The Liminality Blog

My harrowing escape from the people pleasing paradigm

midlife motherhood plan your pivot

When I became pregnant at the age of 46, it was unexpected. I had not planned to have children, and didn't think it was possible since I'd been diagnosed infertile when I was 23.

I didn't believe it at first. But once I saw the baby during my first ultrasound, I knew it was true and that I was now faced with the most confounding and important decision of my life.

My mind immediately began ping-ponging with thoughts of everyone else around me. I knew that the man I was casually dating did not want to be a father. I knew that my own father, who did not yet have any biological grandchildren, was delighted at the idea of being a grandpa. I heard the congratulatory words of some friends, and the concern from others. I wondered what they all would think, no matter what I decided; I worried my child's father would resent me if I chose to have our baby and thus change his life forever.

"This cacophony of voices cluttered my head, clouded my vision, and rendered me nearly paralyzed. Amidst it all, the one voice I willfully refused to hear, to elevate and honor, was my own."

As a woman at midlife, raised in the United States, I had spent half a lifetime pleasing others. I'd learned to skillfully assess everyone else's needs and desires before I stated my own: to silently compromise in the interest of expressing a solution that "worked" for everyone.

So when I was faced with a decision, a choice, a pivot point—the ramifications of which were bigger than anything I'd ever known and would impact my own life, the life of my baby's father, and this new life growing inside me in the most impossibly profound of ways—all of my instincts told me to compromise, to hide what I really wanted, to push my deepest desires to the proverbial back burner.

But somewhere inside, in the most tender, vulnerable, truest place within, I knew. I knew I wanted to be a mother. I knew I wanted to meet my son. I knew that this was the greatest gift of a miracle that had ever happened to me and that there was no possible way I could deny it. Most of all, I knew, for the first time ever, that I had to make this decision for me

It was agonizing. It went against all of my training. Do what I want? Express what I need? Tell someone else that I was choosing my own desires over his? I'd never been able to do these things in the past. How could I start now? I didn't know how, I didn't have the tools. 

But I did it. My son was born in October, 2018. And his birth opened a floodgate of authenticity for me. Once I'd learned, witnessed, and felt the pure joy and beauty that can come from choosing to listen to one's own precious internal voice, I could no longer not listen to it.

I started making all my decisions differently. I sought out new tools for self connection and began cultivating new skills to be able to express myself, advocate for myself, and respect myself in the choices I made each day—large and small. It has taken time, a lot of unraveling of old ways and reweaving of new ones, but I've never felt more aligned and actualized. I've never been more truly myself.

"You see, it's in those deepest, most protected, often walled, internal rooms where our truths live. It's also where, if we are bold enough to break down the walls and access it fully, we can find a new kind of unstoppable strength—the strength to be who we really are, to do what we really want to do, at last."

All of what I do now involves helping other women find and honor their own internal truths, so they can be the most authentic and actualized versions of themselves. If you are ready to make transformational change in yourself and in your life, for your next chapter, and to finally be the person you know you were born to be, take a look at some of the ways that we can work together to make it happen in the coming year.

The you-est you ever is waiting. Let's find her, together.

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About Natasha

I am a professional storyteller, and a firm believer that stories—the ones we tell ourselves and the ones we tell each other—have the power to change the world. Through my consulting, courses, and private coaching, I help organizations and individuals revisit and elevate their own stories, so they can live in deeper alignment with their values, reinvigorate their sense of passion and purpose, and make an even greater impact on the world around them. 

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Natasha Dworkin
My Truest Self by Natasha Dworkin

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