the bottom of the list–our default position.
But what if we could let those around us know it is our time to put ourselves first and not at the expense of those who depend on us. The conversation has to be one of gentleness, one that explains that it is time for change and experimentation. Compromise between people is the win-win.
I admit that as a single mom, putting myself first after my son Ben went off to college is a different situation from some of you who have spouses, significant others and children still at home. The common ground for all of us is just getting comfortable setting up new boundaries that we are first on our list; we are taking caring of ourselves.
It is being confident enough to say this is what I want and need. It is being confident enough to say I need to nurture myself so I am the best that I can be to all who depend on me. It is being confident in stepping into who we are as women, as nurturers, as caregivers with boundaries that honor our space to be.
We do teach others how to treat us.
We are special.
Being kind to ourselves is the gift we give ourselves and others.