NOW I'M 60 IT'S TIME TO LET MY LIGHT SHINE

Self-acceptace is the beginning of a journey out of uncertainty and hiding your light. You get to say "Here I am, this is me, take me or leave me."

HOW IT LOOKS WHEN WE ACCEPT WHO WE ARE

I spent many, many years working really hard to try to be someone I'm not. I always felt like I needed to be smaller, quieter, gentler, sweeter..... someone who didn't make too much noise or take up too much space. I thought I should be dimming my light so that I didn't overwhelm those around me. 

I thought I needed to be a gentle soul who quietly wafted through life - because that's what lovely women did - especially lovely Christian women. But no matter how hard I tried, I just never seemed to master the art of serene womanhood. 

It's taken me 60 years to realize that I don't need to be that woman and I don't actually want to be her either ....

TIME TO EMBRACE MY TRUE SELF

So, what brought about the change in my thought process? I think (at long last) I realized that I like who I am and I want to be the best version of "me" - not a washed out version of someone else. I wondered how it would feel to embrace my true self and you know what? It feels scary, it feels real, and it feels kind of great. And it finally happened when I woke up to the fact that I might have thought that lovely, sweet women were to be admired and emulated, but deep down inside something was rebelling and telling me that it was okay to not really want to be a gentle soul - and to like being bright and vibrant and positive instead. 

I'm not good at being quiet or sitting back and letting things go by without comment. I like having a voice, I like having an opinion, and the people who I like...... well they like those things in me and don't expect me to be a mouse. I saw this quote on Facebook recently and it resonated with me because I don't want to be squashed into a little box where I don't have anything to say. I'm sure it sums me up pretty well these days.

I won't be known as a woman who kept her mouth shut - and I'm okay with that.

THE WOMEN I ADMIRE MOST

I have a lot of respect for women who are quiet and self-contained, but they're not the women I seek out or spend a lot of time with --- because they kind of intimidate me a little. I feel loud and messy in comparison and not sure whether I'm overflowing onto them too much. Instead, I tend to gravitate towards women who are open and who aren't afraid to tell it like it is. I know that they're not hiding agendas, that they're not putting on a mask, that "what you see is what you get". Those are my kind of women - real women who have done the hard yards and are still standing and still smiling.

If I admire strong, vibrant women, why wouldn't I want to be like that myself? Why would I try to be someone who is less than that? Why did I waste so much time trying to be a shadow of who I really am? The answer is that I have no idea why......but it's not too late to embrace all that I am, all that I have the potential to be, and to let my light shine out into the world. To stop aplogizing for being too much and to live large. To finally accept myself and honour all the work that has gone into becoming "me".

SOME THOUGHTS ON SELF-ACCEPTANCE

I took some thoughts I've seen around the internet and changed them a little to reflect what I think this kind of self-acceptance looks like. What it means to dig deep and discover who you are and to live that out every day:
Self-acceptance is the process of learning to know, accept and love yourself on all levels - mind, body and spirit. It's about focusing on personal growth and self awareness, and experiencing a life increasingly filled with peace, love, joy, passion, and fun. Self-acceptance is understanding that you have an unlimited capacity to make your life into what you want. It allows you to give to those around you, and creates a sense of gratitude and abundance.


Self-acceptance doesn't enter us from outside; it emerges from deep within, no longer held back by what happened in the past. It's conceived in consciousness, born in love, and nurtured by higher thinking. It encourages us towards integrity and value, and is created and sustained by personal growth and the discipline of a life lived actively in hope.
Marianne Williamson  (paraphrased


ISN'T IT TIME TO LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE?

My 50's were the the beginning of a journey out of uncertainty and hiding my light under a bushel. Those years marked the beginning of a life where I began to say "here I am, this is me, take me or leave me....but I can't be someone I'm not - even if it makes you uncomfortable." Now that I'm 60, it's so refreshing to own my own qualities and to see them as positives, rather than trying to chip away at the edges to fit in somewhere, or to be someone who doesn't feel authentic or true. 

We can wear a mask and hide behind it, but when we get brave enough to take it off, we really begin the journey into becoming who we were meant to be. And that's when we start to let our light shine. I want to be a beacon of joy and brightness in a world that needs less doom and gloom. I want to be an encourager and a cheer leader - and I can't do that if I'm forever second guessing myself. 

Here's another thought that I want to share to finish with - let's step out of the darkness and into our light.....
 
Self-acceptance emerges when you've honestly dealt with your darkness and learned to celebrate your light. It allows you to explore the possibilities within yourself, and to shine out grace, compassion, wisdom, and truth. When you accept yourself it allows you to accept others as they are, and if you can forgive your own mistakes you won't  feel threatened by another's. Self-acceptance means asking for help when you need it and giving help when asked. It is defined by respecting boundaries - your own and other's, and learning to be supportive and giving without losing yourself in the process.

