Are You Wearing Your True Colors?

when I am an old woman I shall wear purple

 

Today is my birthday!! I thought it quite appropriate to post this today, since I am entering a “milestone” birthday this year–that of receiving Medicare. Yes, this lady right here is turning 65 years old today!! I can’t believe it. Because I am waaaay too young at heart to be 65!! Right? That’s what living with gusto and passion will do fer ya!! Ha!

 

The above picture is an excerpt from a poem written by Jenny Joseph in 1961 when she was 29 years old. You really should read it all. This poem became Jenny’s most popular one even though she wrote all her life and won several awards and published numerous poetry books.

 

Perhaps it gained popularity because it speaks of women doing what suits them instead of what others expect of them. A freeing thought to women of the 60s and continues to be even now.

Our clothing standards for “older” women (whatever that means) have loosened some in the last decades, but conquering societal expectations on women is still a struggle. So here is my take on this idea of what to wear:

I’m older—I guess—and I enjoy wearing purple and many other colors. But how I most want to clothe myself is by wearing the honest, true version of my own essence. Not someone’s idea of who I am, not anyone’s opinion of how I should behave, and certainly not another person’s idea of what I should be. Who’s with me?

 

Age has given me perspective and wisdom. Navigating through difficult times—suffering because of wrong choices, persevering through grief, loss, and change—as well as experiencing wonderful and joyful things like parenthood and being loved, will do that for you.

 

Age has given me guts. Guts to break free and throw out all that isn’t truly my authentic self. Age has liberated me. I finally got tired enough to call it quits. I couldn’t take care of everyone else any more. I couldn’t be what “they” wanted and demanded. And good Lord, why should I be? How does allowing someone else to frame my character, personality, and behaviors honor myself or my Creator?

 

As with most of us, the reduction and dismissal of my true self started at an early age when I began believing lies about myself. Experiences in my young life caused me to feel “less than” and that was the filter I used to interpret what people said about me. I heard words and perceived behaviors that convinced me I was, indeed, less than I should be.

 

For the record, when we hear something, we must accept it and agree with it before it can become truth to us. How we feel about ourselves, often determined early in our lives, affects that.

 

As I got older and began to dismiss other’s opinions and expectations, and tasted the freedom of determining my authentic self, I’ve discovered lots of treasures in my character. I’m not really those awful things people said about me. I know that they were lies. And I’m fervently hoping that you, too, will make the same discovery of truth.

 

So what about that purple? Please wear whatever colors make you feel alive and vibrant! But, most importantly, clothe yourself in the dazzling radiance of your perfectly true self.

And, darling, won’t we SHINE!!

 

 

I wrote this for the Women2Women Michigan Magazine. You might really enjoy reading the whole magazine online, as it is FULL of great articles for and about and by women! Here is the link to read the free magazine: W2WMichigan Magazine

Love and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

 

 

 

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What IS a BOX anyway?

We shouldn't let others BOX us in.“Thinking outside the box.” “Living outside the box.”

We hear these phrases all the time.

And so I ask you, WHAT is a BOX?

As a well-practiced People Pleaser, I do believe I was living inside a box of other people’s expectations, their opinions of me, their considerations of what was a worthy pursuit for my life, their molding of my behaviors, and what were acceptable expressions of who I am.

I truly had to shake off the binders and chains in order to break out of my box.

For a taste of what my FREEDOM looks like see Girls Can.

I know that God created me to be THIS person…who I am able to be (have allowed myself to be) now. Perhaps it’s age and wisdom. Maybe I just got too tired to try to be everyone’s opinion of me.

Or perhaps it was finally realizing my worth.

I did come to learn that when we allow others to “box us in” our experiences are boxed in too. We are bound by other’s opinions especially if we allow them to dictate the choices we make. I do not refer to consulting people of wisdom. I need others in my life who will help me consider options. But I do not need those who will think less of me if I don’t follow their advice.

I am a very opinionated person. I truly desire that my opinions come from a heart of love and compassion and a spirit that seeks after God. (I cannot stand cruelty, evil, injustice, and the horrid things humans do to other humans.)

I have been criticized. And I will continue to be, because I don’t neccessarily fit the box of a “typical” American God-follower. (I spent a lot of time writing and praying before I pushed the “publish” button on my last post as I do with every post. It’s a huge responsibility and risk to put my words and opinions out into cyber space forever!)  However I try to seek God with all my heart, show love and compassion, and harm no one. If my way of being “Jesus with skin on” is different from yours and you don’t like it, well, it’s not my intention to offend. But Jesus offended many with His choices.

I would encourage you to learn to know your own self. To BE your own self. And not let the outside opinions, society, media, and sometimes even family, dissuade you from choosing to honor who you were created to be. I lost a lot of years of my life with my light hidden. I decided the world was missing out and I was incomplete and dying on the vine. So now I choose life!

this huge brilliant spectacular light of mine

Oh. And that BOX? It was flattened quite a while ago!

 

Have a wonderful week of self-discovery folks! And thank you so much for hanging in here with me.

Passionista Mimi

 

 

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