The author spoke about her resistance to change and how she is finally able to find peace when she stops resisting a certain change she is going through and instead embraces and accepts it. She says that even though she has gone through the "Phoenix Process" many times (which is the process of being broken open by some event or circumstance), she is still resistant when another one comes upon her, and she isn't able to move forward and find a way to be happy with the change until she recognizes it and stops fighting it. She says that we all experience death throughout our lives as little deaths - things that are coming to an end in our lives. She encourages the reader to analyze what is currently dying in our life right now and to address it as a Phoenix Process.
So, this morning, as I was reading about her experience with changes brought on by menopause, I realized that I have been fighting the death of my childhood innocence. I grew up pretty sheltered. I was very happy and didn't go through a lot of hard experiences. I always thought I could do everything and have everything I wanted. That mindset continued in college and through my 20s. However, when I hit 30, something changed. I began to understand my and other's mortality, as I think many people start to do in their 30s, and I started doubting my ability to get everything I want and losing confidence in myself. This has upset me because I thought we were supposed to get more confident as we get older and wiser!
But now I realize that I have always been confident because of my childhood innocence. Now my childhood innocence is dying, and I'm realizing all of the depression and hard experiences that people have to go through in life. I have been fighting this death because I like my innocence (because it makes me happy), but I realized this morning that its death is inevitable, and it will probably make me a better mother to my future children if I accept it and learn from it and choose to be happy in life despite all of the tragedies that occur. I need to be aware of all that life can bring, both the unbelievable joy and the unrelenting sadness, so that I can have a more rich and joyful life and so I can help my kids with whatever they may encounter.
It's hard to really find joy when you haven't also encountered sadness. As many people know, there is great value in opposites (poor and rich, happy and sad) because it's very difficult to truly appreciate and value the good things in life without experiencing some of the bad things. The author encourages us to live life open to all experiences, to accept that things are going to change and sometimes in ways we don't want, and that it's not about what we want to accomplish or gain in life that is important, rather it's about just living life as it comes and finding the joy in the unknown and unexpected changes and loving our family and friends.
These lessons are completely against my nature of planning and goal setting and wanting control. But I can't control life. I can control some things, but I can't control everything, especially what happened with Brady and what will happen with trying to have kids. So I will try to remember each day to let life come as it will, to enjoy what I do have and have faith that I will get what I want eventually. I know deep down that Paul and I will have kids one day. I can feel it. Sometimes the feeling is so strong I am amazed by it. The only thing I don't know, and that I can't control, is how we get those kids. So I will trust in God to lead me down the right path and eventually we will have children. In the meantime, we will enjoy what we have already, because one of the things I can control is how I view the world and my life and how I react to every experience I have.