Feeling Invisible After 50? How to Live Wise, Well, and Authentically!
“I always try to take a big bite out of life and savor every flavor. ‘Before my number’s up I’m gonna fill my cup….’” ~ Queen Latifah from her book, Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom.”
Doesn’t that sound like a great (not to mention delicious) way to live? Queen Latifah is definitely NOT feeling invisible! She’s approaching 50, and I have a feeling she’ll keep on this way.
So what about you and me and the rest of us Little White Liars?
Are we part of the sobering statistic I share about ‘invisibility’ in my blog: What is the #1 Fear About Aging?
My guest on the Little White Lie Movement show (you can watch it in full right here – and I recommend you do because I’m just touching the surface of the goodies we shared!) is transformational self-development coach Cat Williford. She offers some awesome advice on ‘keeping current with ourselves’ so we can make great choices. In addition, she talks about standing in the wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years, and living authentically. Read on….!
Before I dive in, though, I have to call up the remark I made in the beginning of the show. Because, while my own Little White Lie journey of growing out my hair to its natural white after 30 years of dyeing it, has been nothing short of amazing, I want the LWL community to know that it’s not always easy. Before the show I looked at myself on the screen and was hit with a serious ‘I hate my hair day’ feeling. Have you had your own ‘days’ with whatever your own LWL is? I’m here to tell you that it’s part of the journey, it’ll pass, and your LWL community has your back!
So, the question I posed at the top of the show was: Do we really get wiser as we get older?
Cat: “Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we’re aware of the wisdom. It’s in the awareness as we sit back and look at our lives, our choices — that’s where the wisdom shows up, and in the tangible actions that we choose to take. Wisdom is really the ability to utilize all that we’ve gone through — the pain, the trauma, the drama, externally imposed, internally imposed. All of those things! It’s to take these and carry ourselves differently as we make our choices.”
If we ‘women of a certain age’ are so wise after all we’ve gone through and experienced in our lives, then why is there such a feeling and fear about being invisible?
Cat: “The invisibility of the middle-aged women out there — it’s just bunk! We are SO vibrant, we are SO full of contribution and passion! We see each other, we’re just not sure everyone sees us as who we REALLY are. That’s why authenticity is so important. The more authentic we are and the more we strip away the mask that’s pretending we’re being what ‘they’ want (or what we think they want), the more visible and powerful we become.
“The bulk of my client work is to unmask. We develop really smart masks to keep us in the tribe, to keep us safe, to keep us fed and clothed. And they develop because we’re smart, we need them to get through certain situations. The problem is that it becomes a habit. So then we wear these masks, and that’s when people don’t know who we are [because they’re seeing those masks rather than our authentic selves]. And we begin to lose sight of who we truly are, so we are invisible at that point, even to ourselves.”
The key is unmasking — being conscious of who we’re actually being at any moment. You might ask yourself: Am I being me or something else, the mask that shelters my scared self, or the mask that pleases, or the mask that hides my Little White Lie? Powerful stuff, right?
What about this idea of choice?
Cat says, “Almost anything in life is choice, in terms of how we deal with things.” And we don’t always get to choose what happens. “It’s not always my choice as to what comes at me; however, I am responsible for the choices I didn’t get to make.” Cat says we can just do the best we can with those choices, in the moment, “hopefully bringing in all that wisdom and learning that I’ve had with me into those next choices.” l love this idea, because it give us total control — not of circumstances but of how we choose to respond to them and apply what we learn to our next choices.
In her client work, Cat says: “So many women wind up at my doorstep because they haven’t kept current with themselves.
We’re so good at giving so much to others, getting on a mission, doing our work (wearing our masks??), that we forget to get current with ourselves.” Then we are not living in our wisdom, making clear choices for ourselves, living authentically. She wants us to ask ourselves: “How and what do I want to show the world? And where am I today?”
Final words from our wonderful Cat Williford: “The big white lie I walked around with for so long was that I could do it all. I needed to control it all, I didn’t ask for help. I had to get ill 3 separate times to get the lesson! So my tip for you is this: Whatever your body is telling you, get vulnerable and PAY ATTENTION! Your body is carrying something you need to know. Whether it’s through weight or headaches (for me it’s migraines when I let stress build up too much). So pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you.”
Allow yourself to be vulnerable, face the lesson, and make great choices for yourself from the wisdom you’re learned.
What do you think, fellow Little White Liars?
Ready now to take a big bite out of life, savor every flavor, and be visible? Let us know! Get into the conversation and take part in the direction of the LWL Movement! Here’s how:
1) Add your thoughts, in the comments below.
2) Take my survey now on www.TheLittleWhiteLie.com where you see the question: “What is your biggest concern about aging?”
3) Share your comments on Facebook and use the hashtag #LittleWhiteLie.