Isn’t it ironic that at the very time a woman starts to have time of her own to explore the meaning of her life and devote time to personal growth, is the very same time that society casts her off as used up! This brings about such uncertainty and negativity that depression is often the result.
She fails to recognize her inner beauty, wisdom and hard won knowledge. Society says her beauty has faded leaving her an aging hulk, too fat or too thin, face lined, hair graying. So strong is this image that society projects that she sees herself in the same way, and often turns to food or drugs for solace. It does not matter how much she is loved or by how many.
It is unlikely that she can change this image without help, but help is hard to find for a woman in mid life. She is often dismissed as “just going through the change”. She also finds it very difficult to confide in her doctor, who is actually overbooked and over worked, with no time to devote to ascertaining the true emotional state of his or her patient.
If she is able to see the problem and know that she should not be feeling the way she does, there are a few things she can do to help herself to reclaim her life. There is always a need for volunteers in any community and she might well find a place that needs her particular skills. One of the easiest ways to find out that our lives are not so bad is to help others who are less fortunate. There are also women’s centers and organizations in all but the smallest communities, where she can meet other women and participate in discussions and activities that can help to improve her self image.
Something that I have suggested in the past is for her to approach her family and friends, and ask each of them how they see her. She should write down all of the answers and when completed, read it all through at one sitting. There is a remarkable difference between how she sees herself and how others see her. This exercise may be enough to help her start to see herself in a more realistic light.
The goal is to recognize that she is still a functioning, contributing member of society, with an inner beauty that time and gravity can not steal away. At this point, she is ready to begin using her extra time to dedicate to her won growth, to begin asking the questions that will lead to a fuller understanding of what we are and what our life’s purpose may be.
There are challenges to be met at every stage of life, and this is just one of many.