If there is one lesson I am learning at the moment it is that we don’t know what we don’t know.
It is the unknown unknowns that blindside us.
Each phase of life has its own unknown unknowns. I have always taken pride in the fact that I have been able to direct people much older than me on individually guided retreats. I also enjoy genuine soul friendships with a number of people who are significantly older than I am.
It is with some humility then that I have to admit that I really didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know that the mid-life transition can be significant and turbulent. I genuinely thought that as I had been quite deliberate in my choices since my early twenties that I would sail through the mid-life transition relatively smoothly.
For me, it isn’t so much about the questions of what have done with my life and what I am doing. As much as it is the stripping of pretense. The sugar coating I had unconsciously used to cover my real motivations has been stripped away. I am left naked; vulnerable and defenseless.
I see my woundedness, and I am beginning to be able to name the force which drove me. I have no idea of where this journey is taking me. I have no idea what I will need to lay aside. All I know is that there is only one way through and that is to allow myself to feel the rawness and grief.
It is almost impossible to articulate because I don’t quite know what I am grieving, and yet here I am. I am in a space I didn’t even know existed. It is humbling indeed.
I am tremendously grateful that I have the time and mental space to allow myself simply to be here – my sabbatical came at just the right time!