I see “Begin Again” as an ideal theme for this season. 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.
Here is wisdom from yet another Sister Queen. Do keep these wonderful stories coming!
xxQueen Mama Donna
Letting Go – Part 1
By Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert, NY
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. – Thich Nhat Hanh.
People stay in dead end jobs, loveless marriages never leaving the boundaries of their hometowns. Why is it so hard to let go of things that no longer work? The devil you know is better then the one you don’t know. People are willing to live a mediocre life for the safety it provides. But what if you were guaranteed a positive outcome how would you live your life differently? What kind of choices would you make knowing each one would turn out OK? If you can imagine this different life then envision another a life where you are still free to make choices but are unsure of the outcome.
Except now you accept the consequences of your choices knowing they could be either bad or good. In this life you feel fear but take chances anyway. Every day we make a choice. You want to lose weight but eat ice cream. You buy a new sweater knowing the money could go towards paying off a painful debt. Today’s choices may seem wrong but tomorrow is the opportunity for new ones. Choosing means letting go of the other possibility and what it could bring. ION’s president, James O’Dea in the September-November edition of Shift magazine says this about choice, “Each step has consequences that will secure the status quo, create a new roadmap, or possibly transform old ways in a manner that defies our rational understanding.”
Assumptions: We have assumptions about everything. We live and die by them. My friends and I have had heated conversations about the current political arena. Who hasn’t? We stand strong in our various viewpoints. What surprised me most was one friend. He did not know some really basic facts about the candidate he was opposed to. When asked, he said he didn’t care to know anything. Yet, he had made some profound judgments about this person with the slimmest of knowledge gleaned from only hearing just one point of view.
Challenge your assumptions. We go through life and never reevaluate what we believe. The great spiritual leaders ask us to leave the life we are living behind and enter into a new one. Our modern leaders such as Gandhi or Mother Theresa did just that and devoted themselves to living a new and much more expansive existence. They were able to increase the circumference of what they previously knew to include the world and in doing so changed the lives of many, many people. Give up your old ways and take on new experiences. Reconsider your values and find out if they support you morally and soulfully.
Some think it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go. – Sylvia Robinson
Letting Go: I have been thinking a lot about letting go. In fact it has been forced upon me. In the past months I have broken many of my treasured and sentimental possessions. My wallet was stolen, money, ID and photos all gone into the hands of stranger. Projects I had hoped to initiate evaporated overnight. I asked a trusted friend and medium what was going on. He told me I wanted to change my life. But my frustration was in my own inability to make these changes. I was literally breaking my ties with the past in dramatic fashion. This string of little losses has added up to a big rethink about how I am living my life.
Loss tears something loose. It breaks us open in excruciating ways. Yet it allows for new things to rush in. How do we let go? First, acknowledge the pain of letting go. Loss of any kind can hurt and there is no getting around it. Allow time to adjust to the change. In most situations we cannot control losses. I cannot will my wallet back into my hands. But how we react to change is in our control. My small losses pointed to larger issues of loss in my life. Take inventory. What is holding you back? Are there areas in your life that you want to change but may be resisting? List the pros and cons of each change. Acknowledge any feelings you may have around letting go. Though some losses are thrust upon us letting go can be something we choose to do.
Tomorrow: Letting Go – Part 2
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™
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.