01 Dec Accepting the pieces, as I fall apart
This weekend, a well-constructed situation, one which I created and ‘chose’, fell to pieces all around me. Not because anything happened but because I suddenly looked at “It” in a different light. The what is not so important and deeply personal–something I held on to on-and-off for almost 10 years. I made up a story around the limitations and frustrations that allowed me to keep it alive.
On Friday night I saw the situation in a different light. It was one of those moments, like watching a mirror fall to the ground and shatter into dozens of pieces.
I’ve been awakening with alarming frequency over the last year or two–things are now accelerating at a dizzying pace. Little bits of the old me are falling away. Each of these new awarenesses, me awakening to my intuition, my body, my deepest self has resulted in small changes. I still look like me but I’m not.
I faced part of my fear of aging all alone by taking off for Santa Fe in August to celebrate my 60th birthday—I spent the week alone with no agenda, other than a spa day. I drove out into the mountains, visited Georgia O’Keefe’s house and met a group of women painters. Ate in fabulous restaurants. Bought an expensive ankle-bracelet. And I spent a lot of time sitting quietly in the little front yard, sheltered from the dusty road by the gate you see above, reading, writing, being silent or sketching. The gate beckoned me while keeping me locked away at the same time.
As I sat with Friday night’s revelation–after a long sleepless night–all weekend I let the sadness and grief wash over me. Astonished at what I done in my attempt to keep that one fear at arm’s length. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being incapable of handling the next crisis. Last year I lost 2 of the men I had once loved and faced the cancer of a close family member. The challenges in 2014 have been less dramatic, but…. I’ve been working hard to stay just right where I am, even when that place is Stuck.
This morning I heard the words of Pema Chodron about falling apart-maybe divine intervention? Intuition? I played with her words to create what felt true for me. Followed by two synchronistic connections which validated the timeliness of this to-be written article. Then I went off for a scheduled 90 minute massage.
I wasn’t thinking about anything other than the knots in my right shoulder and neck. I had put aside the weekend’s sadness and thinking and all the words I had written to uncover my deepest thoughts. And, as she worked on those knots, trying to release what I was holding on to, I felt everything well up in me again–brought on by the literal pain of the deep probing massage. Then the tears came–the release and a further letting go, only on another plane. The right side of my body had been rigid and when I moved to the other side it was softer, looser as the therapist worked with me to find emotional release. I cried and shared my story then created intentions to and for my body with love and compassion. I gave up one kind of love and embraced another.
Shattering the illusion of ‘it’ has already given me, in this short time, the energy to move forward. To face my fears. This feels terribly personal and calls for me to be vulnerable ( a delicate balance with truth and over-sharing) but I am going to share my fears with you. Because I know I’m not alone and I want you, whoever you are, to know that you’re not alone.
I fear being alone—as if it’s validation of the childhood message that I might be unlovable.
And I fear being alone at 61. Or 65. Seventy.
I fear that my presence in the world doesn’t matter enough. And I fear that it might not hold or accept my success–so I hide.
I fear that next step-do I stay in this big house on a hill? Or do I launch out and start anew? What do I have to give up and will I find the right measure of happiness after doing so? Such uncertainty.
I fear that I will fail as much as I fear what might happen if I succeeded. It keeps me stuck in a place of half-action.
What I know is that I am strong and capable. I can fix a running toilet and clean my own gutters. I’m soon to learn how to drain a hot water heater. (I don’t do electricity). I love and I am loved. I am a Sex Goddess. I can diaper and soothe a grand-baby. Make a wedding cake for 500. Offer solace. I have skill and it shines, when I put my mind to it.
Pieces are falling away rapidly. What will emerge isn’t completely clear to me yet. I’m a painting in process. I see colors vividly these days. Fuchsia, purple and bright red, mixed with oranges and deep raspberry. They call to me but I’m not sure why or what I’m supposed to do.
If I weren’t thinking of selling my house, maybe I’d paint it. For now, I’m content to put those colors on paper. I’m learning to paint and draw. Will I be good enough? Good enough to satisfy myself, and for now…that’s perfect.