Love Letter #53: Late Blooming

I’ve often thought of myself as a late bloomer.

Although I did some things early in life – marry, have children – truly getting to know myself all came much later in life; college graduation, travel, finding community, and a new relationship after being single, by choice, for eight years all happened after the age of 50.

But where the hell do these ideas that life works on a certain trajectory come from?

Most of us follow them, including me until recent years. Now, I simply consider myself a bloomer. A beautiful life blossoming as me, right on time and in my own way. I no longer feel the pressure of having to do anything the way it “should” be done – whatever that means.

This is true for all of us. Each one here is a bloomer, birthing their life their way. There is no right or wrong, no on-time or late, no better or worse. Different yes, but none is more valuable than the other.

Often, I feel we allow those collective ideas to dictate our lives and forgo what we feel compelled to do. How often are we urged to follow the path that pays the most rather than the one that brings us the most joy? How often have we allowed others to talk us out of following our hearts because, to them, it doesn’t make sense.

It’s important that we recognize that what others think isn’t about us…it’s about them. Their fears are being projected at us. In hindsight, I can see how I’ve projected my own insecurities onto others in my life thinking I knew better. Guess what…I don’t.

My life doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me except for an inner knowing that defies explanation.  

And, there are very real fears that we will be rejected from the circles of those we love as a result of doing what seems unusual. We fear that going our own way will mean going it alone.

In my experience this standing alone is where we create a vacuum for the Universe to bring all that we need into our lives. You will find people on your path who see the light in you and want to support you…your belief and trust in yourself will ensure this.

That doesn’t make those who don’t understand us any less important. In fact, it’s those people, through their lack of understanding, that are often the very thing we need to propel us into the life we are truly meant to live.

I have deep gratitude for those who don’t understand me and the way I live my life because they have helped me understand myself more deeply. They have shown me what I need and who I wish to be in the world. They are beautiful guides – although it took me years to recognize this.

I get how this, too, is love – it just felt like something else when I thought I had to make them understand. But it’s not my job to make anyone understand me or see life my way. It’s my job to understand myself and live into this life in the fullness of what and who I am called to be…and that evolves over time.

Writer was something that took me forever and a day to claim and own for myself; even after I’d self-published a book.

Later, I contributed a story in a best-selling women’s anthology with twenty other women. Mine was the best written story – this is not just my opinion. I’ve heard this from others. Every story was powerful and inspiring, but none so well written. This was the moment I allowed myself to own my gift as a writer. I write – I am a writer.

As I write this Year of Love Letters to you and to me, I’ve been spending some time in the early morning contemplating this simple question, “What more?”. It is my intention to allow what comes to come, trusting the glimmers and insights that I receive.

As this next chapter begins – and it’s always beginning – I know everything that is needed will come into my awareness. It may not happen in any special “order” of things, but this is the magic of life…and I am doing my best not to limit the limitless nature of the Universe.

I can understand that this may sound like a passive way of being in the world. But surrender is not passive. In fact, it requires a great deal of restraint to be still and listen, to let go of resistance to what is, and follow the nudges. They’re easy to overlook because they aren’t always about doing anything…and we are so programmed to be doing all the time.

My invitation today is to follow your heart. You’re not late. It’s always now and now is the best time to begin. Take the risk. Do the thing that makes your heart skip a beat and sets your soul on fire. Claim your gifts and share them with the world. The world needs you.

One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because the world needs more people who have come alive.”

Do what makes you come alive.

With love,

Take a bold step towards what makes you come alive…

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