March Newsletter 2016 – Courage – A Promise of New Beginnings

I heard a woman say, “My mother is ninety. When you ask her how she is doing her reply is, “I woke up on the right side of the dirt this morning. It’s a good day.”  I talk daily to a young woman who had an attack resulting in Bell’s palsy. She is utilizing tools to regain her life and health; tools which address the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual roots of what occurred. Her attitude shifted from fear to resolution to make a difference, and a full recovery. I talked to my 96 year old friend the other night. She, too, has made major changes in her attitude about her present care, state of health and more positive resolve to want to live until it is her “time.”

One of my favorite authors is Sue Patton Thoele who wrote The Courage to be Yourself. In part of the book she addresses invisibility. As we age we are inclined to become more invisible to others.  It is frustrating. When married, we might more often see the husband take the initiative to ask questions and barter with sales people, and get results we want. Not long after our first child was born we were out buying a good camera and lenses. I did the research. I prepared the questions, but for every question I asked, the sales man purposely turned and faced my husband when he delivered answers to my questions. A woman alone is still treated differently.  Thoele advises us, “As we gain confidence in our rights and learn to honor our wants and needs, we’ll open doors to inner wholeness and health. We’ll move beyond dependence and find the courage to be ourselves. In the process, we’ll be better able to discover and honor our own excellence and encourage others to do the same.”

If there isn’t a book entitled, “Selling Your Home and Moving for Dummy’s” there should be. I have resided for over a decade in every home I have owned, so I haven’t moved often when it involved all the stress of realtors, house showings, negotiating, inspections, more negotiating, finding a new home, packing, moving, and the endless things which cannot be overlooked. Actually, if there were such a book I wouldn’t have time to read it. Doing all of this on my own has reminded me of the children’s book about a little red hen who finds some seeds and asks the other farm animals for assistance to plant the seeds, harvest the wheat, grind the wheat and make a cake, and in the end she has done it all herself.

The story just reminds me of other times when I’ve had to buck up and just do it myself. This move is like that. The reminder is this: Ask for what you need. I am easily exhausted by all that must be accomplished before moving day. In The Courage to be Yourself I am reminded that suppressing our feelings—“burying them in the dungeon of our subconscious” is a process called “gunnysacking.” “As we hide more and more feelings, the sack gets bigger and heavier. Carrying around an oppressive bag full of unresolved and unspoken feelings leaves us so drained that our emotional strength ebbs away and we have no energy left.” It is exhausting to lug around bags of fears, hurts and disappointments. It’s already emotionally draining to accomplish a move in later years, on your own, because it is also about change, risk taking and courage.

BUT! Without the story, the fatigue, the weariness of all the dark and heavy details, is the truth of light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of all of this work is a fresh beginning in a new town, new community and the work will get done. The move will happen– and like Spring, a promise of new beginnings, a new chapter to write, and opportunities to live more fully each remaining day of my life.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, my friend, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.” – Anonymous