I was writing a blog the other day for eHarmonyUK with my midlife dating expert hat on. I was writing about authenticity. Yes, it’s sadly become one of those clichéd words along with gratitude and mindfulness. But you know me and know that I’m not using it because it’s the latest buzz word. Being authentic is how I’ve lived my midlife so far and will continue to do so. I’m showing up as the woman I am because that’s the only thing I feel comfortable doing (and being).
I came across this quote the other day and it’s been sat in my head ever since.
“I decided that the single most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.” ~ Anne Lamott
I like it because it rings true for me. When I’ve been working with some midlife dating clients I’ve had to really encourage them to be themselves, to write openly and honestly about themselves even when they’re sure it would be better and easier and the right thing to do to pretend to be someone else or to airbrush who they are. You know a bit like Facebook and Instagram….we all know that it’s not real don’t we? We all know that people are posting their highlights reel? We fear that people don’t want to know that we ate a pack of Jaffa cakes or didn’t get out of our pjs when we were working from home last Friday or that we’ve been having blazing rows with our partner for the past 6 months?
I’ve always aimed to show up. When I wrote Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife I was determined that I’d tell my story as it was, including about me falling apart. I’ve done this because I believe in the power of connection. Human to human. Woman to woman. If we don’t show up as who we are we risk missing out on deep connections with others. And, yes, this is asking us to be vulnerable and being vulnerable is not easy if you’re not used to being so.
We’re bombarded daily in this social media age about being perfect, and if we’re not eating the right diet or using the right products or wearing the right clothes then somehow we’re failing. That we’re letting the side down. Well I’m not into that, I guess I’ve always been a rule breaker and a risk taker. I say do what the hell you want. Don’t let your thinking of others perceptions get in the way of you living your life on your terms.
You are amazing. You may well have forgotten it, so I’m just reminding you. The world needs you to show up as you are. All of you. The days you’re on a high and the days you’re struggling to get out of bed. We only truly connect with others when we are unashamedly ourselves.
How are you getting on? Do you find it easy to show up as you are or are you battling with the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ in your head? Remember I’m here to support you and help point you in the right direction. You might like this…