Many, many years ago I dated a guy who did not celebrate American holidays. It was just not his thing. He would celebrate birthdays because he didn’t see that attached to some cultural dogma imposed on others by Western Culture. Thus,when a holiday rolled around that was always the elephant in the room. Needless to say me,the Christmas Baby, was always silently disappointed that he would not celebrate with me, and let’s not even talk about Valentine’s Day. But I continued to celebrate my favorite time of the year on my own terms. My friends thought he was not really my type, but he did have other attributes that I enjoyed. In the end I had to travel my own path to enlightenment and in the process I learned that I shouldn’t have to compromise my own beliefs and values to be in a relationship. That lesson would become a part of who I was and who I was becoming as I realized that each new experience that gave me an aha moment was like being born again, as long as I integrated my new lessons learned into the ever-changing landscape of my life, that is.
This past decade has truly brought many changes into my life, all which a decade before would have been unforeseen. But I’ve learned to look at my life as a series of clustered events occurring every few years, all transitioning my life in ways that have ended up launching me to the next level of my life’s experience. As I look back, each new level has brought challenges but also growth, some of which I had to overcome or at least learn from.
At the end of each of these “learning clusters”, I’ve had the realization that whatever I was to learn, I hoped I did and eventually I would move on to the next experience that would ultimately enrich my life and give me the clarity that I needed as I continued to move forward.
I call each of these “cluster experiences” my being re-born. The death of my husband (as well as my father 4 years before) was probably the worst and most difficult of these learning experiences, and because of the loss, I was forced to decide whether to die or to live again (stand frozen in time or move forward). Fortunately for me, I chose life and spent the next decade crawling out of an abysmal pit into the light of my new beginning. In retrospect, I can now see that I was born again. I took the time to learn what I was being taught along the way, so I wouldn’t wallow in my grief or remain stuck somewhere in time having to repeat lessons which I know would have become tougher as time went on. I learned to live consciously so as not to remain on a merry-go-round going round and round, almost catching the ring, missing it and then repeating the ride until I could securely grasp the ring and move on.
We are always being given an opportunity to be born again and again, but sometimes our rebirth can never materialize because we aren’t able to make the necessary changes needed in order for new opportunities to manifest themselves.
In the next decade let’s all try to take those next steps that will help us to change our lives in ways that make us accountable to ourselves, wiser, happier and put us on the path to reaching our personal goals. Sometimes we must discard old habits, ways of thinking, ways of doing and we must really ask ourselves if doing things in the same way and reaping the same results is benefiting us. It’s good to remember that it’s not how the world is treating you but more how you’re navigating yourselves in it. Discarding “old think” and old ways of doing things as well as people who aren’t serving you well or not giving you what you really want out of your life, can be painful in the short run, but in the long run we will be able to live authentic lives knowing that we’re getting rid of blockages to our happiness and opening the door to new opportunities.
Oh, once I had my epiphany about that relationship and left it, I would go on to meet my husband Chuck and eventually we would walk off together into our shared destiny…both reborn.
To find out more about how you can heal after loss read my book, Brave in a New World: A Guide to Grieving the Loss of a Spouse available on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y38oks99