I don’t actually know how this has happened but somehow I have reached the grand old age of 50. I had some photographs done as it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion but it still doesn’t seem real. I just don’t feel that age in my head……in fact there is a part of me that still isn’t sure who I am going to be when I grow up. Now that I have got to this point I suspect that I will never feel like a grown up.
I guess not having children contributes to that greatly. I have never been through that rite of passage where suddenly I am solely responsible for someone else - well not officially anyway. As an empath growing up I did feel responsible for everyone and demonstrated that by becoming an unofficial agony aunt. It was exhausting and, I realize now, a pretty thankless role. I did it a school with my friends, I did it at home with my family and then when I started work as a hairdresser in my first job I did it all day with my clients. I got really good at it; I would like to think that I was just listening and providing alternative ways of looking at things…..but if I am honest with myself….my bossy Leo nature did mean that I told people what I thought they needed to do. Things seemed really obvious to me and I was always confused when people didn’t take my advice, even more confused when later they would be resentful towards me; accusing me of being a know it all and having no clue as to what they were really going though. How could I - they would say - as everything in my life was great. I know now that this was entirely my fault - not theirs – as I made out that all was well in my world; in fact, I had people convinced that my life was idyllic and perfect; except that it wasn’t. it was far from it. But my pride would never let me admit that for a moment and so I soldiered on trying to be what I thought was a good person who was trying to be supportive for everyone around me.
It took me years and years of therapy and studying to realize that all I had been doing my whole life was dishonouring people. Instead of listening and trusting that they would be able to work out what needed to happen in their lives I was convinced that they needed me and my wisdom to help them; so no wonder they would get mad at me; I never stopped and just listened, I never let my guard down and stepped out of the role of the fixer I thought I needed to be.
Until one day things in my world got really bad. My heart got broken and I just didn’t have the energy or the inclination to do it anymore. My entire world collapsed around me and I ended up living back with my parents; it was about as bad as it could get. I fell into a pit that was really deep and I had no choice but to wallow in it. There were moments when I didn’t care whether I lived or died and there were times when I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me……but at the same time there was a little voice inside my head that said that I would come through this; there was a part of me that knew I was at a threshold and that things would now have to change; forever.
And change they did. I came out of my pit and vowed to let go of the unhealthy patterns I had created in my life. I vowed that I would learn how I could help people properly; officially; without being responsible and without taking on their stuff as if it was mine. I vowed that I would honour people and their choices and that I would find a way to honour me too. It didn’t happen overnight as the road to success is paved with hurdles but somehow I managed to find a way though the mess I had created. I did have to say goodbye to many of the people who had been in my life and that was painful, but necessary – and I got to start all over again in a new way.
That was around twenty years ago and I cannot believe the journey that I have been on since and the turnaround that occurred – especially in my working life. I am now convinced that I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to sit with people who are struggling in some area of their life and help them to find the answers. I get to be a guide for them and I get to share in some really remarkable adventures. That isn’t to say that I have had some rather remarkable adventures of my own, as I have, and I hope to keep exploring and learning, that’s the wonderful thing about life on earth is that the learning never stops - people never cease to amaze me and the journey through life and the journey to real healing follows such a winding and circuitous road; an ever evolving spiral.
So I have reached 50 and I find that there are still areas of my life that I need to work on. I am still a work in progress. I still don’t have all the answers…..but what I do have now are some really great questions and some really great tools that I can use to find answers. This year I intend to make sure that I take time to answer some of my deeper life questions……I figure that I am at least halfway through my life now – if not a little more – and that really is a motivating thought. I saw a great quote the other day which said ‘The problem is you think you have time’………and that is so true…..it feels like yesterday I was 18 without a care in the world heading for hedonism in Ibiza, then at 21 I was all caught up in being a funky rock chic, at 30 I was escaping from a marriage and job that was killing me slowly and at 40 I was just starting to find my feet; I was just starting to become the person I needed to be.
At 50 I would like to think that I am older and wiser, I am definitely older, and like to think that I am wiser now. As I move forward into this next phase of my life I know that one of the things I have to deal with is learning to love myself more and to learn what it is to be vulnerable; and that is the hardest thing of all. Bring on hot coals, broken glass, mountains to climb and rivers to cross and I would face them all with great gusto and bravado…….but ask me to bare my soul, to open my heart, to admit to the world that I have needs that need to be met…….oooohweeee…..now that’s a challenge. But I will face it bravely now. I am committed to the path of the warrior and all warriors must face their greatest fears.
I have no idea where the journey will take me but as long as I keep moving forward and as long as the universe continues to support me and as long as I am still here I will keep working; keep evolving; keep growing. Knowing that there is a bigger picture to all this and that there is a reason why I face my challenges is what keeps me sane, knowing that on some level my soul chose it all is what keeps me strong and knowing that at some point I get to go home and laugh about it all is what keeps me from going crazy. I already know that someday I will be sat reviewing this life and I just hope that I am not too hard on myself; I hope that I get to complete my mission this time and that once I get back there will be a bit of time for me to recuperate and rest……..cos there sure hasn’t been a lot of that happening here in this life.
So wherever you are on your journey and whatever challenges you are facing, please know that there is a point to it. That at some level you did choose it; at some level the people in your life agreed to do this with you and that you are just undergoing a test – and that once you get it – whatever it is - you can move on. I invite you to start asking yourself some of the deeper life questions. I invite you to wonder why you are here and why you are going through what you are going through. It may be that you are just here to help and support another or it may be that you are meant to let others help you. But whatever you do - do it with an open heart, do it with love. The only thing I know for sure, having been here for all these years, is that everything we do involves choice. Everything can be done from a place of love or a place of fear. And it changes everything.
So what will you choose; I hope you choose love; but if you choose the other way remember that it is all only temporary and that once you get home; to your real home; it will all be good; it will all be love; because love is everything ………and everything is love.
Omni amor est – love is all.