around to reach new understandings. We have been slowed by trusting other people's judgments, relying on their vision. When will we trust our own vision?
When we encounter our world, we begin a passionate reforming of it by virtue of the encounter. Women have always lived that way; we mother that way, and we engage as wives, partners, and friends in that way. We may be uncomfortable with the notion that we are reforming the world, but what else can we call our devotion to raising children, to nurturing and maintaining relationships, to work, or to volunteering?
And in the process of changing the world, we change. It is not so easy to separate the managers from the managed, although we often tend to think of it as an either-or proposition; we do or are done to. We cannot change things or people without being changed ourselves; we change in the act of changing others.2 It is at midlife that we can fully accept ourselves as reformers, recreators, or reshapers, because by then we have become more comfortable with the power required to enact reform. Power often connotes domination over others rather than collaboration. For those of us unsettled by power, we do well to remember that growth requires more than force; it demands a loving encounter with the world.