Two years ago I found a poem by Catherine Pulsifer, originally published in 2009. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
Allow yourself to dream,
And when you do dream big
Allow yourself to learn
And when you do learn all you can
Allow yourself to laugh
And when you do share your laughter
Allow yourself to set goals
And when you do reward yourself as you move forward
Allow yourself to be determined
And when you do you will find you will succeed
Allow yourself to believe in yourself
And when you do you will find self confidence
Allow yourself to lend a helping hand
And when you do a hand will help you.
Allow yourself relaxation
And when you do you will find new ideas.
Allow yourself love
And when you do you will find love in return
Allow yourself to be happy
And when you do you will influence others around you.
Allow yourself to be positive
And when you do life will get easier.
When I first read it, my midlife transformation had just begun. Little did I know how much these words would come to mean to me a few years down the line. We spend years learning to obey rules and follow norms, forgetting all about the freedom to be ourselves along the way.
Daily life, obligations and burdens way heavy on my heart, mind, and spirit, and I found myself restraining my own dreams and ambitions for the sake of others. Now that I am an Empty Nester, it is time to rediscover myself and allow those dreams to see the light of day again.