I sat there, all googly-eyed ecstatic on my friend Carla's couch, watching Obama give his acceptance speech. I liked to’ve died and gone to heaven. (note to y’all who who were grieving the loss of McCain: stick with my story! It isn’t about the guys.)
Obama actually won my heart back in February, when he told us, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
I’ve been truckin’ on those words since February, particularly for us women over 45.
You see, sisters, I believe with every sinew of this sagging body that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, too.
But we’re not going to find that out by listening to the media. Or reading most women’s magazines (did you know that our self-esteem drops measurably while reading most women’s magazines?).
No, sisters, we have to start listening to us.
And start waking up from this miserable Trance of Unworthiness that we’ve fallen asleep in. This trance doesn’t become us, ladies. We’re pretty magnificent creatures, luminous with wisdom and creativity and spirit underneath it.
But you know who’s gonna help us wake up?
Each other. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
One of my favorite quotes is from the Christian mystic and social activist Thomas Merton. “It was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the person that each one is in the eyes of the Divine. If only we could see each other that way all the time...I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.”
You know, sisters, that's what I'd call a positive problem.
And I’m dangerously close to having it.
I gotta tell you, I’m in love with my magnificent, courageous, over-45 women clients. I’m in love with my gutsy, gorgeous over-45 friends. I’m more or less in love with women over 45, period.
That’s why I’ve started this new website, FlourishingAfterFortyFive.
It’s because of y’all’s magnificence, sisters. We all deserve to have a place where that magnificence is fostered and honored. We all deserve to flourish after 45, and we all have that capacity, as we wake up from this Trance of Unworthiness and get to fall in love with our own lives and sweet selves.
The world needs us now, too. This flourishing isn’t just for our own deep pleasure, though that’s a hoot in and of itself.
No, this flourishing is for the world as well. This suffering world is starving for what we have to offer.
But we can’t offer our generosity and our gifts to the world from a starved-out, overwhelmed place where we aren’t even a blip on our own radar.
And the only way out is to help each other.
Hey, this is what I know about being over 45 (the bad news first):
- It sucks. I’m grokking the adage that I used to (pre-45) think was so stupid: Ageing isn’t for sissies. Some days, I just can’t stand the sags, the uncontrollable farts, the spare tire(s). Some days, I’m not sure I’m up to all the losses and heartbreaks that I’ve sustained since turning 50, and the many more I know are on the way.
- It's wonderful. I’m happier and more self-assured than I’ve ever been. I’m in love, not only with my own life, but with the lives of my ever-widening circle of friends, clients, and colleagues. My spirit burns brighter than ever before. The unfettered creativity, courage, and spiritedness that I relish both in myself and in so many other women over 45 is a miracle to behold.
And you know, sisters, it’s a package deal. A real, honest-to-god Mystery. How can this sweet and ecstatic flourishing happen just when so much of life, and our bodies, is heading south? How much of that going south is what fires up this florescence? Don’t know, sisters, don’t know.
Just know it is. And I’m putting my passion, my own flourishing, in the service of helping other women over 45 know it, too. And experience it, and love it, from the core of their own beings.
I invite you to join me in this flourishing and giving back.
Remember, we are the ones we've been waiting for.