It’s my birthday today. I am 52 and just this year, I am learning how to grow up. It sounds funny to be this age and to finally be growing up but I am grateful that I even have that opportunity in this life. To learn how to take accountability for myself on every level. Many people never do. My mother never got that opportunity. She died of cancer when I was 21 with I believe, a lot of regrets around this.
Last summer I came the the point where I felt like I had had enough. I was done living inside of patterns that kept repeating themselves in my life. I was working on and committed to some personal development with a teacher and became radically clear that I was no longer willing tolerate the feelings of anger and disappointment that I felt inside. They were running the show and my life was showing me where it was time to take accountability for my actions and start cleaning ups my messes. It was hard. Really hard. I wanted to blame my husband, my kids…anything but myself. I wanted to feel sorry for my situation and pout with my bottom lip way out. How could I be where I was. But that never seemed to work out in the past. The only choice was to take a good hard look at where I was stuck and to give that immature, little angry bitch a voice. To express with a full on fit, screaming and yelling at the world, how life had wronged me. How could I be here after all the “spiritual work” I have done was the big question? I was a good person I thought. Well, through the guidance of some very wise teachers I was able to see it all. None of the downward dogs or chanting or mediating or praying to the Goddess was ever going to get me out of this one. I had to get down on my knees and do the dirty work of looking at where I was deferring accountability over and over and over again. Running from one thing to the next seeking some kind of refuge outside myself but not dealing with the feelings I had inside of pain, rage and injustice.
Today I am 52 years old. I am waking up to myself, and all that I am now. Yes I am kind, compassionate, loving and innocent. I also have anger, doubt and fear. I am human after all. Today I am more authentic and real about who I am and it feels really good. I’m a little bruised and tender but none the less, waking up. Sometimes I do feel like a newborn in this adult body. I am learning what it means to be a woman not just a little girl in a woman’s body. Growing up is not what I thought it would be. I never had many roles models for that in my life. Not even many of my “spiritual” teachers. Many of them are showing where they are just human too. Most of us are taught that being a grown up looks like being successful, owning a house, having children and starting a family or simply having some authority over something or someone. It is all that but the part we forget about is learning how to grow up emotionally and take responsibility for how we feel, what we say, how we treat others, the actions we take or don’t take that create the outcomes in our lives.
Yes I know, it’s all in there in the spiritual teachings. Be kind to others and speak with integrity. Blah, blah, blah. I was a master at spiritual bypassing. It all sounds beautiful and blissful until you actually take the teachings and apply them to your everyday life, especially to the people that trigger you the most. That is the real work. We all have our blind spots. Mine was big and that is why I’m convinced we need accountability people in our lives. People who can call us out and show us where we are not taking accountability. Those are true friends and allies.
I had this thought today of giving away all my yoga and self help books, my buddhas and dieties and letting go of all my stones and crystals. It’s still just an idea. I’m not sure I’d actually do it. They have all been great teachers for me and yet, I don’t feel the need for them in the same way anymore. I trust they are all within me and always will be.