Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Remember that one? Well, it has come in handy for me recently.
Now, I have been called gentle as if it was a weakness; fiercely protective of my children as if it were a personality flaw; too patient as if I carried a defective gene (aka the procrastinator's gene).
I have been called rebellious as if I failed at my job to fit in and not make waves. I call the waves I do make "ripples."
I have been called confident as if being confident was a sign of being delusional. I have been called outrageous as if I am a liability to the status quo, which I guess I am.
I have been called compassionate, generous and kind as if I was doomed to be taken advantage of. I have been called sensitive and idealistic as if I was doomed to suffer disappointment.
I have been called loving as if I was doomed to be broken-hearted.
I have been called assertive as if I was tearing the fabric of society to shreds. I have been called too creative. Can anyone be too creative?
I have been called a visionary as if what I should be is content with what I have and let it be. I have been called inquisitive as if curiosity is inherently disrespectful.
I have been called forgetful. Ouch. That hit a nerve.
I have entered my 60s and right on schedule I am starting to be forgetful. I don't like it one bit. I used to pride myself on my good memory. Scientists have recently revealed that memory loss is almost definitely associated with menopause. BALDERDASH I say to myself, not wanting that to be true.
Now, where was I? Oh ya. I am getting forgetful. I'll admit that I forget names, details, where I put things, where I put my car keys and how to speak Spanish. What I do remember? Here is my answer to that inquiry.
I remember to be grateful for my life every day and to release expectations to forgiveness. I remember that forgiveness is a practice not an event. I forget to practice that every day. I'll make myself a note, which reminds me: I remember to write a grocery list. I also forget to bring it with me to the grocery store every time.
I remember to smile at strangers and laugh at my silliness. I remember to pray each morning and each night. I remember my dreams and how to listen deeply to my children. I remember how to ride a bike. I remember to vote.
I remember to respect myself with the choices I make. I remember to say thank you. I also remember how to write thank-you notes. I want to remember to do that more often.
I remember that other people have problems too, not just me. I remember how to respect my elders and how to be patient when boiling water.
I remember how to appreciate beauty and how to surrender to love so it can envelop me. I remember that money can't buy happiness and that each experience is sacred.
I remember that my past is in the past and that my future isn't here yet. I remember to savor the present moment. I remember to say please.
I remember that solitude nurtures me. I remember to pause and be gentle with myself when I forget something or make a mistake. I remember to say I am sorry when I am sorry.
I remember to trust what my body is telling me when I feel an ache or a pain. I remember to eat when I am hungry, drink when I am thirsty, rest when I am tired and pee when I have to.
I remember that beauty shines through our eyes and is ageless. I often forget to stop comparing myself to younger women, but I am starting to remember that more.
I remember to tell my husband that I love him everyday. Sometimes I forget to really believe my husband when he tells me he loves me. I am getting better at that too. I remember to love what I love and care about what I care about. I remember to love, for the pure sake of loving, and I remember to tell the world about it. Sometimes I get shy when I talk about love.
I remember my commitment to unravel the mystery of self-love.
I remember to decide what is right for me based on my wisdom and intuition rather than what someone else might say. I remember to be kind and that kindness is healing. I remember to risk embarrassment when doing something new. I am getting really good at being embarrassed.
I remember to appreciate beauty (I think I am repeating myself. It goes along with being forgetful) and to cherish silence. I remember to have fun. I remember how to be playful.
I forget sometimes not to take life too seriously.
Some of these things I remember I forgot when I was younger. It seems to me my memory is actually getting better, if I do say so myself!
As a life coach I work with people who are eager to turn what they perceive as a liability (like forgetfulness) into an asset and a negative into a positive.
In my perspective one of the gifts of life is about embracing all of who we are at any given moment. To dwell in possibility, as poet Emily Dickinson once said. Life is really about practicing self-acceptance.
What would be possible for you if you embraced all of you -- your memories and your forgetfulness-bringing them together into the present moment? How would that be?
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