I see “Begin Again” as an ideal theme for the next while. We have the supreme opportunity now in the autumn of our midlife to begin again. How shall we reinvent our Selves? What new programs, projects and passions are on the horizon for us? Please send me your stories of change, transition, and transformation. Our shared experiences serve to inspire and empower us all.
xxQueen Mama Donna
What I Know For Sure – Part 2
By Dani Sutliff, Wi
So at the dawn of year 54, here is what I know for sure:
I know that my greatest contribution to the world was never what I did in the doing, but rather who I was in the being; in who I was (am) in relationship to God, myself and with others.
I know now that there were no ultimate solutions outside my self and that I was always the source for the acceptance, approval and connection I sought in other people, places and circumstances.
I know now that no-one but me expected me to have all the answers, be perfect and do it ‘right’ all by myself all the time, and that holding myself to those unreasonable standards was abusive, immoral and unfair.
I know now that there was always someone there to guide me, inspire me, encourage me and love me on my journey – but I was moving too fast through life to sit still long enough to listen. That my need to prove myself perfectly competent kept me from being humble enough to ask for help and open enough to receive it when it was offered.
I know now that life didn’t have to be lived with such busyness, urgency, intensity and always in terms of tomorrow. I know now how important it is to leave room to exhale and let go, and accept that despite my best attempts to confine it, control it, schedule it and/or manage it, life still happened on life’s terms.
I now know that ‘not having time’ for myself was a self-created, isolating and limiting illusion and that not making or taking time for myself was cruel and dishonoring to and of myself.
I know now how important it is to leave room for spontaneity and to allow life to sometimes go unscripted.
I know now that anger, resentment, grudges and anything else that stands in the way of love and forgiveness is meaningless in the broad scope of what’s truly important. I know now that true grace is in the quiet and silent moments of just being, and true joy is in the simplicity of taking a breath and being fully present in the moment with those I love and those who love me.
I know now the importance of “live and let live.” The importance of living my own life and letting others live theirs – of minding and attending to my own business and keeping my fingers out of theirs. I know that my commitment to another’s happiness or healing cannot be greater than their own commitment to inner happiness and healing.
I know now that caring for others and their needs doesn’t mean I sacrifice myself and my needs. That being compassionate isn’t akin to being a martyr, and that a modicum of selfish can be healthy.
I know now that misery does love company and birds of a feather flock together and it doesn’t have to be more complicated or pathological than that.
I know now that the quality of one’s life is not built on blind luck but rather on conscious choices. And that in each and every situation and circumstance that appears, there is choice about how we interpret, perceive and respond to life around us.
And mostly I know now that enjoying life should be of much greater concern than understanding it, defining it, confining it or controlling it.
That’s my story for DaniMonth. And yes, I’m sticking to it.
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.
Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.