” I INSPIRE COURAGE AND INNER WORTHINESS WITH MEANING, WISDOM AND SPIRIT FOR THE FREEDOM TO BE AUTHENTIC, BELONGING, AND CREATIVE IN MIDLIFE AND BEYOND”
Ten days ago, I returned from two weeks in France — Paris, Monte Carlo, Nice and places in between. I knew the trip would be meaningful in many ways. I visited my mother’s birthplace in Italy in the 70’s and, in case I do not make the same trip to my father’s homeland in the Ukraine, I wanted some memory of my father. He was my high school French teacher and like most parents of that time “encouraged” me to follow his career path. I wanted to study psychology; to win my dad’s approval, a French teacher I became. My mother would have preferred I chose nursing so I could take care of her ailing body. She was pleased, though; my career choice meant a university degree that granted status in the community.
The vacation was great, I enjoyed communicating in French, and my father’s spirit felt close in connection. What I noticed with much curiosity was how my tears flowed abundantly and spontaneously. I know tears — I have shed many in my years — tears of sadness, of anger, of joy, of pain. Those that spilled onto French soil (how dramatic!) seemed to fit none of those specific descriptors AND all in combination. Was this because in a foreign country I could just let the waterworks break through with no fear of “what would people think?” Yes, I was a bit confused about what was happening for me there.
I imagine that my parents wanted only the best for me and with their eternal souls are now aware that “their best” was not necessarily my own. I continue to practice my best. On another occasion in Paris, walking alone with my tears in a quiet garden, I felt abandoned. Not for long though as I felt my loneliness as an invitation to consider the possibility that I was held in the loving arms of a universal spirit. A practical example of the focus of my life and my work! Since returning home, I realize that tears of relief are what I cried. They had to come now, in this stage of my life, so that I could be more clear about what it means to be who I am.
My opening line above is my newly revised work and life mission statement which I doubt I could have created, had it not been for the clarity that came through my relief tears. Yes, now in the “beyond” of my midlife years, I am grateful to have this chance to invite you listen to your tears as invitations to new beginnings.