At age 50, I know who I am and the path I am on. I know what “making it” in life includes for me, and what it doesn’t include. Clarity, trust, peace with the not-so-fun and downright painful bits of my past…these are the gifts of my 50th birthday.
Ultimately, I have reached the age of 50, and for that I am grateful. My reflections on my birthday are held in the warm embrace of gratitude.
I feel grateful for turning 50 — that I made it to 50. There were times that I didn’t know I would make 50 whole years. Deep struggles, life-threatening events, illness and trauma… So to make 50, it’s gorgeous in and of itself.
My life has made me into someone I’m grateful for, too.
For everything I’ve faced and all of the terrible things I’ve overcome, I’m grateful for how deep they’ve dug into my heart and opened it up.
I’m grateful for the compassion that has come to reside inside me.
I’m grateful for the self-love that blankets me and cannot be shaken or taken away. Because that’s a true miracle.
I’m grateful that my life and who I am can be a gift to others. And that the deepest intention of my life is to be one of compassionate service. And I feel down to my cells that I’m doing that.
I’m on the edge of expressing my life’s deepest intention in the biggest way possible over the next few years, and even in 2021. I already feel it expanding. And it feels incredibly fulfilling.
I’m grateful because I’m loved in many ways, by different people, in all sorts of dynamics. I’m grateful that I’m safe. I feel safe in my life. It is not lost on me what a gift it is to feel safe.
I’m grateful that I don’t resent my life or regret my life in any way, for anything that this life has asked me to experience.
I don’t regret. And I don’t resent.
I have been on a deep journey for the entire 50 years. Even though it’s been such a wild ride, I feel grateful for the whole lot of it.
My life has never been one of those lives that was organized around worldly successes and the experiences that many say are important. Getting to have the young marriage, the children, the family, all of the traditional success, buying all of the things and being a conventional citizen of the world. I knew since I was young that such a life was never going to be my path.
Instead, I had to trade all of that traditional security for a lot of living constantly on the edge of trust, surrender and opening my heart to big and painful things, willing to make sense of the impossible. To make sense of what was beyond normal experiences. I had to learn how to make sense of things at a soul level because it’s impossible to make sense of such things psychologically.
I’ve been able to walk this path because I didn’t have a family and all of those commitments that go along with it. If I walked that journey, I could not have accomplished or transformed what I have had to meet in this lifetime. If I tried to do any of the conventional stuff, if that had been my primary and sole focus, I wouldn’t have made it to where I am, how I am. Because I wouldn’t have had the amount of energy, resources and time that was required of me to bring to bear on what needed to be understood and transformed.
I knew I needed to not take risks that put my process in jeopardy. I knew that the path for me was a very, very narrow one — if I was going to make it. My narrow path was going to require everything I had, and I would fumble, get lost and make mistakes.
But I would keep going. Because I didn’t really have any choice. Something was calling me so profoundly onto and along this path. That thing that calls me was quite relentless, and it still calls me. I may never get to that thing that calls me. Because it’s always going to be ahead of me, calling me deeper, further forward along my sacred path.
It has always kept me open and on this path. Whenever I think of stepping off of the path, I know at some point I’ll just fall back onto it and be listening and following the calling again. There’s no way away from it. And I’m so grateful there isn’t. It’s like listening to a little hum in the distance and the way it moves my heart.
Now, as I step into 50, I’m grateful for being on the edge of whatever is the next expression of my life. I know I’ve reached a turning point and a completion.
I can feel the love that flows through me from the culmination and completion of my last 50 years. From going so deep and breaking ground so far within me that this love I now embody, I don’t have to work at it.
It just comes through me, using me as its portal. It has its own nature, this love, and I get to enjoy its nature as it comes through. But I’m not attached to it. It’s not me. It just flows through me. For that, I’m deeply grateful for this love which also feels like grace.
I’ve arrived at 50 and I know my life isn’t measured by the things that I own or the things that I’ve done, but my ability to follow that thing ahead of me, that keeps calling me, that’s mysterious and powerful and sacred.
That thing that speaks so deeply to my soul that I have no ability to resist it. And this love that flows through me because of surrendering to that call.
The point of my life is to not be orientated around material acquisition. Not to say there’s anything wrong with that. I enjoy that, too, but I’m not looking at 50 saying, “Wow. I have a family. I have a house. I have a car. I have a whole lot of money in the bank, and I made it.”
It’s just never been my way. And anytime I’ve tried to make that more conventional path my way… It’s felt terrible. And unnavigable. This calling that guides me is the baby of my life. It’s my investment. With it, I know I am completely prepared and capable to step into my next chapter with causeless joy, limitless love and anticipation for what is coming next.
To my calling, to my life, I’m grateful.
Reflections can be powerful conduits for healing, growth, courage and myriad other stepping stones along our individual paths.
Will you share some of your reflections from your last birthday or however you find yourself right now? I would love to muse with you over your life on this planet so far.