It remains shocking to me that as of last Friday I entered my sixth decade. A friend that crossed the same threshold shortly before me asked me how it could have happened. “We didn’t die,” I replied. And so here I am, still upon the planet, and now in a sixty year old body. I wanted to find a fitting way to enter into this new decade, something representative of how I intended to sojourn the trek to seventy. When I turned fifty I went tandem skydiving. For me that was facing my fear of heights and also my reluctance to really rely on other people, especially men. Since that time my fear of heights has abated and I am now happily married.
Approaching sixty it became clear to me that it wasn’t an activity that would capture the spirit I am now seeking to embody. I did indeed plan a short theatre trip to my former home of New York City. I ended up spending the evening of my birthday in the same Broadway theatre and in almost the exact same seat in which I had sat forty years prior. In 1977 I thought my life was going to take a very definite route, and I had the invincible sense of an enchanted twenty year old with the world at my dancing feet. Waiting on the show to begin last week I pondered the many detours my life has taken and how radically different my life has turned out compared to what I thought would happen. The reflecting had a tinge or two of sadness, but was mostly just sweet. Really, truly, deeply sweet. I felt affection for that young dreamer, and I felt warm waves of compassion for the man who would come to see many of those dreams shattered.
It has not turned out the way I thought it would. I am not doing what I thought I would be doing at age sixty. I thought I would be the one on the stage, not the one sitting in the audience watching. And at the same time I truly know that this entire journey has been about so much more than my personal goals, aspirations, dreams, or success. It has been about so much more than what I have done or what I have not done. It has been about so much more than I could have ever comprehended at age twenty or even forty.
It has been about so much more.
I know that I am now living the expression that is perfect for me at this time. I know that I have said yes to the authentic call upon my life, and that I am dedicated to staying obedient to that call. I know that every single thing that has happened during these previous decades have been in service of the Unfoldment of my higher self. I know that mine was, is, and shall ever be a life of service. That unfolding has been far from comfortable, and there have been many struggles and pains. I am continually called to die to personality aspects of myself that get in the way of my effectiveness in serving others. But I know now with certainty that I belong in the audience and not upon the stage. And I also know that my rightful place is in front of a congregation, sharing not a role but what is most real in my heart.
And that is so much more fulfilling than I ever dreamed my life could be.