Sometimes it seems that I am just now coming alive at fifty-two, awakening from a long slumber, my marble body beginning to soften and bend. So much time wasted hiding behind fears and worries, waiting to really live until I had the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect everything. Unrealistic and crippling ‘goals’ that were truly roadblocks in my path, keeping me from experiencing and relishing in the real stuff of life. No more.
I began to see the shift after my mother’s death, perhaps having my heart break helped me to see what really mattered. I observed this truly good and kind woman worry her whole life about what people thought, always afraid of and inhibited by their judgement. I see that deeply ingrained inclination so clearly in myself, too, but I have been working hard on letting go of the fear and worry. The more I’ve done that, the more I notice wonderful changes taking place in my life.
This past year, I fell apart and then fell back together again, swimming through the turbulent river of grief. I will always miss my mother and her loving guidance, but she is still with me, deep in my heart, a part of who I am, who my sister is. I see that so clearly now with the perspective of the passing months. Preparing for the Madrid trip was my personal litmus test, and I passed with flying colors, thankfully. I did what scared me- and it scares me no more. I proved to myself that when I let go of the fear, strength and courage flood into me. I don’t regret not learning that lesson sooner- I wouldn’t have been ready for it. I had to live through challenge and heartache…there are no skipping steps on the road to growth and change. I am just grateful that I was open at an age where I will hopefully have the time to solidify the lessons learned…and continue to build on them, continue to grow.
I will slip along the way- the old habits are too much a part of who I have always been to just disappear- but I recognize the signs now, and when I submit to fear, I will know that I’ve made the choice to do so…And that I know a better way, a way that leads to fulfillment instead of missed opportunities and regret. Each and every day holds within it possibilities. I don’t fear aging like I thought I would. I’m not thrilled with the wrinkles and increasing aches and pains, but those are just a small part of the experience. The important parts are the lessons learned, the wisdom gained, the love found and embraced.
The world has opened up to me, door after door swinging wide as I let go of yet another piece of fear, letting my heart fill with strength and the bright light of joy. Not a perfect world, but a world- and a life- that are perfect for me. I am grateful for all of it- even those moments that pierced my heart…without them, we would never truly see how blessed we are to be alive.