Wednesday, February 26, 2014
One thing I have learned is that I can trust myself. Always. My intuition, no matter how quiet a whisper, tells me what I need to know. Even if I shout over it.
Another is that feelings are not facts. When I am sad or angry- I don't need to take my feelings out on other people or blame them for what I'm feeling. Most people don't like to feel their feelings either. So we use people to silence the noise inside. We all get caught up in it.
Lastly- this birthday was a doozy for me. It just was. Many people said to me - it's just a number. Or, you don't look forty. And I didn't know how to respond graciously. Some tried to talk me out of my feeling of antsiness - to tell me I was being silly. But some told me that forty for them gave them wisdom and greater access to love and inner peace. Those stories made me feel better. But they didn't stop me from feeling a sense of loss.
Rather than gaining something, I truly felt a loss.
Then I realized - I haven't been sitting with the ENDING of an era. I have been simply feeling the noise. And feeling sad. But it was a loss and I did need to energetically recognize it.
Yes - it is the end of decades. It is the end of many decades. Of learning. Of spiritual growth. Of lost love. Of pain. Of health issues. Of unrequited love. Of broken hearts. Of passion. Of travel. Of joy. Of nearly insurmountable emotional and physical turmoil. And of freedom from those problems. Of feeling trapped. Of feeling abandoned. Of dedication to scholarship. Of dedication to people, family, jobs, love, animals, children, friends. Of betrayal. Everything. Decades of everything have been here.
And I have learned new and better ways of living and loving and letting go and of receiving.
Turning 40 is closer to death. It is a quiet. It IS a loss. But like any other, it is also a gain. Until I stopped and acknowledged it, I couldn't feel it, reflect on it. And then receive what gifts I was being given.
On my actual birthday- my for reals birthday- I spent time having lunch with a friend. And then rather than having a small gathering of friends and playing games - an ice storm came and I sat alone. It was my worst case scenario. I sat there watching movies alone.
I had to be alone with myself on my birthday.
My friend, C- and I had spoken about how he was turning 40 and wanted to do a quiet meditation retreat for his 40th. And really reflect on what it meant - really listen. It was a lovely and very touching conversation. Instead of getting quiet this year - I spent it having a loud and very "celebratory" time. Doing rather than being.
I know in my heart - if I had made a quiet and reflective time planned for myself - I probably wouldn't have gotten iced in. Why? Because the ice wouldn't have stopped what I had planned.
A wise woman said to me - "What happens when the ice storms come as we sit on the paths that intersect and the only options we have are to be with ourselves? What do we do?"
Indeed- what do we do? We go inward. And we spend time listening to ourselves. We love ourselves. We accept our fears. We love the person we ARE right now. Not the person we thought we were supposed to be. Not the person other people think we should be. And - what's more - we love other people for who they are -- all the foibles and flaws as well.
Life wasn't "supposed" to be any way. It just is. Acceptance is part of this. Surrendering to the life I have now is the greatest strength I have. Only I can create new thoughts and patterns and willingness to have joy right now. This is my birthday reflection. This is what 40 looks like. I'm OK with it. I got OK with it. I'm grateful for the many voices, challenges, and support I bring me to this place.