Work With Me

Episode 48: Brave Enough To Look Like Your Mother (and other scary stuff) As You Get Older

aging with grit and grace becoming brave 101 fearless after 50 hiding your heart soft is the new strong Nov 28, 2021
 
 

Brave Enough to Look Like My Mother (and other scary stuff) as You Get Older

 

“This is your great-grandma. And great-grandpa,” I told my grandson as I handed him a photo of my parents. Do you think I look like them?”

He shook his head. Not yet.”

Well, this didn't actually happen to be...but it could! 

We often are shocked when we look in the mirror or when we see pictures of ourselves and realize that we're starting to resemble our parents. 

I just shared a Reel on Instagram about finding my first chin hair. I remember that exact moment because my mom always struggled with chin hairs on her chin. She was quick to shave them off. 

Now I pluck, but, whatever you do to get rid of them, we usually try, right? When I discovered that first long black curly chin hair coming out of my chin, I had this sinking feeling inside. It was, being honest here, a feeling of dread

“Oh no! I am becoming my mother!” 

Chin hair is the least of our worries, really, when we consider all we must face as we get into this last phase of our journey. It can last for 25 years, 10 years - we never know when our journey is going to end. 

The important thing though, of course, is how we face it.

There's so much uncertainty in this life lately. Scary stuff. 

We need so much courage, not just to face the signs of aging but also just to carry on as things happen to us in our lives. 

And there’s a lot that happens. I can understand why some women, when they prick their fingers on the spindle of pain like Sleeping Beauty did, decide to just run and hide.

I love Fairy Tales! And I think of the story of Sleeping Beauty often because it’s such a good depiction of life. She pricked her finger on a spindle of pain and it put her to sleep. 

When we prick our fingers on pain for the 1000th time, we just want to fall asleep inside our castles and coast through to the end of our lives so we don't have to face it.

We hide. 

We get away from it by putting our hearts to sleep. The Fiery Fear, Dragon roars our Fear Stories at us, standing on guard outside of our castle. 

We allow him to scare us more, to remind us of all of the ‘what if’s’,  to think about all the things that could happen as we go. 

And all the things that have happened and what they mean.

Is being Fearless after 50 really possible?

I've been thinking a lot about this whole thing about becoming fearless after 50. Is that really possible? 

To be mindful of what we have to fear, I started a list of the things that happened just this week alone. Frightening, very human situations that happen to be included in this thing we call “life”.  

Remember, you are an individual walking along your Path of life. When you enter it, you begin the Path. When you die, you end the Path on this earth.

And in between, all this stuff happens to you. Your greatest mission here is to decide how you handle it

You, with your beautiful, incredible heart. The heart that's filled with your little quirks, with your personality, with your choices, with your beliefs, with your way of looking at life, with how you interpret things.

A heart filled with your gifts, your talents, your skills. There are all kinds of things that you hold there. Just being ‘you’. 

You. When you strip away all the pain, when you strip away all the fear, there you are... standing in the spotlight. 

Just you. Beautiful, individual, unique. You. 

I love that. I love that thought. 

However, in the midst of the incredible fact that you are amazingly and beautifully ‘you’, we have to think about the scary stuff that's going on around you. 

Bombs go off unexpectedly shocking you in your life. 

Boulders drop out of the blue flattening you for a while.

Other people, on their paths, throw rocks at you. Their expectations, the words that they use coming out of their own stories. Aiming their pain against you.

You are navigating all of this kind of stuff on your Path. 

The list of possible Bombs, Boulders and Rocks is long. Let me  tell you a few that I wrote down on my “list of possible scary situations”. 

  • We live in a condo. An apartment building is directly across from us and the main door into the building  is open to a small entryway. We often see homeless people sleeping in there at night. Imagine that! What a scary scenario to have to find a place to shelter for the night because you have no home. 

  • I just heard about a friend who attended a funeral of a 63 year old woman who died of ALS,  a terrible disease. (63 no longer seems that old to me.)

  • I have a cousin who is only 65 who is fighting cancer in her liver and her brain. She has lesions all through her stomach. And she's alone. She has friends who support her but she lives a long way from family. And she's living through this alone. That's scary. 

  • I just spoke with a 50 year old diabetic woman who has $2,000 in medication every month to worry about. She needs to keep her job, which she doesn't enjoy, in order to have the benefits to pay for that medication. She believes she’s pretty much stuck there. 

