The Seventh Decade
Seventy became the scenery, the backdrop upon which this newest, surprising journey unfurled.
Approaching my seventieth-birthday, something unhinged in me. My professional successes were no longer enough; they didn’t matter. My personal emptiness became louder, a shouting, screaming silence, a deafening aloneness from which I could no longer run. Everywhere I went, there I was, the empty, empty shadow of my life.
I sunk down, deeper, into my own sorrow. Without breath, without hope, seventy seemed senseless, an impossibility, and ending toward which I could not imagine, I could not choose.
Everything looked okay-enough, but—somehow—it deeply wasn’t.
Why did I feel so alone?
And then I saw her. Clearly beautiful, soberingly young, remarkably brilliant.
We saw each other.
It terrified me. She terrified me. I ran. I ran away, I ignored it, I pretended it wasn’t real. And yet, there she was.
The love of my life.
Returned again to me.
I came alive in her glow.
How had I lived, so disconnected from my own body, my own longing?
What price had loyalty, commitment cost me? To where had the joy escaped?
I knew that the greatest act of integrity I could muster would be to leave everything I had, except for my sobriety, and to walk toward my body’s longing, my heart’s opening.
With total trust and tiny slivers of terror, I did.
Leaving was perhaps the hardest and yet the easiest thing I have ever done, in these many years of hard and easy things to do.
And now, seventy hovers.
She lands this week, this entity, this seventieth year of my life.
I am a child in it, giddy and inept, humbled and new in the face of love unknown.
I am a woman in it, touched and opened, finally now, alive inside, for the first time.
I am grieving in it, releasing that which was. I am not a leaver—I am the loyal one. Yet shifting the loyalty to myself was the most profound and powerful and right choice I could make.
I am birthing in it, coming alive for the first time to the touch of love, the ease of bodies connecting, the awe of waking into another’s love.
I am free in it.
I am alive in it.
I am new in it.
Terrified and trusting, I am being born into my seventieth year with the most astonishing blessing of all; the gift of a love both new and ancient.
I offer you John Lennon, for two-minutes-and-forty-eight-seconds, saying it all for me, Oh My Love:
Dear Readers, leaving a marriage and connecting with a younger partner, I know, offers a Rorschach Test for us, all. Commitment to the Institution of the Couple is a huge, magnetizing value. Many of my friends have not been able to celebrate my blessings with me. Some have.
Notice your reactions to this post. What is stirred in you? In the mirror of my experience, what do you see about yourself? What is habitual about your response? Where does it come from inside of you? Notice without judgment.
I share this unfoldment with you all because I believe in its spiritual essence. I believe that Grace has guided me, that listening to my heart and my body are new, healing responses for me. I believe that, for me, being given joy and pleasure at my age is nothing short of a God-centered miracle.
You all in the Land of Blog, you all who have shared so much of my journey, you so deserve to know of this deeply personal and miraculous gift. Offering it to you on my birthday week feels so appropriate. And please know that this process, although spurred by the events of this past year, has been a many-year journey of therapeutic self-evaluation.
I am grateful to share with you. Always. Please know you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org