Relationships are priceless; nothing beats having that special one. I sometimes think women are more sensitive to this stuff than men are. Being in love is the best thing ever! When our pursuit of it becomes a task to define ourselves – to build our self-esteem and confidence, that is where it becomes a problem.
When we are in our teens, 20’s and even 30’s, it’s a piece of cake to have choices in relationships. When we enter that 40-year range, something strange starts to happen (smiling). Society begins to point a finger at us for getting to this point, and we also begin to scrutinize ourselves, making it difficult to be in healthy relationships. I have met women who are having these moments even earlier than this time, and I feel really bad for them. I wonder ‘what has she been through to have such low self-esteem so early in the game. And, more importantly, what in the world is going to happen to her when she gets to the magic number of 40’. This is the time when things really start to get interesting because now we are approaching midlife — which, as mentioned above, we kind of get stomped on emotionally.
Self-confidence is a wonderful thing when you have it in midlife. I say that because you are going to need it more than ever now; big time! If you’re lacking it at this stage, pretty much anyone can cause you to fall apart by helping to destroy the image you have of yourself. It is not a good thing to be too self-absorbed, but you really have to be in tune with yourself to fight off all of the negative energies that’s thrown at us around this time (40 plus years). For this reason I think we, as middle-aged women, should learn what builds self-confidence and work towards it to ensure that we maintain a certain level of self-esteem and self-respect. I use the term ‘self-respect’ because it is very easy to lose that in the process of trying to secure ourselves in a relationship. For some reason, men in our age group try to make us feel it is okay to give up our values because we are now considered middle aged. That, to me, is the funniest thing ever! And I love when I meet those kinds of candidates. I am more confident now than I was in my 30’s. Why? Because now I am experienced; I know exactly who I am, and what I need to stay happy. Don’t ever let anyone rob you of your self-respect! That should never be a choice. When you lose respect for yourself, no one will have any reason to respect you – stand your grounds!
Society has a big part to play in what is happening with us, but we can control the situation by maintaining our confidence. It is so out of control now that most women will not discuss their ages and will even keep the day of their birth date a secret to circumvent the discussion of age. If you are one of these women, I want to encourage you to start embracing your age and continue to bloom. To get to this point (middle age), you had to endure some amazing experiences, and you did it; you made it through. So give yourself some credit, and remember that you cannot achieve wisdom without this process. Take a good look at what has happened. Now, you are experienced, smart and beautiful. Learn to develop a heart of contentment and gratitude for who you are today. Don’t look to be defined by being with another person or staying in a bad situation because of how you feel about yourself. Work to center yourself spirituality and emotionally. Start by spending more time alone so that you can understand who you are and what you need to be centered — balanced. When you have built yourself up this way and appreciate who you are as an individual, you can clearly convey what you need to be happy in a relationship when you do meet that special one — because now you will be secure and whole (Isaiah 53:5).
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