Honoring Life’s Spaces

Have you ever reached a place in your life when you knew something was happening, but you simply didn’t know what?     

If so,  my personal guess is that this state will become more and more familiar to those of us who are moving into our final chapter of life. Change and changing…from what was, to what will be. Little by little, or a lot by a lot.

Today I find myself in that place.    Confused.

And not wanting to admit it.

An aging woman. Lethargic and sad. Really feeling my 77 years and not wanting to own up. Not wanting to do anything except sleep. A big change in my usual routines of positive and active living.

Looking back on the past months of this year, I note that the universe has repeatedly demanded that I stop, or at least slow down … a back fracture, a car accident, cataract removal, discovery of stenosis, scheduled classes being cancelled for lack of enrollment. And, by the way, new cuddly furniture. Hmmm.

Each had their annoyances. And, to be perfectly honest, each was also greeted with some relief.

Concurrently for the past eight months, I have been having a sense of things changing at my core. The one who thought herself so invulnerable is now facing her vulnerabilities. And finally, not fighting them quite so much. The one who never needed a thing is now learning to ask for help. I’m getting acquainted with “flow.”

Could the events of these past months have been a second iteration version of a necessary 2 X 4 to the head? Slow down, you dummy!

While I neither have a name for all that is shifting, nor a discernible direction for what might be next, here I sit. On good days I want to play along with whatever is happening, daring to note my discomfort. On my best days I detect no urgency for clarity or certainty or for things to be any different.

Solace comes from a favorite Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is putting the right name on things.”  The word TRANSITION seems to be the “right name” for this time in my life.

The emotions of change arise. Part of a mysterious shift over which I seem to have no control.

  • How can I express my grief and sadness in away that reveals whatever it is that I, at 77, am losing or have lost?
  • How can I allow my fear of living in this empty space between what was and what might be?
  • How can I drop more deliberately into a not-doing-silence, sacred and sincere enough to invite my wisdom whisperers to speak?

The observer/witness sitting on my shoulder offers her comments:

–This is “what’s so” right now.
–It’s temporary.
–Be grateful for the availability of your feelings.
–Enjoy doing more of nothing.
–Pay attention.
–The truth of things is never toxic.
–Follow your intuition.
–Continue being curious.
–Rest over the holiday season ahead, which is always, for you, a potent time for cycling through the recurring endings and beginnings which are part of life’s journey.

And so, I stop.

I sit down to write.

I remind myself how good it feels to do so. “What’s so?” is here, not so comfortable, yet inviting my curiosity.

For now, I’m giving myself permission to live into this space of not knowing.  Confident that “What’s next?” will emerge when the energies newly align.

 

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