A dear friend recently asked Why Now? Indeed, why change myself, my life, my life’s purpose and path, my lifestyle, and even the people in my life? And why now? What makes NOW different than last week, last month, last year, or last decade? What was wrong with last Tuesday?
Spirituality and religiously, I’d shunned the mainstream as far back as my teen years. During the breakup of my first marriage, it was made clear to me that my choices might cost me my children. Over the years, I’d tried many times to find a mainstream religion that would allow me the freedom to practice my spirituality and still be true to myself and my beliefs. Only one religion came anywhere close to meeting those requirements: Judaism. So after three years of study, I converted to Judaism and, religiously at least, I was happy.
Spirituality, I found it hard to find my place in the Jewish community or the Pagan community. And I eventually made a decision that only an immature young person would make: I put my spirituality on the shelf. For more than two decades. Since my husband was neither Jewish nor Pagan, that worked for him. It meant that my whole life (before our marriage) could be shelved. I put on the mask of the 9-5 highly technical worker. I did and said the things people expected of me. I was assimilated into regular society as a respectable working mother and wife. For 25 years I put my spirituality on the shelf. I sat next to it most of that time.
About three years ago, I hopped off that shelf. And with each passing month, more and more of me re-emerged. I could have done it a decade ago. That’s absolutely true. But I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish much. Why? Because I simply wasn’t ready to admit to myself that I wasn’t happy. And when I finally did, everything in my life started to change.
Let’s say I’d been happy as a clam. Why now? I wasn’t ready, but now I am. Physically, I was busy fighting for my life – literally. Over the last 2.5 years, I’ve fought my way back from a stroke, learned how to stave off malnutrition, and successfully dealt with advancing ataxia (with swallowing and gait issues). Psychologically, that stranger I kept seeing in the mirror every morning had to be dealt with. The PTSD had to be resolved as best as it could be. And spirituality issues from my childhood would FINALLY need to be addressed.
I also had to redefine myself – the new me – not the mom, or the wife – me. This one thing alone is the core to everything in my life. Any change to ME, is expected to ripple through every aspect of my life, as well as every thing I touch.
So you may think you’re seeing a bunch of changes in quick succession, and they seem out of left field? Guess what? It’s the ripple-effect of changes that have been in the works for months; some have been in the works for three years. I’m fairly sure I warned you a few months ago to hold on tight – remember that? Remember?
There are new people in my life. I have a Spiritual Partner. I couldn’t be happier to have positive support from people who truly care for me. But the most remarkable thing: I can be my authentic self without reservation or judgement of any kind. And I’m accepted as I am. That’s the way it should always be between people who care for one another.
Why now? Because I’m finally ready (read: not afraid) to be me.
Why now? It’s time.