Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend. When we choose to focus and be grateful for the abundance that’s present – in love, health, family, friends, work and things that bring us pleasure – the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth. — Sarah Ban Breathnach
For me this wonderful quote sums up midlife. Let this be the start of the rest of our lives rather than the beginning of the end. Let this be where life begins a new chapter and not the start of a slow decline. The choice is always ours.
We reach a certain point, a time in our lives when, often a crisis occurs or crisis point is reached. We come to a cross roads and are often brought up suddenly and know that we have to make a choice, a decision that is often life changing. Often people (both women and men) have been sleep walking through their lives up until this point. We get a choice to either continue down this well worn path – better the devil you know path or we choose a different path – the one less travelled. This decision if made consciously is painful, it’s why most people don’t choose to make it.
In my case it was to leave my 21 year old marriage because I believed that there had to be something better out there. I didn’t leave for anybody else I left for myself. It is the toughest decision I have ever had to make. I have 3 children and I knew they wouldn’t take it lightly yet I still left their father. There had been a chain of events leading to this decision, it was not a decision I made one wet and dreary morning. I owed it to myself and those I loved to live an authentic life, one where I was being true to myself.
It had been a tough few years and I guess it’s only looking back that I have begun to appreciate my resilience. And if I am honest I’m happy that I suffered the years of depression, went through the trauma of my daughter’s and husband’s illnesses and suffered the pain of breaking the news of their parents’ divorce to the children. All this has made me who I am today, the woman sitting here writing this. All my experiences have led me to this point.
So we get to midlife – and we face transition in our life, especially as women. Our children do not rely on us as much as they did. They are leaving home. If we have been homemaker for many years, who are we now? Our parents are ageing. We have health scares. Some of us may well be scared that the person sitting opposite us and the one with whom we’ve lived maybe 20 years of our life isn’t the man we remember falling in love with. Some of us are facing divorce and starting over again.
We can face these either with a heavy heart and resentment or we can embrace this new phase of our lives with excitement. This can be a time of renaissance for us – literally a rebirth. When you look in the mirror, do you wonder who that woman is that is looking back at you? Do you recognise her? Is she someone you love? Is she someone you need to get reacquainted with? Is she someone you respect and care deeply for?
That woman is a wise woman; she has years of experience in life, of making decisions and forging ahead, fighting for her cubs and her pack. She is a warrior and it’s about time she was appreciated by YOU.