Change is a fact of life. Our bodies change, as do our cognitive abilities. Sometimes we embrace change, but sometimes change can be frightening. The fear of the unknown and the anticipation of what might be can be paralyzing; the feeling of vulnerability can prevent us from moving forward.
A few of my friends, including myself, have been going through significant grief, loss, and change the past year. Loss of many kinds, including illness, financial upheaval, deaths of loved ones, and watching how a progressive illness affects a family. We are also navigating aging in a society where becoming a woman of a certain age can make you feel irrelevant. Big.Tough.Stuff!
As I was talking with a friend yesterday, who was extremely distressed, I found the best thing I could do was to silently offer myself as her mirror. The grief and fear she is experiencing are (appropriately) palpable, but she is also doing some wonderful things both for herself and the community. Personal growth, and being of service to others is one of the constants in this person’s day-to-day life.
Sometimes, in the muck and mire of what life throws at us, we forget to see, and often don’t acknowledge that what we do, and who we are matters.
I go through feelings of irrelevance and self-doubt a lot. Especially when I can feel I am on the cusp of change. Right now, I have hit the pause button on many outside activities in my life. As I work to reconnect with myself; my center, I notice that my interests are heading in a different direction than they have been the past few years. That’s a natural progression for me, as I learn and grow. But, it’s also a bit scary. Although I still could be quite satisfied with the path I have been on, I’m also anxious to listen to what it is I may want to do next.
I find right now, that I am feeling the wind of change calling to me. Just as I was purposefully trying to be a mirror for my friend yesterday, I find I’m also seeking out the mirrors in my life. The ones who reflect back who I am without any masks. The person I have been working hard to become, without feeling shame, the need for perfection or control, but who can also firmly set personal boundaries.
As my friend and I were talking, she was describing to me an intensive class she will soon be taking. I started to think about the things I’m willing to let go of now, and the absolute openness of what will come next. Both of us began to get a bit stressed and animated over the, “how are we going to get through this?”
As my friend got up to grab some water, out of my mouth, from somewhere in that wise-mind of mine, I heard myself say the words, “Just do your best – You’ll find the how!”
I really believe those words were just a random thought that was passing by, but the words came out. We stared at each other in silence, stunned into the connectedness of knowing that it will be okay.
What happened next? We sat quietly next to each other, understanding that with change comes uncertainty. But that uncertainty only requires us to do our best, and trust that the how will reveal itself in its own perfect timing.
Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash
Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph