I have been taking time to reevaluate my life lately. My 50th birthday is coming up in March and I've been spending time thinking about what it is I want to create for myself and my life. A question came to me yesterday about how and why I love the diversity in people so much; people with different beliefs, different philosophies, different religions, different perspectives and different strategies for getting their needs met. This morning the answer came… because I can love and be with all of the seemingly opposing views and beliefs that live within me, it's easy for me to love them within you. It's easy for me to love the ‘good things' about me, the parts that others see and embrace... my courage, strength and resilience, my ability to love and see the best in people. But loving or even accepting the critical part of me has been proven to be more challenging. The part of me who judges and feels sc
ared, the one who gets angry first - reacting before slowing down, the one who compares herself to others, the one who judges herself so harshly, the one who feels powerless and helpless to change her life and her current set of circumstances. In my own life, I tried for years to hide these parts from others, but more importantly, from myself. I spent so much time trying to be ‘all together,' putting on the mask of 'happy and empowered' on days that it took all the strength I had to just get out of bed and brush my teeth, times when I couldn't go out of the house because I had the thought that I needed to be ‘up and on.’ I would cancel plans because I didn't feel well or I couldn't find the outfit that made me look 40lbs lighter. I was paralyzed with the thought that others could hurt me, so afraid of people judging me because I couldn't be with the unrelenting judgments of myself. Over the years I have spent chunks of time playing hide-and-go-seek with myself. Trying to be in the light while avoiding the dark, I ended up living in the shadows; sometimes it lasted for days, months, even years. I’ve likened these times of my life with the journey of Persephone, being dragged into the underworld, spending months angry, scared and at effect of what was ‘happening to me.’ It was uncomfortable and terrifying to learn how to sit and be with the darkest parts of myself. And then, with the promise of spring, the cloud would lift and the loving part of myself would return and nurture me back to the land of the living. The past year has been the darkest place I’ve ever allowed myself to go. I questioned everything about myself and my life and even entertained the idea of leaving this world. But instead of running from it, hiding from it, trying to mask it, I allowed myself to soften into it, to ride the wave of loss and uncertainty. The tsunami was a wild and unrelenting ride… and today I find myself safe on the shore, unscathed and unafraid. I settle in as I feel the pull of spring returning; welcoming her promise of a new day, a new beginning, a new life.