Tuesday, January 11, 2011
In My Own Skin
I am loving my forties. My older sister told me 13 years ago that the thirties were the best decade, but I have to disagree. Oh sure, I have a few more wrinkles than I had 10 years ago, but in the past few years I have sensed a certain wisdom emerging within me. I have become more intuitive, more aware. Bolder. Happier.
A few years ago I was in a very bad place. I was angry. I was hurt. There were a number of reasons as to why, but they need not to be mentioned. Let me simply say, that emotion of anger exhausted me. I fought too many battles and tried my best to stand up for what I believed to be "right" within several different circles of my life, only to be met with failure on more than one occasion. I grew cynical. It wasn't pretty. I started to lose myself. And then one day I leaned on an old mentor. His words gave me a new perspective on life. Thanks Roger.
Today, one of the old ghosts came back to test me. But I spotted it the second it appeared. It came to rattle me, to spit on me, to mock me, or to otherwise knock me down. It was cunning, arriving in costume and using words disguised in initial flattery. However this time, I acknowledged the ghost's pain. I saw its loneliness and I threw it a lifeline. I found no need to defend myself or to argue my position. I simply listened. I tried my best to offer up compassion and the altruism that I knew it had lost within itself, however temporarily. I didn't take its abuses personally. It was not about me.
In giving up the fight, I have become stronger. I no longer need to be "right". I no longer need to battle. I know who I am, for better or for worse. I continue to reflect, to listen and to observe. I continue to learn and I continue to grow. Oh, and believe me, I'll still work to find my quiet ways to affect positive changes, make no mistake about that. And if I deem there's a need to boldly take center stage again for the sake of a cause I believe in, I'll enjoy that too for a short time. I've been comfortable in the spotlight for years now but I know when it's time to make my exit. I'm not going anywhere. I'm just looking at things a little differently.
There's a quote that reads, "Practice as though you are the worst. Perform as though you are the best". I'll never stop working to learn more about this world and its people. I may have a long way to go, and hopefully I have many more decades to experience, but I'm loving my forties because I am truly and perhaps finally comfortable in my own skin.