RELATED POSTS



Self-acceptace is the beginning of a journey out of uncertainty and hiding your light. You get to say "Here I am, this is me, take me or leave me."

JUST A FINAL NOTE:

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive
Self-acceptace is the beginning of a journey out of uncertainty and hiding your light. You get to say "Here I am, this is me, take me or leave me."

26 comments

  1. Turning 60 was wonderfully empowering for me, Leanne. I thought 50 was good but at almost 65 (in a few months), it is a wonderful feeling to accept who I am. I am unique, as you are, there is no one else in this world like me or you and that is an empowering thought. For years, I worried too much about what others thought but in my 50s and 60s I've achieved so much more in life and hopefully I'll be the same in my 70s, 80s and beyond. x

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    1. Hi Sue - I knew you'd completely get it. To finally settle into yourself and be confident in who you authentically are is such a feeling of 'coming home' isn't it? I loved watching you set the bar for how to do our 60's really well and I hope to emulate how positive you've been about this decade. x

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  2. I like you just how you are Leanne! I liked you virtually and I liked you in person so I'm glad you're embracing your authentic self and not trying to pretend to be anyone different. I get what you're saying though but for me its the opposite! I've always been quiet and felt that I needed to be more 'out there' in order to be more popular. Don't get me wrong - I can be chatty when with the right people and talking on the right topics - but my default self is pretty quiet. I don't pretend to be anything but me anymore - I just don't have the energy and besides - I don't want friendships that are based on pretence. Those that accept me as I am are the ones that are worthwhile.

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    1. You said it perfectly Min - I don't want friends who need me to be a particular personality type to be accepted. I'll never be the social life of the party, but I'll also never be a serene and graceful person either. I'm just "me" in all my ups, downs and in-betweens....and it's SO good to finally be okay with that and to stop trying so hard to be who I think others expect me to be. We're all different and that's a blessing - imagine if we were all the same!!! And I really like who you are too xx

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  3. I decided long ago to be me, and people can either take me or not. But I know what you mean, as an oldest child I always thought I should be something and do things a certain way. I've been happier since turning 50 and feel free to be bold and a bit out there, celebrate my quirkiness and not apologise for it - as Min says I don't have the energy to be something I'm not. I'm so pleased you are travelling well into your 60s.

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    1. Hi Deb - I think 50 was a turning point for a lot of us. I just seemed to carry some of the "should be's" with me for a few extra years and it's only been since I left work and had time to figure out who and what I am that I'm finally in a place where I can say "take me or leave me" and not be worried about how that will go down. It's so liberating to finally just be me with all my weird bits included!

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  4. Hi Leanne. That's exactly how I see you, as "a beacon of joy and brightness", and full of encouragement for others. The first line of self-acceptence, says it all for me-"when you've honestly dealt with your darkness and learned to celebrate your light." This is what I went through in my 50's, to get where I am in my 60's. It is pure joy! Thank You, Leanne. Sharing to FB Christina Daggett

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    1. Hi Christina - thank you so much for the lovely compliment, and for being such an encouragement to me as we both figure out who we want to be and allow our lights to shine - it certainly is pure joy xxx

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  5. Leanne, I do believe we hear the messages we are supposed to hear..but I'm really not sure why I'm hearing about self-acceptance right now! I know it's been a really tough couple of days. Really tough - hitting me with looking at my past and wondering how I was living falsehoods for years - people who were in my life full of resentment and hate that I was oblivious to. Family members who I thought were there for me, but, in fact, were talking me down behind my back. I know you left a toxic environment...I might need to go back and reread some of your older posts. It's scary when you become aware that the toxic environment is your extended family. And hard to think "take me or leave me" when they are implying that you're no good and yeah, it's leave.

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    1. Oh Pat I'm so very sorry you're going through this. I keep coming back to the fact that the people we love or invest in the most, have the capactity to hurt us the most deeply. Being blindsided by loved ones, being treated unfairly and in a toxic way just breaks our hearts and our spirits. You may have to distance yourself from them for a time and surround yourself with those who love you and who are kind and genuine. I've never understood two faced people, or those who tear at others, they're not my people and I've come to see that they have no place in my life. Walk away with your head held high my friend - you're worth far more than they deserve. xx I wrote a post about moving on from unresolved issues that might be a help - because sometimes you can't fix something and you need to give it time and space. xx

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  6. Hi, Leanne - Once again, there are many great gems in this post. "Learning to be supportive and giving without losing yourself in the process" is such an important life skill. Your 60's are off to a FABULOUS start!

