The hardest thing for me to let go in this life is my family. For they have given me the greatest joy and the deepest meaning in my life. Right now, my life is filled with my last child’s sunniness and explosive energy – yes, it can get tiring (very tiring!) at times being a fully committed mum to her, but I love it and I relish every minute of it, even when I am fighting with her about chemistry or her ideologies.

What am I going to do when she leaves home???? 

For the past three or four years, I fought against that inevitability of no longer having children in the home on a full-time basis. What am I going to do??? Going back to work seems like such a bleak option. In my folly, I had fallen victim to my fear as I obsessed with building a second family that will give me another 18 fulfilling years.  And you know, when you desperately crave something and chase it unwisely, you end up making the wrong decision, getting hurt, being used. You become a victim open to exploitation. You lose yourself whilst you were busy chasing an empty dream.

My partner, in his infinite wisdom, had once considered giving me my sixth child but decided against it. “Then what, in 18 years’ time?” He challenged me. “You’ve already had too many children.”

In the last two years, he had patiently unpeeled me from my layers. “Stop fussing about not having fresh vegetables in the fridge, Jac,” he would exclaim in exasperation and annoyance.  “And stop asking me if I had my greens today!”  Of course I fought him, every step of the way.  This was my life for 32 years, fussing about the health and wellbeing of others, and what they ate. I had to fuss, or the world will come crashing down.

“I love you, Jac, not the Earth Mother persona that you cling on to,” he often told me (quite savagely sometimes) as he cajoled me to go for long runs without carrying money or water, to go for days without checking up on my children, to break some minor laws,  and yes, to not fuss. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

But the greatest insight came when I took time out to be on my own, with no plans whatsoever. This time, I was without fear of being without children or without having my next 18 years mapped out. I have stopped feeling insecure without holding someone’s hand or nagging. I woke up and did what I liked, without wondering what other people were eating. My youngest child has her UK medical school qualifying exam soon and I don’t know when …. much to her relief. All I know is right now, she is sitting somewhere in the English countryside with her relatives, probably not eating anything green.

I couldn’t have gotten to this liberating stage without my partner, he who painstakingly filled me with light in readiness to shine on my own.

“You don’t need another couple’s overgrown son to worry about, his dogs, cats, house, business, life, exes, etc, etc, etc., hey, Jac?” He said teasingly.  Across the miles, I could hear him smile.

I have lost my fear of losing him too as I have gone for days without wondering where he is, filled only with love whenever I think about him, and a knowing that I carry a part of him always in my heart. My love for him is so deep that I feel him in my bones and in the air I breathe whenever I meditate. He had truly touched every cell of me and filled it with light. All I need is here.

This is the evolution of me, and one that I believe every woman has to embrace in life, this letting go to evolve into our final selves in this lifetime. As our hair grows grey and lines appear on our face, so too do we move to a more peaceful, graceful plane.  I read a lovely statement from Wild Woman Sisterhood, and this photograph captivated me:

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Life at Midlife
I am no longer waiting for a special occasion; I burn the best candles on ordinary days.
I am no longer waiting for the house to be clean; I fill it with people who understand that even dust is Sacred.
I am no longer waiting for everyone to understand me; It’s just not their task
I am no longer waiting for the perfect children; my children have their own names that burn as brightly as any star.
I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived.
I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now.
I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held.
I am no longer waiting for a quiet moment; my heart can be stilled whenever it is called.
I am no longer waiting for the world to be at peace; I unclench my grasp and breathe peace in and out.
I am no longer waiting to do something great; being awake to carry my grain of sand is enough.
I am no longer waiting to be recognized; I know that I dance in a holy circle.
I am no longer waiting for Forgiveness.
I believe, I Believe.
Author: Mary Anne Perrone
Picture: Angela Farmer
WILD WOMAN SISTERHOOD
Embody your Wild Nature