The subject has crossed my path more than once lately – about being “our age” and how we feel about being alone, starting over or not … and the process that goes with any of those options. A good number of us (female and male) are alone for any number of reasons – through the death of a spouse, divorce, never having been in a relationship – the reason doesn’t matter. The lessons we learn are more important on how to be alone successfully. It took me being single for the first time in my adult life (when my husband passed away at the age of 41) and then voluntarily single after a disastrous re-marriage 5 years later.
Alone is not a dirty word – its learning that we can successfully (albeit reluctantly at times) be alone and be strong and take responsibility for our own happiness. It’s understanding that we cannot rely on someone else to make us happy or that what others may offer us means what we would like it to. And it’s ok to be alone. As “boomers” – mature adults – in loving ourselves, in making our own happy, in fulfilling our own needs, we grow stronger and simply that much more capable of loving others.
I believe that lessons and people come to us when we need them (not when we want them) – and the following poem came to me a few years after my husband passed away. I kept it on my vanity mirror and read it daily. After my divorce, I was packing up my life to move from my mom’s house (which had just sold following her passing the previous year) and it resurfaced again to remind me of the lesson … it’s been 4 years now and I read it often. It reminds me that I know that, as much as I would like to think differently, I am the only person I can truly count on. I need to figure out how to take care of myself at all times. I need to love and nurture myself, and even give myself flowers and presents.
I don’t always like it … but, fact is, I know it’s true. Anything else is frosting! Perhaps you will find a lesson somewhere for you …
“After awhile you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean possession
and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises and you begin to accept
your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
burns if you get too much so you plant your
own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn…”
Veronica A. Shoffstall :
Thank you, Veronica, for your wisdom and words … Namaste …