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    1. Hi Donna - there were so many great little gems in those quotes I shared - the internet is a font of knowledge! And I'm loving 60 so far - it's so much better than I would have expected it to be back in my younger days :)

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  7. Leanne, we need you women who are "beacons of joy and brightness"! You illuminate the path for the rest of us!

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    1. Hi Diane! thank you so much for your lovely compliment and for being one of my cheer squad. I really do want to be one of those women who make getting older something to look forward to rather than something to dread xx

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  8. I've just turned 55 & a lot of what you say here resonates with me. Just when I think I'm growing into myself someone says something hurtful that blindsides me - even though I'll laugh about it. It shocks me how others see me - it doesn't occur to me to see myself any way other than how I feel.

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    1. Hi Jo - I am often amazed by the lack of insight others have for themselves and those around them - and the superficiality of the judgements they make. One thing with becoming more self aware and less dependent on pleasing everyone else, is that we can shrug their small mindedness off a little more easily (but it still hurts every time!) PS: We both know you're awesome!

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  9. Leanne, I'm glad to hear you're letting your light shine out into the world. Have fun and enjoy being authentic. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

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    1. Hi Natalie - one thing I'm learning is that we all shine differently and it's time to be confident in shining whatever your light is and respecting the way others shine theirs :)

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  10. Glad to read just how much you have been changing, growing and learning all on your terms and for you. It's taken me a LOT longer ...into my 70s but oh, so worth it. Denyse #weekendcoffeeshare

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    1. Hi Denyse - I think each of us arrives there eventually - I'm just glad we got there before we missed the opportunity to enjoy the sheer relief of being our authentic selves - after living in the shadows for far too long xxx

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  11. Leanne, that is so good. I love the quote you shared at the very end. I will be saving that. I read a book a few years ago by Jen Hatmaker called Fierce, Free and Full of Fire, and the gist of it was about being our authentic selves. She described 3 different women: in a nutshell they are: Mega Woman: Wired to live large, big personalities, big ideas, big capacity. Modest Woman: Thriving in a quiet, private life, gentle, behind the scenes, supporting their people in ways that may be hidden to the watching eye. Mezzo woman: Perfectly content with what they have and where they are right now, bridge builders, peacemakers, compromise-brokers. She goes more in depth but I think it's so important that women embrace who they are and not see themselves as less than or too much of anything. This has been a struggle for and at times I've asked myself "who am I really?" "Have I shape-shifted to be who I think people want me to be?". Good food for thought. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Kirstin - I watched a home reno show that was about the Hatmaker family - Jen is quite a woman and very confident in who she is. I hope people will describe me that way when I finally settle into the woman I'm hoping lies under all the layers. I'm so tired of being someone who adjusts all the time depending on who I think others want me to be. It's been refreshing to learn to say No sometimes, and to claim who I am without justifying myself so much. It's definitely a journey and there's more road ahead to be walked for me too.

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  12. Hi Leanne,
    Your post was very timely for me too. Trying to be there to support my kids, especially getting them back on deck after the last to years of school and work disruptions with covid lockdowns, has at times felt all-consuming. I was such a free agent in lockdown with all the kids' activities cancelled, although having the dance school operating for hours from our kitchen wasn't much fun especially through dinner time. Now, my time is disappearing. I'm disappearing and while I've always said I love people, I'm not so sure anymore. They can actually be quite nasty. I have some great friends through blogging I've never met, and quite a few zoom friends as well. The real world seems so critical and judgemental (and evidently that also includes me). Perhaps, I'll feel better when it finally stops raining.
    Our son is currently onboard the Young Endeavour and they put together a few videos with tips before going onboard. The first tip on leadership was to be yourself. That got me thinking. It's not necessarily as easy as it sounds.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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    1. Hi Rowena - I've found that I'm becoming less of a people person. I'm happy to share my energy with positive, kind, encouraging friends....but no longer have the time or interest in trying to keep difficult people happy - or adjusting who I am to suit who they want me to be. The pandemic has allowed me time to learn that I enjoy my own company - that I like being home, and that I don't need to keep other people happy for the sake of it. I've also loved getting to know people online too - the similarities often astonish me and the commonalities are a joy.

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  13. From one loud, messy woman to another: thank you. This is a wonderful post. If someone ever invents time travel, I'm going to go back and have words with my younger self. I wasted so much time and energy worrying about other people's opinions.

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    1. I did the same thing Janet - and I know it was my insecurity at the base of it all. Nobody asked me to try to fit into their boxes - I just tried because I wanted to be liked and accepted. Now I'm perfectly fine with having less acquaintances and more time on my own - I actually really enjoy my own company - and the few close friendships that have endured the test of time.

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