Monday, February 22, 2010

Midlife Shadows


Age creeps up our spine when we’re not paying attention. It also manages to eradicate all those artificial walls that we construct to keep us safe. We’re not really safe. We’re just busy having kids, perusing careers, trying to stay fit, beautiful and healthy – trying to live – trying to live really well! We know we’re going to get there one day even though today it doesn’t seem that way.
At midlife, when the walls fall away – when our children leave home, the mountains we were trying to climb don’t seem quite so important anymore, our bodies begin to defy the efforts we have dispensed trying to keep them perpetually young and perfect no longer hold back the signs of age and deterioration or the neglect we have visited on them begins to show – when all those things we have constructed to build ourselves and our lives are done, we are left with ourselves and our shadows.
Midlife can be a glorious time if we face those shadows – those things that have tailed and haunted us all our lives. Taking this time to stare down our demons without distraction can allow us, for the very first time, to put them in front of us so that we can watch and control them and no longer let them control us.
Letting down the wall may just be the job we were meant to undertake at this time in our lives. Stepping out from the shadows and into the light of day – allowing the sun to shine upon our faces and our hearts, freeing our essential selves to be exactly who we were meant to be can help us discern our purpose for walking the planet and put real meaning behind all that has gone before.

4 comments:

Georgia Feiste said...

What a great article, and so very true. As I head into the latter sixth decade of life, I find myself becoming more aware of the things I used to be able to do with ease that aren't so easy anymore. It is requiring a great mindshift to see the opportunities for expansion that this provides, and to look for the internal light I bring to the connective web of our lives based on my life purpose and those things I am passionate about.

donna_m_webb said...

When I first became mom's caregiver about 4 years ago, I was anxious about 60 looming ahead. For the first time, the "number" had a negative effect on me. I ended going to college, online and in less then 2 years received and Associate of Arts in Business Degree. It totally changed my outlook on 60 coming. I have also been actively and with real purpose, been continuing the writings I have been doing since 2006. I have direction now for life after caregiving, and age has nothing to do with it, in fact it is a bonus. Age, maturity, wisdom, knowledge, skills, they all intertwine and take me into the next decade of my life. Great post Dorothy! Oh yes, my mom's name is Dortha, and all versions of that have been wriiten and spoken through her almost 96 years lol.

Dorothy said...

Donna you are amazing! The steps you have taken are what aging abundantly is all about. Facing our fear and grabbing on to life even as we age can provide us with profound hope and meaning. We have learned so much in the preceding years - made lots of mistakes - have lots of wisdom - now is the time to put it all to use not sit down and give up. Georgia, you too seem to be following the same path. I applaud you both and it gives me courage to keep doing the same! Thanks for your comments.

Eileen Williams said...

Dorothy,

I absolutely LOVE this post! You write beautifully about the essence of growing into our true beings at this wonderful age. It's one of the biggest secrets out there--menopause and middle age are the unsung, yet life enhancing gifts, that Mother Nature bestows upon the female gender. It is during this time that we step aside from our focus on nurturing those around us to nurturing ourselves and truly flower into the unique and beautiful beings we were meant to be.

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