Karina Chronicles

Seven Lessons From 40 Years of Life

rosie1Author, Speaker, and Educator Rosie Molinary empowers women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world. She is the author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina. You can find her at RosieMolinary, on Twitter, and on Facebook.  One of her favorite winter pairings is the Penelope with boots, and she can’t wait for 2015.


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I recently enjoyed a birthday. Now, I am fully entrenched in my forties and, while I am not self-conscious about my age, I am seeing that I have a sense of urgency, a desire to get more and more real about what is true for me and living that way every single minute that I can.

I am a firm believer that life keeps handing you the lesson that you need to learn until you learn it.  Fail to learn it the first time, and life/the universe/the God of your understanding turns the volume up just a bit making the next experience with the lesson a little harder to stomach so that you might learn it the next time.  Ignore the lesson again, and it gets even more uncomfortable.  Eventually, the situation is so unpalatable, that you HAVE to get it.  Learn the lesson earlier and life is a whole lot easier. Given that sense of urgency, I am capturing these hard-earned lessons of my first forty years so I might live them intentionally (and not have to relearn them) in my forties.

  1. What someone else thinks of me is none of my business. Trying to make someone else change her thinking about me is inviting misery for both of us.  What someone else thinks of me isn’t my problem or my business. I’d rather spend my time on the stuff I do have control over.
  2. Boundaries are a way to love ourselves and the people in our lives. For the longest time, I thought you just had to take what people gave you.  If they imposed upon you with their words or actions, well, you needed to be good, not make it awkward for anyone, and just let them.  Except then the people who cross boundaries get to rule the world. But too many people with too few boundaries have benefitted from a societal politeness, and you don’t have to be impolite to establish a boundary.  You just have to be real. Practice boundaries as a gift to yourself and others.
  3. Self-care is essential in order to be able to offer any care to others.  There was a time in my life where giving until I gave out was the only way that I knew to be in the world.  I thought it was generous.  But generosity and self-care have to co-exist.  Because you can give out, there can be no generosity without self-care, actually. Take care of you and you are sustained enough to take care of others.
  4. My soul is my gift to the world.  I have ample gray hair.   My forehead is rugged topography.  I’ve got rosacea and fierce allergies that make my face red and bumpy most of the time. My curls are unreliable—brilliant and fun sometimes, frizzy and erratic often.  And, yet, none of that matters.  My body is this incredible vehicle I have been given to experience this life and so I have an immense responsibility to take care of it because there is so much that I want to do, so many people I want to love, so many hearts I want to help heal.  But my body does not make up my worth.  My worth comes from my soul, from what I offer the world; my legacy will be in the way that I love and offer care and never, ever in the way I wear my hair (or that unintentional rhyme).  I want to be clear everyday about the fact that what I have to offer is how I make people feel and not how I look.
  5. Purpose calls. The world is full of so many needs and I don’t believe any one of us is here by accident.  We are each here on purpose—meant to offer a unique part of the solution to healing that this world needs.  When we can reconcile our relationships with ourselves and engage in what we are most meant to offer the world, the world is one step closer to healing.
  6. Do No Harm. It’s so easy to hurt people, but I don’t want to put that kind of energy out in the world.  As much as possible, I want to do no harm.
  7. The journey is the goal.   We get impatient about where we are going; we will days away in the hopes that what we are looking forward to will just arrive already.  How many times have I done that already?  If there was ever a continuing theme, it is this.  There is only so much time away and if I push for the events, I will miss the moments.  Life is composed of moments.  I want to notice every one of them.

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