What a Crone knows
For most of my life, I was the baby in any crowd. It did not help that for a lot of those years, I looked younger than I was. I come from a family of “good skin” and I eat pretty well, so I was often mistaken for being younger than I was. That being the case, it was slightly breathtaking when life caught up to me and I realized I was a Crone by anyone’s definition. I am over 50 by a good piece. I have two grandsons who are 12 and 13. I have six children, all born from my own body, who are now adults. I am an elder in my spiritual tradition.
Wow. That happened fast, and I got so busy chasing the things I wanted in my life that I missed a good bit of it. I lived in the past through my regret and guilt and I lived in the future through my longing. I gave up a lot of my present trying to be someone other people thought I should be because I respected them and if they felt I should evolve in the direction of their choosing, then I should work to do so. Of course, because it was not my own authentic design, I routinely disappointed myself and those around me.
My life and perspective shifted dramatically when I learned what a Crone knows.
A Crone knows her life experience is not the same as anyone else’s… and that’s OK
Often, we need others to validate our opinions and substantiate our beliefs. When it comes to it, that is what social media is all about. From MySpace to Angelfire to IRC and bulletin boards, almost as soon as there was an internet, we started using it to connect with others of like mind. Anyone who spends time on those forums knows the fights that broke out because one person had a different life view from another. One of the beauties of being old is that I feel no urgency to convince anyone of anything I believe. I stand in my own truth and if other people are not there, so be it. They can have their own truths without threatening mine. This year, I cut away the parts of my life where I encountered people who needed me to believe the way they do. We all have a piece of the puzzle and honoring diversity of thought and practice is just as important as honoring diversity of sexuality, ethnicity, or gender. Life is too short to expend energy on people who cannot accept that we know our own minds and do not wish to substitute their wisdom for our own.
A Crone knows her mistakes do not define her
I learned from my mistakes and I look back on many with regret, but they are not who I am and they do not tell my entire story. I have people in my life who I love profoundly, but are unable to see past critical mistakes I made at terrible times in my life when I was spinning out of control and had no good choices to make. In taking what I thought would be the least damaging path than the others, bad things happened. Worse things would have happened on the other paths and yet, I lost people I love dearly because I did not get it right a good bit of the time. I am not my mistakes. Losing these people is painful for me, but…
A Crone knows that no matter how hard she tries, she cannot control the actions of others (and they cannot control hers)
I can explain my position and I can apologize and try to make amends, but ultimately, the choices others take is up to them. For a very long time, I worked hard to keep all of the plates spinning in the air at the same time. I tried to keep as many people as possible happy and that is how we are when we are in Mothering phase. I spent more time trying to please others and do what they thought I should do than I did following what my own spirit led me to do. I handed over my energy, my time, and my focus to the goals of others and often, the goals others had for me. I could never live up to the idealized standard the people I love had for me, so we both viewed me as a complete failure rather than considering that if I followed my own path, I could actualize into the woman I was intended to be. We cannot make others think a certain way or be a certain way. There is a reason many people hate the phrase “It is what it is.” The idea that situations are immutable is offensive, but it is reality. Ultimately, everyone has their own path to walk and makes their own choices both for what they do and who they will be in the world. We either accept that and welcome them into our lives or reject that and move on.
A Crone also knows:
Time moves faster. The rumors are true.
I cry easier, but feel the feels in a beautiful, strong way.
I love more deeply, but I am choosier about who I love.
Sex is better.
I can appreciate little babies again and not want one of my own.
No one notices when I talk to myself or the invisibles because A) crazy old lady or B) she probably has a bluetooth headset (I don’t).
The heartfelt moments are more precious to me.
Photos are important. Don’t disappear from your memories because your double chin shows.
Hugs are important.
Kids don’t stop talking first; parents stop listening first.
“Sharing space” is vital, but alone time is as well, so a nice balance is ideal.
There are assholes, there will always be assholes, and there have always been assholes and usually, the assholes are the loudest in any bunch.
Say “No” if you really don’t want to do something.
Take chances and find the adventure.
Resentment is a contaminant no one should carry around.
Not everyone is going to love you and it is a major error to invest more energy into pleasing those people than you do into pleasing the people who do love you.
Hair grows back.
Emotions are temporary, but cruel words last forever.
A handsome man is delicious, but a stupid man is unbearable.
Leggings are not pants.
No one will find your money if you hide it in a packaged sanitary napkin in your purse.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll regret it.
A good bowel movement can change your world view.
No matter how much you fight fate and destiny, those bitches have GPS and will find your ass.
Most importantly, with or without your influence, the world will still surely turn.