Approaching 50

“There will likely be times in your life when your soul evolves more quickly than your circumstances.”  –Madisyn Taylor

Maybe that’s what has been happening.  My soul is evolving. It doesn’t really hurt, not like the growing pains I remember from my childhood that seemed to only be fixed by my father’s deep tissue massage as I sat, crying, with my legs aching.  You can’t see it like I see my own children evolving from baby to toddler to child to teenager, leaving behind a wake of outgrown clothes and outgrown phases.  No one else seems to notice, just as no one really notices weight loss at first, there’s just a sense that something looks different (new haircut? new glasses? new shirt?).

It is hard to identify when you are in the thick of it, because evolution isn’t announced with trumpeters and fanfare…it crawls out of the muck and finds its land legs, gradually becoming less amphibious and more reptilian, protective scales and all.

But my soul is evolving.  I don’t feel it when it’s on the upward swing, but rather I notice it when old habits come and wrap themselves around me like a worn sweater.  I feel the absence of the evolution.  I look in the mirror and see all the flaws.  I speak out and hear all the misspoken words and watch the faces around me not understanding what I am trying to say.  I swirl in my own miscommunication.  I move from one space to another and wonder how to shrink my presence so that I am almost invisible.  And after each of these moments, I am struck by the contrast between who I am and this person that I have always been.

I want to shake off the sweater, but this time I don’t want to just toss it in the back of the closet.  I want to be brave enough to pack it up and Marie Kondo that thing out of my existence.  And yet, I know, that even though I no longer have gills, there are aspects of my past self that are integral to sustaining my future me.  All of it is connected and dependent and part of the larger whole of who I will ultimately become.  My soul is evolving…it always has been, I just didn’t really notice.

5 thoughts on “Approaching 50

  1. I have consciously noticed my spiritual evolution in the past 5 or 6 years more than any other part of my life. The muck of the empty nest was probably the start of my awareness. Thanks for putting it into words so I can reflect more.

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  2. There comes a time when it is too painful to remain in the cocoon, and the butterfly has no choice but to burst out and fly. I felt like this at forty; you’ve had ten more years to contemplate what your wings will look like. Think of the experience you now possess, the wisdom of all that living. You have a lot to share! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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  3. I love, love this line: “I want to be brave enough to pack it up and Marie Kondo that thing out of my existence.” It (not just this line, but the whole process of evolving…..but also, the Marie Kondo-ing old parts of yourself) sounds exciting and unsettling both. Good thing you’re so brave–I read it in all your posts.

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  4. Lovely – evolving is hard and can only be seen is tiny little moments. It surprises as you say. I love thinking about this. In yoga this afternoon I also noticed a small but wonderful change in how a few things have changes. My muscles are a bit looser, my mind a bit freer, breathing slower and more at easy. Small, small steps. I love the thought of moving my old tensions and fear out for good. Thanks for this post it was perfect for today.

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  5. It is odd, but I didn’t begin to notice that my soul was evolving until my two oldest got to high school. The muck and guck it still there, but everything I’ve taught them (even the things that I didn’t think they were listening to) is beginning to lead them into their own independent lives. While this happens, I begin to realize the change in myself that I did not recognize while I raised them. My youngest is lucky because I feel confident in my approach to parent and lead her. Although, with her being the fourth and being dragged through the muck that has been the theme of our household for the last five or six years, she will likely be fully evolved by high school.:) Thank you for the thought provoking post.

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