I don't consider myself old at age 62 and I am aware that my decades are lessening. With family health crises and deaths in my circle of friends this season, the epiphany that life could change in an instant triggered an aspiration to live closer and be a part of my son's adult life. I embraced the simplicity and clarity in that moment.
Expecting their first child in several months, there is a pull to be closer as he creates his family of the next generation. Embracing my role as a grandmother is calling my being to re-assess, re-evaluate, and reconsider how to live my next decade. Although I do not have complete control over life events, I can have a clear intent to be closer to him. Closer physically, he lives in Colorado, myself in Oregon.
Closer to supporting raising a grandchild with multi-generational care. Spending time in outdoor nature walks and adventures, and simple community gatherings and mealtimes. Emotional intimacy of sharing life's joys, disappointments, and overwhelm with the support of family that carries through.
There is significant fear in how logistics would line up for such a transition. Finances, housing, employment, moving and the adaptability to a new community. I have lived in my community for 18 years, and growth for such a change is daunting.
Living with HIV requires significant care of my mental and physical health and a number one priority. And aside from the fact that my full-time job to support myself as a single woman takes more energy as I age, I am learning I need even more time to recharge and be in self care. As I consider choices and changes for my next decade, there is tenderness in my heart that longs for family. To contribute to a family with a sense of belonging that affects an exchange of wellbeing is a strong component of the longing.
This season of dark has brought new layers of personal reflection. New layers to recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture "RAIN" as my meditation mentor Tara Brach teaches.
Layer #1 My life is not how I had hoped it to be. The belief I would be in a significant loving relationship in a stable modest home with shared interests, supportive community and appreciation for my contributions to home life. I admit I grew up with stories of idealistic Cinderella fairy tales and yet loving community is a basic human need. Do not judge your longing Sunbeam, give space for allowing.
Layer #2 Confidence in decision making. My confidence feels compromised because of an untrue story that my bad decisions have led to a life I had not hoped for. I do not have complete control over life's outcomes, no matter what decision I make. Events happen for reasons sometimes unknown, and to minimize suffering, a tremendous amount of trust is required for living the human experience. I have made the best decisions given what I knew at a given time. Remember this Sunbeam, you can trust life and its unfolding.
I notice the remunerating mental activity of thoughts, events, and loss of relationships. Triggers can bring agitated mental activity, anxiety and pain in my body, all opportunities for mindfulness as a coping skill. With mindfulness I notice my thoughts, feel my body and use the moment as an invitation to honor discomfort with love and acceptance. I often touch my heart and dialogue out loud "I love you Positive Sunbeam." I remember my challenges have formed my resilience and contribute to my gifts I am here to share. Living with HIV is a gift sometimes in disguise. I hold that truth, and trust the layers will unfurl in order to move through darkness and be touched by the light to shine and be expressed as gifts of my human experience, in this place, in this time.
I am A Positive Sunbeam walking on Mother Earth.
Will you be family, can I love with you?
Do not fear me, I will not fear you
We are free to be, free you and me
We are alive and well finding our way
We are Positive Sunbeams walking on Mother Earth