6 Decades Later

Life has been an experience worth having. I generally do not dwell on the past, instead I tend to introspect and concentrate on the now. Today I would like to delve into my past - to take stock of how life has influenced who I am.

One vital lesson - the only constant is 'I am.' The predicate changed as I walked through life but all of those changes left the 'I am,' untouched. The little child has walked through 6 decades and now appears to be an old woman, but I still feel what the child felt then and through every experience she has been through since. The love, the joy, the fear, the desires, the sadness, the empathy, the envy, the anger, the indifference and more - are all there. I have learned how to process them, express them, absorb them or discard them - but the original feelings are all still part of this being because I am now, as I was then. Time has passed but the Being remains unchanged. I am unable to encapsulate that Being, unable to identify it in isolation and yet I must acknowledge its unchanging nature. Since I do, I necessarily must acknowledge it in everyone else.

Over time I have learned to be silent. Silencing the mind has taken much effort and innumerable hours of practice and every emotion that rises within me shakes that silence. I find that holding back on the words and reining them in opens a space within where the emotions and the thoughts converse between themselves and bring me to a peace filled silence. Conversely if I react outwardly while still in the realm of emotion the mind cannot find stillness with the same ease or peace. I have always filtered my emotions through thoughtfulness and then expressed the results in words - oral or written, but now there is no filter - expression of an emotion is an internal affair from which I come out with a perception and a lesson in meditative silence. Any expression of that perception brings a sense of calm and joy that is self glorifying. Keeping that glory under rein then becomes the struggle. This feeling of being somehow superior and exalted can overwhelm the silence and the mind takes over and disturbs the calm. A lot more effort is required to silence this sense of glory. Glory feels good and the mind wants to dwell on it. Deeper introspection, meditative silence, being kind to myself, bowing my head to that unchanging inner child - consciously and with forgiveness and humility, eventually brings the silence back.

I like being alone. I enjoy my own company. I read, write, do crossword puzzles, solve sudoku, work, meditate, and have very little time to socialize either one-on-one or on cyber space. I have brought idle interaction down to a bare minimum. I stay abreast of how loved ones are and what the current state of the world is, but I do not delve into details, nor do I choose to debate any issues. I respect the perspective of others, understand the 'other' side, and rethink my own opinion but I no longer have the need to be right or to be understood. There are no absolutes in the material world and spending time trying to bring consensus is futile. There will always be another point of view - and I respect that. I find this teaches me more about life. It opens avenues where thought wanders into to find its way into a deeper understanding of the material world and helps appease the curiosity that could otherwise shatter the silence.

The first many years of my life were spent in simple existence. Living life as it came. There was no sense of purpose. I was guided by what was happening around me fulfilling the roles that life was assigning to me. It was in my mid forty that this thirst to know more, the feeling of discontent, the urge to find passion and purpose seemed to take over. I was fortunate to have met some like minded women on the net during this time and we were all going through the same struggles. The journey to moving inwards and finding the Being in the inner depths began there with these ladies. I am still in touch with some of those beautiful souls and have them to thank for the circle of love that allowed us all to bloom.

In this 7th decade I continue this beautiful trip. I know I am closer to the end of life than to the start of this one and that death can strike anytime - like it could have for the last 6. Living in the now turns the thought of death into a moment. Here now - gone now. My desire is that upon my death my loved ones celebrate my living moments and so I continue to be better, do better, with love, passion, compassion and integrity - always. Many have touched my soul through this journey and some of them have passed away. Yet the bond I feel with them is palpable - my Being touching their Being - that unchanging One within each of us.

I bow down to you, the undefined you,
The one who resides within me too.
I feel your breath, I feel your touch,
A fluttering feather I try to clutch.
You were here and so was I
You are gone and so will I.
A new being is born today
That same one in a new bouquet,
And so we all continue on
The day, the night, the dusk, the dawn
Always seeking, yet in a whirl
Till we find that elusive pearl! 

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