  • I also know a man who's a very dear friend of mine in his forties and his mom has been fighting through COVID-19. She had to be moved hundreds of miles from her home to a hospital where there was a bed and he couldn't even go and visit her. He could only keep up on what was happening by talking to those who are caring for her. She had been put in a medically induced coma and had to be flipped every few hours from her stomach to her back in order to help her lungs to breathe properly. 

  • This week, we marked the day four years ago that my mom left this earth. She had amazing strength but she faced, in the last 10 years of her life, a lot of challenges with her heart. There are all kinds of questions about the care she had earlier on in her life. If a doctor had been paying more attention, could she have been spared the kind of suffering that she went through in the last few years of her life?

  • My dear sister is adapting to a life alone. Two years ago this same week she lost her husband suddenly in a massive heart attack. One chamber of his heart basically exploded and it took him instantly. She was alone after 40-some years of teamwork, married to a guy who was her rock and took such good care of her. Now on her own, she’s dealing with how to come to terms with the fact that he's no longer there.

The most natural response is To Focus on the fear

All of these scary things happen to us as we walk this Path called “Life”. It's no wonder that we need to be sure we shift our focus from the fear, to, instead, how to be brave.

How to be brave enough to withstand all these things and the possibility of all these things.

It’s not only about looking like our moms in 10 years but also about all the things that could happen to our bodies and break us down as we get older. 

It’s about building on a foundation of courage that will help us to face all of the situations that come to us as we're walking our Path. The things we can’t control and surprise us along the way.

We caught the tail end of the Wonder Woman movie last nigh - , the first one which I absolutely love because there are so many messages of courage in that movie. 

In the final scene she's facing the great villain - and is tempted to go over to the ‘dark side’ because she realizes how difficult life is, how impossible it would be to save the world when there's so much darkness around her. Darkness, even, in the human heart.

However, as she stands there, debating what is going to be her decision about how she goes forward, she suddenly remembers the love she had for the man that she just lost who gave his life as a hero. 

She suddenly remembers the hearts of those people that are precious to her and how she wants to fight for them. 

A determination comes over her face. She says to her enemy, “It's not about deserving. It's about what you believe... And I believe in love.”

Then she rises up into the air and all of this power fills her up. A brilliant light comes out of her which she shoots down as a weapon, overpowering and destroying the evil.

She uses the power of her love to destroy the power of hate. 

She overcomes with love. She overcomes the evil...the negative, the terrible consequences of the things that happen with the power of love. 

That's the theme of the Wonder Woman story. She fights because of love and the amazing power it has to conquer evil.  Love always wins.

Love overcomes fear. Love is greater than fear. 

And if you focus on the love, if you let your heart be Brave Enough for Love, instead of cowering in the fear, then the things that happen to us in life take on a different meaning.

Their ability to create terror in us begins to shrink. We realize that the fight is to stay SOFT and to stay Strong despite the fear. Despite what is causing the fear. 

We begin to understand that we can fight against the fear by growing into what keeps our hearts SOFT, no matter our age. 

Being 50, 65, 78 or 92... if you allow love to be stronger than fear, love to be your driving force, then you step into your strength like your warrior

You become open to that love and to life and you step into your Magic.

You find the feeling, unconditional compassionate side of you that is your feminine by stepping into your Lover. 

And you become the Sovereign in your life, who is true to you, to your standards, to your beliefs, to who you are as a person. 

What we need is courage. What we need to prevent us from shrinking in life as we age is to learn to be Brave - not just Brave Enough to face everything but Brave Enough to love and win with love instead of letting fear win. 

The Secret Inner Hero Society

This is the ‘why” behind wanting to create a community of women who are in this phase of life who say, “Yes, I want to be SOFT and Strong. I want to live this last part of my life powerfully. 

This is the ‘why’ I'm calling them “The Secret Inner Hero Society” because we all have a Wonder Woman inside of us who makes that decision to love instead of being overcome by fear.

If you want to know more about the Secret Inner Hero Society, go to my website, www.braveenoughforlove.com. That's where I'm creating this community. 

When the doors are open, you are going to be able to join for a very nominal fee because I want as many as possible to walk together for a year at a time to go forward and to become stronger, to focus on love. To find that Hero inside of each of us. 

THEN watch out, world! We won’t be afraid to look like our mothers. 

We won’t be afraid to face whatever happens within our bodies.

 We will find ourselves training to be Stronger, to be Softer, to be more loving, to change the world, like Wonder Woman. 

With Love.

Stay connected. We all need to be connected to a group of people going in the same direction as we are.

Let me encourage you, inspire you or simply keep you informed.
Become a part of the Brave Heart Community.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason. Cancel at any time.