My ex texted me the other day. "I want to take you out to lunch. There are some things I need to get off of my chest, to tell you about our relationship."
Was I curious? Absolutely. Did I want to hear what he had to say? That one was more difficult. I wasn't sure it was in my best interest.
Our six-month relationship ended over a year ago; yet there was still a tie. We've run into each other a few times over the course of the past year and it always tugged at my heart strings.
It wasn't that I wanted him back; I didn't. But there was something there that bugged me.
Instead of responding to him, I decided to do some soul searching. I asked myself some tough questions.
"Do I miss him?" No.
"Do I still love him?" No, and to be honest, I'm not sure I ever really did. I think I mistook the oxytocin/dopamine rush of being twitterpated for the real thing.
"Do I want him back?" Absolutely not!
"Then what is it? What's the pull? What tugs at me every time I see him?" That's when I heard it - that still, small voice of my heart.
"It's the dream...it's time to let go of the dream..." The floodgates opened; my tears fell freely as my heart let go. I mourned the end of an era; the end of my mothering years. I faced, once and for all, my inability to have children, my inability to achieve my dream.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 18, and told at 21 that I would never be able to have children. My infertility had been a huge issue in my 18-year marriage, but despite all the evidence against it, I hadn't ever really given up the dream.
So what was it about this man, this relatively short relationship, that tugged on my heart strings? Why was he part of my dream? Let me give you a little back story: I met this man 10 months after I had gotten a divorce and turned 40. He professed that he didn't care whether I could have kids or not. He held me when I realized I was perimenopausal and my dreams of having children were coming to an end. He told me I was enough - just as I was. That I wasn't flawed or broken; this was something I desperately needed to hear.
Yet, despite his reassurance, I think reaching my perimenopausal years childless only intensified the dream. I wanted a family. I wanted the husband, the kids, and the white picket fence. I wanted what I felt was my God-given right and had been denied.
When our relationship ended, I had to let go not only of the man, but also of the dream. As it turns out, that was harder of the two for me to do.
I realized this past week that it was time to close the door on that dream. I honestly thought I had, but it turns out I hadn't. That was the tug on my heart strings; that was what I couldn't let go of. It was never about the man; it was about the dream. I never realized how firmly entrenched it had become in my soul. It was time to say goodbye to my mothering years, so that I could enter my Queen years.
I envisioned that I was on a path and reached a fork in the road. I asked my Soul to show me my dream - I needed to know what I was letting go of. So I let myself walk down that path of my dream - the husband, the little boy and little girl I had so desperately wanted, the happy home I envisioned we'd have. As I watched all of this unfold, I let the tears flow as my mind played out the dream I knew would never become a reality.
When I was done, I walked backwards, leaving the dream, the vision, behind as I walked. When I got back to where I started, I envisioned a door. I closed that door - the door to my dream - and I didn't look back.
Next, I asked my Soul to show me the path I am meant to walk; my Soul's journey. Here I saw myself in my current life phase - embracing the Queen archetype that I am meant to embody. I saw my passion and purpose; and I had some powerful realizations.
As I enter the next phase of my life, I see how the mothering instinct needs to turn within. I need to make sure I take care of myself - fill my own cup - so that I can be of greater service to the world. I saw that, as a woman, our perimenopausal years are really about empowering younger women - teaching and mentoring them so that they don't make the same mistakes we made. Letting them know that they don't need to sacrifice themselves or lose themselves - to a man, a job, a family. Teaching them that self-love and self-care are essential ingredients to a happy, fulfilled life. Showing them, through example, that you can be of service and live your passion and purpose without depleting yourself. Helping them find themselves earlier than we did, so that they can speak their truth and walk in their power sooner rather than later. Teaching them how to love and accept themselves for who they are - not when they lose 10 pounds or achieve some fleeting societal standard of beauty.
And so, I walk. I choose to walk down this new path - the path of the Perimenopausal woman. Motherhood was never my path to walk, at least not in a traditional sense. Instead, as I enter perimenopause, I choose to walk a new path, to empower other women as I empower myself. I realize what I am leaving behind, and I do so with love and gratitude in my heart.
Finally and symbolically closing the door on that dream was powerful, to say the least. As you enter your perimenopausal years, regardless of whether you have children or not, I encourage you to examine what dreams you are leaving behind and what lies in store for you in the future. This is an exciting time in the lives of women everywhere - as we transition from Mothers to Queens. I hope you enjoy your journey, as I am learning to embrace and enjoy mine.
So what did I tell my ex? That while I understood and respected his need for closure - to get things off his chest - and I was grateful for my time with him, I needed to close the door on that chapter of my life. I wished him well and much peace and happiness, but told him that lunch simply wasn't in the cards.