Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The First Fifty Years

I learned a great deal, at least I did once I started to examine my life and the events and people in it. Many of the lessons came with bumps and bruises to the ego, some were gentler.

I learned that forever is a very long time, and never is no shorter. When my daughter would tell me that she did not like a particular food, I said that she had to at least taste it. If she still did not like it, I said she does not like it TODAY and that is OK. As a result there is not much that she does not like. The last holdout was beets, and this year, she tasted them again and decided that she likes them TODAY. I take that with a smile and a warm spot in my heart.

When I met my SO and found him to be all that was missing in my life, I learned that there can be such a relationship in which each completes the other. The whole is more than the sum of the two parts. Suddenly, forever feels like such a short time.

I learned that we can all heal if we want or need to badly enough. When I lost a daughter at the age of five, I felt my life was over. I felt I would never smile again, but I still had another daughter and other responsibilities. For a long time, I went through the motions of living, cooking, cleaning, going to work, seeing to the physical needs of my family. Suddenly, one morning I saw the sunshine and smiled at a wee butterfly going about her business, and a bumble bee that was too damp from the night time dew to be able to take off and fly. I picked him up on a small wood chip and moved him to a sunny, but protected spot so he could dry out. Without realizing it, I had taken the first steps back to the land of the living.

I learned that I am a survivor. By putting one foot in front of the other I could survive until the open wound would scab over, and ultimately become a scar, never to be forgotten but no longer causing unbearable pain. I learned to have faith in myself.

I learned to shed the healing tears. When devastating events happen, I learned that I could talk to the trees, sit by running water, and let all the pain and grief wash over me. Cradled in the arms of Nature, I could let myself feel the full brunt of the pain, and the tears fall for as long as they wanted to. I call these the healing tears because allowing myself to shed them results in my being able to bear the pain, and come to terms with it in a much shorter time. With not suppressing or denying what I was going through, healing could begin. If I were to suppress the pain, it would come up and smack me in the face over and over again, each time, as devastating as the first.

I learned to " Be here now" . Yesterday is past and tomorrow has not yet come. I can only live in the Now. Life is so much richer when I pay attention to it.

Fifteen years into the next 50, it is shaping up to be just as challenging.



goatman said...

Losing a child is perhaps the worst life experience. Never having had children probably lurks as the second worst.

Have a nice Christmas

Zareba said...

Looking back on my 65 years, I can not single out one specific incedent that was a determining factor in shaping my life. Many have been incredibly painful and many have been incredibly joyous.

I have always thought that the pain or pleasure is a very personal thing and can only be rated by the person experiencing the event.

May you find joy and sunshine in each day.

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Margie said...

You are amazing, Z!
Thank you for sharing this!

Happy New Year!


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jon be me said...

Z, very well said.

I just recently turned 50 and feel as if the best is yet to come ... one day at a time! We have so much to offer ourselves and those voices in the wind.

Again, good post.
jbm :)

Zareba said...

Thank you Jon. I agree that the best is yet to come. As fine wine ages, so do we, making us capable of deeper, richer experiences than in our youth, where intensity is nessary to deeply feel either the highs or lows that life hands us.

Zareba said...

Thank you Margie. It is always a joy to find you here. I hope your winter is not as severe as it could be.

Love to you as well


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