Change is a word I have had an arduous relationship with throughout my life. My mind craves consistency, routine, pattern and understanding what is happening next. I thoroughly enjoy comfort and being able to see what is coming so that I feel prepared. I assume there are others out there that can identify with me and others who might find this boring. This is my ego’s way of feeling in control as an adult to rectify the out of control I felt as a kid. I have been told and read often that control is an illusion. No one has it. Life is always changing and moving forward. But it sure feels good to feel as though I have some control of an ever changing environment.
As a little girl raised by a single mom in the midwest, I always had safety but I never quite felt safe. I was loved but I never quite felt lovable. I had security but I didn’t always feel secure. It is funny how our brains play such tricks on us. In the last few years, I have been amazed at the ways my little ego labored to keep me safe over the last 40 plus years. But they just don’t seem to be working any more.
Change has been a theme throughout my adult life more than I was aware. Living in three different states and two different countries, I have been single, married, divorced and dating. I have been a stay at home mom of three little kids, a full-time working mom and an empty nester living in a full house and alone. Overwhelmed by debt and debt free. Prediabetic and had the health of an athlete. My jobs have varied from corporate to government, I worked in nonprofits and owned my own business. As much as I have fought against change throughout my life, I see that it has been the ever changing friend that I had not acknowledged.
In the book, Falling Upward by Richard Rohr he states, “The journey of the second half of our life awaits us all. The further journey of our life is a well kept secret for some reason.” At 48 I am just beginning to understand what the author is saying. No one prepares you for the changes that take place in drastic measure as you enter the second half, whenever that is for you.
It just begins to happen at such a pace you can’t quite get a hold of it. For me it started after some pretty traumatic life changing events with my family. Being thrust into empty nesting much quicker than I had planned felt like I was thrown into an abyss I could not find my way out of. Thankfully, I had some amazing people that were brought into my life to help me navigate the changes.
Let me tell you, if you were a loner before, this is not a time to be. You need a mentor (of which I have a great one), a counselor (yes I have him too), a support group or spiritual community (yep) and true friends who are willing to walk this road alongside you when they can. Ultimately, you travel this road independently. You have to walk it, you feel the changes, you feel the stretches and you are going to have to be the one to allow the transformation.
I am an Enneagram 2w1, for those who do not know about this, it is an amazing personality typing system. The oldest, it is believed, and helps you to better understand your ego. Yes, not your true personality or essence that is the uncovering done in the second half. But the Enneagram helps you to understand your personality patterns of the ego.
As a 2 or a helper/pleaser, I have spent my life motivated by my relationship to others and finding my identity and worth in them. It felt so normal until every relationship I had was stripped away and I could no longer define myself this way. I lost my mom (remember I was raised by her so this made me feel like an orphan), lost my husband of 20yrs, and many other ambiguous losses. I could no longer hide behind my relationships and stay in the matrix of identifying myself that way.
I am slowly learning how to be me. But not the me I once thought was defined by all my roles and responsibilities. The me under it all. I feel like a turtle who crawled out of her shell, vulnerable and exposed. It feels awkward, and I am learning about myself. It sounds odd to even admit but it is true. I am just listening to what my spirit is saying about who I am and it is much bigger and broader than I imagined. I am allowing myself to unwrap and unravel.
At my OBGYN recently, whom I have been going to for years, I told her that I wanted to see how my body worked, listen to it and allow it to be natural without any manipulation. She literally looked at me like I was an alien who just landed from Mars! It is ok, I don’t know what I’m doing but I will figure it out. I am looking forward to what Mrs. Obama would say, is Becoming! Learning to let go of what I thought, I am learning to allow life to teach me. I am learning to surrender to the sovereignty of God and the laws of the universe to guide me, to inquire about my own thoughts. Learning to love myself and what is! I am learning to fall upward!