We twelve women, each wrapped in her shawl of wisdom, were sitting in Circle in southern Arizona for our monthly GTW Gathering, always the third Thursday of each month.
The question posed for discussion was, “What do you wish you had known in your 20’s and 30’s that you know now?” The question had no nudgings of regret for how our lives have unfolded, only an understanding that, with the gathering of years, we all have become awakened to the benefits of knowledge gained through lived experiences. Our ages ranged from 52 through 73. As the talking piece moved around the Circle, each woman spoke about what she had learned, and when she was finished, the Guardian rang the chimes.
Here is what was shared:
“What I believed to be true back then does not have to bind me now as what I believe my Truth to be. I have learned not to get attached to my beliefs as unalterable.”
“It took me years to learn to LISTEN to my inner voice, my intuition, and to trust it.”
“I don’t have to TRY something to know that it is not for me” and “I have learned to expect to be respected for what I believe and say”.
“I finally learned that I was already complete as I was and needed no one to complete me, that I was more than enough as I was”.
“Do not eat brownies unless you know the source of the ingredients.”
“I have learned that I should have chosen a career that was RIGHT for me, not one that society expected me to choose.”
“I realized that I did not need to be in competition with other girls, and I have learned the value, importance and the necessity of women friends in my life.”
“I have shed the conditioning of putting men on pedestals.”
“I wish I had listened to my Mother because she had the wisdom of life experience that I have finally come to know at my age now.”
“I have learned the power of these four words: This too shall pass.”
“It took me years to understand the value of positive self-talk and now I only say words of praise and celebration about myself. I have become my own best friend.”
“Living in a state of gratitude rather than focusing on the negative has been a powerful lesson in my life. That which I focus upon is what I draw to myself so I am constantly aware of the positives in my life.”
“I know now that my ideas have VALUE.”
“I would have kept my birth name, rather than going with society’s expected practice of taking my husband’s name. I lost a little of myself when I did that.”
“I discovered early the importance of having my own money!”
One of the elegant benefits of being in circle with sisters of all ages is that we are constantly learning from each other’s life experiences. May we all be blessed by the continual sharing of our personal journeys back to our true and authentic selves.
- By Mary Cunningham