“I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how to do it. And the second half is enjoying it.” By Frances Lear
I love this quote because at times it seems like the message we get from society is the opposite. It can feel like society is saying the first half of our life is to be enjoyed and openly celebrated, and the second half is often filled with embarrassment/shame and dismissal, often because of the changes in our appearance, and fear of lack. Lack can show up in areas of relationships, money, love, fun, beauty, and opportunity to name a few.
In keeping with Frances Lear’s statement, this time in our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and beyond, should and can be a time of grand celebration. And just to be clear, “grand” is not referring to an expensive or elaborate physical showing unless that is your choice. I am referring to the grandness that happens in your consciousness and your being as you learn a new way to love yourself unconditionally. If you are a grandparent, you have experienced the grand love that is nothing like you’ve ever experienced before. Once you’ve tasted it, it is a part of you forever. Similarly, once you’ve tasted grand self-love, you will want it forever and will spontaneously fight for it if it is threatened.
We have all had things happen to us that could have easily shaken our self-love. I know I have. I won’t even bother sharing the gory details because this is not the time to share our battle scars and see who has the worst ones. It’s our time to put those stories away and create new life-sustaining experiences. As you put those old stories away, look for your gifts in them. Ask yourself what good has happened for you as a result of the negative thing you experienced that almost slayed you? There is at least one thing, if not several, even if it is just the fact that you are reading this blog right now. Look at where you are now and notice if that experience contributed to a better relationship with someone, or your pursuit of a new career or job, or new home.
Here is a practice recommended by Eckhart Tolle that can assist you in opening your path to truly enjoying this second half of your life:
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally. Not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”
As an example, if you are suffering from an illness, accept it as if you had chosen it. Work with it to heal it. Make it a part of you that you will embrace to find the perfect panacea to rid your body of it. Similarly, if you lose your job, accept it, as if you had chosen to leave it. Then you will be able to make the move that will give you your gift and your freedom. If you are challenged by the way you look as you age, accept it as if you chose it. Make it your ally. It is not until you accept it that you can make any real changes. You see if you don’t feel good about who you are, you won’t have enough money to buy new looks that will make you feel good about yourself. It’s an inside job.
It’s time to make peace with your challenges so that you can celebrate this glorious time you have on this planet. So fasten your seatbelt and let’s create the best years of your life!