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December 4, 2023 | Sarah O'Flaherty

Embracing the Emergent Self: A Call to Love for Women in Their 50s

In this article we explore how women in their 50s can love themselves through this transitional phase in their lives.

In a world that often defines women by traditional roles, the transition into one’s 50s can bring a sense of disconnection and irrelevance. Lucy Cavendish, in a deeply personal account for the guardian, explored the common struggle faced by women as they navigate this transformative phase. The article delves into the challenges of redefining identity after the roles of caretaker, mother, and worker undergo significant changes.
Cavendish highlights the unsettling realization that accompanies this period, emphasizing the internal struggle many women face in feeling “lesser” or “irrelevant.” Conversations with women in their 50s reveal a sense of being “othered” — not recognizing themselves and feeling disconnected from their former roles.
Psychologist Susie Orbach suggests that this feeling of being “othered” may stem from a lack of experience in self-care, especially after years of prioritizing the needs of others. It is important to explore the impact of shifting relationships and the challenge of adapting to new self-perceptions. As the tectonic plates of life shift, the emergence of the “shadow” self, the parts of us we’ve denied, can lead to internal conflict and a sense of unworthiness.
Relationship coach Greg Wheeler refers to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, emphasizing the impact of changing relationships on self-esteem. He suggests that adapting to this internal shift requires deep self-acceptance and love for the emergent self. Gabor Maté, a psychotherapist and trauma specialist, encourages individuals facing feelings of irrelevance to embrace their mutability and go with the flow of self-discovery.
It is so important for women in their 50s to love themselves in new ways, replacing external validation with internal self-love. By understanding and honoring their true feelings, needs, desires, and passions, women can acknowledge their lovable imperfections and embrace the evolving journey of self-discovery in this transformative phase of life.

Here at WayfinderWoman we offer coaching and peer support to women who may be in this transitional phase. We offer a friendly face and a listening ear, as well as shared experiences.
Our drop in hub in Eastbourne, is open to any woman in need.

More information at www.wayfinderwoman.com

Original article here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/oct/22/a-call-to-action-to-love-ourselves-how-women-in-their-50s-can-leave-the-shadows

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