Almost fifty

by Matilda


I intend to stay alive until I am at least a hundred and sixteen years old. This statement may seem silly to you, but to me it means that I will be halfway through my life at fifty eight. In ten years time I will still have fifty eight years to live, really live.

Most of my life I have just done what everybody else was doing. I seldom had an original idea, and if I did, I quickly pushed it way down into the quietness of my subconscious. I was like the peasant at the king’s table. I didn’t know which cutlery to use, so I just copied the person next to me. That way nobody would find out that I am an intruder, that I did not belong. The saddest part was that I believed the lie too.

But the subconscious has a way of bringing up the hard topics. Every situation or person that triggered a great negative emotion in me, was an opportunity to learn the truth about the peasant. I did not want to face the real me. Secretly I was convinced that I would not like this person.

We all come from somewhere. A family, a place we called home. Most of the time the people in that place were just doing the best they could and sometimes they were so broken that they sucked at being a family. Parents like to think that doing the best they can is enough to raise well-balanced, well-rounded, well-adjusted human beings, but the truth is that they can’t. We all got wounded when we were children, even by loving, well-meaning parents. Parents can’t know which words will be taken the wrong way or which intentions will be misread. I believe that it is our own responsibility to face the wound. Everyone will deal with that pain in their own way. Everyone’s journey is different.

For many, many years I blamed other people or situations for my inability to live. I was especially fond of blaming my parents. Even if I never said it out loud. They didn’t even suspect that I felt this way. So we could never hash things out, so I didn’t have to take responsibility for my life. I could keep on playing the victim. I could just keep on living other peoples lives.

Somewhere in my forties I started to wake up to life. I can’t give you twelve steps to follow to an authentic life or ten ways to heal your pain. Big things went to shit in my life. I lost a lot of people and things that I believed defined who I was. I couldn’t cheat my way through life anymore. Life became too real. Oh, I tried at first. Desperate to keep the mask on my face. That was the hardest – to let go of what I thought I should be and what my life should look like.

When I eventually looked at myself and my life with honesty, I could start doing the work. The inner work. Not blaming, not looking at others, not hiding. And what a ride it is turning out to be. The more I discover about myself and life, the more I want to learn and live. Really live.

You see, that is why I want another fifty eight years. I’ve got some catching up to do.

Matilda xo

How I stepped into my power

by Matilda

 

I don’t know who coined the phrase, to step into your power, but it really speaks to a place deep inside my soul. The moment it happened I knew that I would never be the same again. For me it is a solid feeling on the inside and this power is with me constantly. When I was mulling the whole incident over, my conclusion was that it is a three step process. Realisation, responsibility and taking action. I am sharing my experience as I have internalised it, but the path to your power will be singular to you and your situation.

Taking that first step into my power was a result of a series of awakenings. It began with me looking for answers. What do I actually believe? What is really important to me? Who do I honestly want to spend my time with? What do I want to spend my time on? Can I keep on living this life? No, was the decisive answer. I discovered that I did not want my life to continue in the same way. I was tired of the lies, tired of the deceit. Most of all I was tired of my double life. I had two faces: the show face and the shit face. The show face was the me I allowed other people to see. The mouth on that face said: “I am fine. My finances are fine. My marriage is fine. My kids are great.” The other face said: “I am incensed. I am hurt. My marriage is crumbling. My kids are confused. I am dying inside.” I could have kept my show face in place, but it was so exhausting and I was done. Done with not honouring what I needed, what I wanted. Done with not honouring me. I could have chosen to continue with this ruse, but I was only fooling myself. I had a very realistic view on what rocking the boat was going to do to the people I love. No one would be spared. My husband and children were not going to be protected from pain. Knowing that I was going to be the cause of a lot pain, was terrible. I had to believe that something healthy and whole would come from realising that I could not continue in the same way as always. I made the conscious choice to step out of the known into a very scary unknown.

It took me years to get to this point. Not just a couple of years either. It took more than a decade to get to a place where I could be honest with myself. Everything in my life was there as a result of either me allowing it to be there or me actively choosing it. To accept responsibility for the totality of my life was the hardest, best thing I have ever done. Previously I felt like a victim. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t me. I was the wronged party. Poor me. I was powerless and I couldn’t stand myself any longer. I knew then that only I can change. I can’t force anyone else to change and my circumstances can’t change if I stay the same. I had the power to change my inner self. Self -discovery was the only way. Brutal honesty was the road littered with potholes I had to travel. Admit to all the bad, feel all the guilt and shame, take responsibility for it and let it go. Choose a new you and a new life. I took responsibility for my life and it gave me the power to change my story.

Lastly, I had to take action. Confronting the issue or issues you want to change can be very daunting. It took a lot of courage to step into my power and reveal the disconnect and not know what the outcome will be. In my mind all the possible outcomes were going to be really, really difficult. I chose to act in spite of all the pain and loss that could possibly follow. That was the moment when I truly stepped into my power. I took the risk. Whatever the consequences, I would be true to me. And it has been really, really difficult, terrible, messy, beautiful, enlightening and powerful.

I stepped into my power four years ago and it has been a rough ride. My show face and the other one are in agreement: “I am learning. I am growing. My marriage is a work in progress. My kids are okay. I feel powerful.” The most important thing for me is to know my authentic self and then live true to that person. I am still doing the work, asking the questions and staying in my power.

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”
― Patrick Overton,