My Midlife Revolution
I feel a revolution taking place inside me. It is violent. It is powerful. It is transformative. The voices of my forgotten, disempowered and disenfranchised selves are rising to a crescendo, and they are pissed. For several years now there have been uprisings taking place within. Small skirmishes at the borders of my awareness, explosive confrontations with the tyrannical ruling party in my psyche, private meetings of disgruntlement behind the closed doors of my conditioned ways of being and anonymous posters and leaflets being read by the parts of me that I have successfully denied a voice in my day-to-day life. For a very long time, I have done a darn good job of keeping this revolution at bay. I have put up barricades, imposed a curfew, and even built a Berlin wall to back the ruling party of society’s nice, ever achieving, good little girl. All in the name of acceptance and approval.
I have excelled at “not rocking the boat”. I have rolled out tanks, ordered soldiers and built a secret police force to ensure that the threat of my abandoned selves, the ones who want to be daring, independent, confident, carefree, brazen, outspoken, risk-taking and bursting with enthusiasm do not disrupt the order of things. The order that I have totally participated in building. The order that I have spent much of the past 40+ years throwing myself behind. I have paid homage to my demanding, taskmaster of an internal dictator who has stated that I should be a pleaser, forever being nice and putting others’ needs before my own. Always an achiever, feeling like what I accomplish is never enough and an appeaser, silencing my voice to not bring on the disapproval of others. This tyrant has held onto power within my psyche for far too long, using any means necessary to suppress any rumblings of dissatisfaction with the status quo of my chosen, habitual way of responding to life.
At midlife, I know that this ruling order has become out-dated, oppressive, and autocratic. A tipping point of discontent with the way I have given away my power has taken place. The voices of my abandoned and rejected selves have finally decided that they will no longer be forced into the basement of my existence. The revolution has begun. It seems even if I wanted to, I couldn’t quell the uprising surge of discontent, of deep desire within me to change, to be authentic, to speak and live my truth. No matter how much disruption and turmoil this revolt will cause in my life there is no going back now. If I did, I would surely die. I know this with every cell in my body. The Tsar’s palace is burning to the ground. There are torches and pitchforks at my door screaming at me to dethrone my false self, of society’s nice, good little girl who doesn’t rock the boat or else I, too, will be set on fire. I see that I can allow my disowned selves a voice and join the revolution and come through it whole, at peace, authentic or I can stay as I’ve been, stunted, hobbled and be beheaded.
I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t confess that this self-imposed autocratic manifesto has served me well. I have enjoyed much of my life with family and friends in comfort, ease and love. In many, many ways I feel very blessed to have lived the life I’ve lived. So, this internal revolt might seem shocking when looked upon by someone who doesn’t know the ponderings of my heart. Or, by someone who has allowed all of their selves to have a voice throughout their life. Or, by someone who hasn’t reached midlife and questioned, “What now?”, “Who do I want to be going forward?” and “How do I want to live this life?” However, as I seek out others who have felt this revolution of their authentic self calling them to live a more democratic existence, I am assured that this is the only way for me to go towards my future in love and joy. Both for myself and those I care deeply about. I know that actions based in inauthenticity and falsehood, although intended to hurt no one, end up hurting everyone. Although this revolution feels tumultuous and scarily, heart-wrenchingly hard, I choose to allow it, even welcome it. I want to live in freedom. I want to own my power. I want to speak and live my truth. I want to live with a heart enthusiastically wide-open.
Speaking of living with a heart wide-open, I have a strong sense that it is by listening to the wisdom of my heart, as well as not abandoning my courage, that this revolution will be a purposeful and fruitful one. It is interesting that the word coeur in French means heart and is also the root word for courage. Thus, quite literally, courage means to have heart. I feel this in my bones, that being courageous is what will get me to the balanced state of governance even when disapproval, pressure to conform, and the pleas to return to my old ways are shouting at me. In the meantime, I am doing what all motivational revolutionaries have done. I am reading about the journeys of other wise beings who have walked this path before me. I am talking to friends and confidants to build my support network and gain new perspectives. I am forming a vision for my life in the new order. But, above all, I am honoring this time in my life by not giving up on myself. I am cultivating courage by taking small and large action despite my fear, all the while, living my life with joy. I intend to allow this revolution to run its course, assured that it is my soul that is propelling me to a place of authenticity and truth. This truth is rooted in the wisdom of my heart. I decree that the wisdom of my heart is my new leader. I will back this leader any day.