Wow! To say that and really believe it… To not be afraid of anything.
There is something about her… There is something she walks with that all of us wish we possessed even an ounce of. She walks with a confidence and certainty. She is sure of every step she takes and every decision she makes and she moves with a smile. I have never seen her angry. We call her “the spirit lifter” and “anger whisperer.” She never lets us beat up on ourselves and highlights the best in all of us.
When she told me she wasn’t afraid of anything I believed her. In her life adventures she has traveled to the Great Wall, sky dived in Fox Glacier, New Zealand, white water rafting in Rio Futaleufú, Chile, she has backpacked through Jordan, Cuba, Brazil and over 60 other countries and she has no intention of stopping. She has parasailed, dived, sky dived, and hunted. But when she shared her story about walking the volcano we all listened. She walked a live volcano. Once she got to the top, there was something that struck her about looking down into something that was once alive. She shared that when she looked down inside and against the walls there was something beautiful, spiritual… And that she felt cleansed just by the heat that still remained.
She shared with me that there were moments in her life where outside forces or people told her she couldn’t do what she set out to do… every crazy idea or perceived crazy idea she had like leaving the country or coming out as a lesbian after spending a large portion of her life living as a straight woman. She was crazy they told her for switching amazing jobs and moving from city to city… on the outside THEY, her judge and jurors…
Told by those who love her that she was living her life frivolously, carelessy, irresponsibly and to them.. Not the right way to live…
She absolutely felt hurt and offended by the many attempts to make her feel bad about the choices she has made or the way she chooses to live her life. She she shared with me that there was one day at a dinner with her entire family she felt ganged up on, they used that opportunity to form some kind of twisted life intervention… The focus was “the direction of her life”. Everyone had something to say about how she was headed down the wrong path… How she needed to pick something already. How she was wasting her life away. How she was spending all her time traveling spending money and wouldn’t have anything to retire with. They tried to convince her that her latest idea to live in another country with a woman she hardly knew indefinitely was by far the worst decision and probably the biggest mistake she would ever make and that her life would be ruined because of it.
Once she was done listening, she didn’t get angry, she didn’t argue, she didn’t defend or explain. She didn’t assure or promise them anything. She got up from the table, glass in hand, finished her Malbec, placed the glass on the table, walked calmly to her mother kissed her on the forehead and said goodbye.
She never saw her mother again. She sent her post cards from her travels, gifts on her birthdays and holidays. She said goodbye, unafraid and never looked back.
As I begin saying goodbye to all of these incredibly powerful women what I am thinking about is keeping them with me. As I continue my climb without them I will live without fear. I will pull up a chair for fear and have a final dinner with her. I will kiss fear on the forehead and say goodbye. I will say goodbye to all those who who are unfulfilled and miserable. I say goodbye to those who project their stuff on me. I say goodbye to the naysayers and dream killers. I say goodbye to anger. I say goodbye to gossip and poison. With the flames and heat of the volcano I am cleansed. I am taking huge risks. I am adventurous.
Hope is where I live and I am finally going home.
And so it is. Namaste. Aché
With all my love,