Recently a nine year old picture of me came up in my newsfeed. I was drawn to my youthful look and I think I look stunning (if I say so myself). There is a sparkle in my eyes and a vibrancy that I have nurtured all my life. This was a photo shoot I promised I would do the year I turned fifty. This young woman could not be stopped. She went out and wrote two books that year and opened a practice the next , her energy was contagious, boundless and inspired.
Now of course the picture of “older me” is not professional. It was just taken by someone with no filters or photo shop, it is simply me with all my flaws but somehow it speaks more to my essence than the other photo does.
The first photo was taken before my healing journey began. I was still finding my way in this world and caught up with things which don’t mean much in the greater scheme of things. I don’t judge who I was, I simply recognize that I was different. I love that younger version because she is the one that found the courage to step onto the path of healing and stick to it with a determination and tenacity that only she could have mustered. She is my HERO!
When I look at the second photo I see a softening and a compassion for myself and others that I know the younger version did not have, she was pretty black or white. Though that same spark is still present there is a deeper knowing behind my eyes that is brought forth by looking into the depths of your own darkness and making that part of you your ally. I no longer fear death or change I embrace the fact that nothing stays the same and that it shouldn’t. If we want relationships or anything else in our lives to last, we have to work at allowing space for our own growth and that of our partners for they also have to evolve.
The older version of me realizes that life is grey and that nothing can be definitive. She also knows that she knows nothing and that she is constantly learning things about herself and her world. She is aware that her own darkness will change its shape to fool her into thinking that she’s got it when she really doesn’t and she has learnt to dance with it because there is true healing to be found there. She has become more joyful and is filled with gratitude for everything she has and everything she has lost, for in that loss she found her strength.
The current version of me has found a way to love unconditionally. I no longer need a “return” or proof of anyone’s love based on old belief systems that held me hostage. It is enough that I give love in a way that nurtures and fortifies me and to have healthy boundaries. I accept the fact that others are not always going to be able to meet my level of intimacy and that’s okay, they may not be ready. I no longer need others for validation of whom I am or who I am becoming. I love myself deeply.
Believe me when I say this journey is not complete and I look forward to the future me, ten years from now, because I believe that she will change the world around her…
Love & Light