“No matter whom you are or what you do,the ground is always shaky.And, the really good news is that shaky ground is fertile ground for spiritual growth and awakening – Pema Chodron”
Here I was, 50 plus (yes I’m a bit sensitive about age!), marriage fallen apart, career gone and everything I thought was safe no longer existed.
But for me, this time was a time of real illumination, in spite of all the challenges I started to see things very differently. It was like I had been given the keys to a door that had been shut on me for a long time. I don’t mean that my marriage was so bad because it wasn’t, there are a lot of good memories and I have three amazing children from that marriage. And for many years there was also a lot of love. People change and grow in different directions, that is just how life is sometimes.
I had been craving freedom for a long time but had always imagined enjoying this with my husband. But things don’t always turn out the way we plan, but one thing is for sure life will always give you what you need not necessarily what you want.
What I did next:
Once we separated and he left the family home, I had to deal with all the formalities such as the divorce and selling the house. It was an incredibly difficult time, I felt like there was nothing solid left in my life. After all for such a long time I was either a wife or a mother, now it felt like I was nothing because both those roles had changed so much.
On the one hand I felt incredible fear and anxiety about the future and on the other there was this sudden excitement about my future. I knew I now had the opportunity to rediscover myself and to carve my own path in life.
My Life Values:
Step by step I started to rediscover my own personal life values. In a relationship where you have learnt to give up on your values for the sake of the joint values, it can become difficult to remember your personal values. I certainly found it difficult to connect with values that were authentically mine and not those of the “partnership”.
I had an interest in spirituality, never had any connection with my birth religion, it never provided the answers that I needed. During my marriage I did very little to explore my spirituality because it was not a common interest. Once I was single again, I began my spiritual journey. Firstly I went to Nepal where I attended an introduction to Buddhism course at Kopan Monastery. I continue to explore this aspect of my life and develop my practice in accordance to my personal understanding.
The Simple Life
Once the family home was sold, I was left to make a decision about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live and what sort of life I wanted for my future.
Now I prefer to live in rented accommodation so that I am free to move if I want to, I have no distractions in my home, I do not have a TV or radio and rarely read a newspaper. I make conscious decisions about what I do and what I allow into my life because I am in pursuit of Freedom in Later Life.
I have been practicing and studying Mindfulness for many years but in the last two years Mindfulness has become a real part of my life. I now teach mindfulness and continue to develop my practice. Mindfulness has been my support throughout the challenging times, it’s kept me focused on working on myself because that’s all we can do. To fully recover from any kind of traumatic experience, you must work on yourself.
You can read more about Mindfulness here