I didn't expect to undergo such a profound spiritual journey in the weeks leading up to 40.
It's natural that as we approach milestones in our lives we reflect on the past, present and future, where we've come from, where we are, and where we're going. Despite my natural proclivity to reflection at all times, the lead up to 40 has been a bit of a surprise. Emotions that I didn't expect have risen to the surface. Space for self-discovery became available and I accessed as much learning as I could. I could taste the possibilities that became clear with each uncovering that I was able to make. What a wonderful gift, to understand that there were so many more avenues to explore, so many nuances of life and the self to realize. There are things that become clearer with time, that we are not capable of accessing before we reach certain timeframes. Experience brings the privilege of knowing, of seeing and of receiving.
I thought I had reached a high level of acceptance, but I have found that there is a grief for the things that I haven't yet experienced and those that I might not experience. I know I'm not alone in feeling this. It's so important that we acknowledge and allow these emotions. My life is not in any way how I expected it would be, and it requires deep processing for me to be at peace with this. On the other hand, I'm not disappointed by life. I have become much more than I believed I could be, and that is the pay-off for the challenges that I've accepted and overcome. Also, knowing that there are things yet to be experienced creates excitement for life, for the future. I'm not hemmed in by the expectations of others, or of myself. I am the commander of my ship, the creator of my reality, and there is a beautiful powerfulness in this.
No, this adjustment is not easy, but it's about learning that each phase of life has its own beauty. There is no downward spiral from beauty to age, but rather a steady ascent through understanding and awareness towards our reunion with the infinite. With each year I find a greater love for myself and deeper compassion for others. I am feeling more loved because I am more loving of myself. I have found more resilience and strength to navigate difficulties. Things that seemed big are now smaller. I feel a calling to find greater value in aspects of myself apart from the superficial, that are not based on outward appearances or the appearance of things that are being hidden. I am feeling the allowance of stepping into my power and expressing more parts of myself to the world, and having less need to conceal or deny anything in the realization that we are all one and united in our common experiences and emotions.
There is a greater depth to the gratitude that I'm experiencing. I am grateful that I have special people in my life who have seen me through good and bad, thick and thin, high and low, people who see my value as a result of this, and have stayed with me. I feel privileged to be known intimately by those who really know me, and also to be respected even by those who don't know me intimately. I feel proud of the grace with which I've traversed some of life's narrow paths and bridges, and that I haven't lost my ability to see the light in the darkness. I'm grateful for the lives I've touched, the love I've given, and all that has been gifted to me. I'm so happy to have plans and dreams ahead of me and the knowledge that there will always be more to explore and discover. I'm glad that I've been able to let go of some of the things that have held me back and that I've been able to grasp hold of strong pillars of wisdom to carry me through the second half of my life.
I think it's important to remember that when it seems that others are judging us, in reality they are reflecting on the validity of their own life decisions. There are no mistakes. We all have different purposes on this earth and it is not up to us to underestimate the importance of our roles here or of the paths of others. We will all have different experiences and different achievements. We need to trust the journey and understand that there is no destination. We need to reflect on how we can go inward and how we can reach out. This is not a time to feel unfulfilled, but to contemplate how we can obtain fulfilment. Rather than feeling out of touch, it is a time to consider what we might want to be in touch with. There will be more people to meet, more experiences to be had, and more things to create. There will be less fear, as in stepping through our fear we will find greater levels of awareness. We will find our centre. We will find our tribe.
And, speaking of our tribe, I am looking forward to a lovely day with my family and then a long weekend with my sisterhood who have generously and enthusiastically created a city celebration for me. This means more to me than I can express. Thank you and I love you so much. And, Happy Birthday to me!