In 2012, after my move from the UK to Andalucia in Spain, I was based in a small village in the Alpujarras, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
I lived in a pretty little whitewashed casita by the Rio Chico in what I can only describe as a small Garden of Eden, surrounded by mountains with a constant deep, blue sky.. The fertile lands of Andalucia are abundant, my friends and my garden was filled with fruit and nut trees; lemons, avocados, oranges, kiwis, figs, walnuts, almonds, and the most amazing grapevines to name a few.
Life was very different from the chaotic legal career that I had left behind, to say the least.
Tiptoeing over the dewy grass every morning, I would pluck my breakfast right from the tree. So many lazy days enjoying the sweetness of the oranges under the Spanish sun. My evenings were dedicated to cracking walnuts to enjoy with grapes and cheese under the stars of the Andalucian skies.
Those were the days, my friend!
It was a time when I found myself turning inward in contemplation. The peaceful garden filled with birdsong by day and the gentle croak of tree frogs and crickets by night felt like a sanctuary, a place where I could delve into my soul to see what I could find.
I consumed so many books over the course of the summer and it was during this time that I came across the book Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Like many women over thirty, the book spoke to me on such a deep level and affected me so profoundly that it changed the course of my life forever.
No more than Clarissa´s words on the choice every woman must make at some point from their thirties onwards. To get better or grow bitter….
“There is a time in our lives, usually in mid-life when a woman has to make a decision – possibly the most important psychic decision of her future life – and that is, whether to be bitter or not. Women often come to this in their late thirties or early forties. They are at the point where they are full up to their ears with everything and they’ve “had it” and “the last straw has broken the camel’s back” and they’re “pissed off and pooped out.” The dreams of their twenties may be lying in a crumple. There may be broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises.”
I was 33 at the time. The dreams of my twenties were in tatters as I had already made the tough choice to leave behind my legal career to search for a more authentic and healthy life. Yet, I was very aware that I was carrying emotional wounds from the past that would fester and become bitter if I left them for much longer.
I made a choice in my little Garden of Eden to do everything I could to get better for my future self. To heal on a daily basis. To wash away all the emotional crap that I´d accumulated over the years. To grow wilder so that I could manifest a life of happiness, health and abundance.
Since then, over the last eight years, I have refused to become bitter no matter what life has thrown at me.
I chose life instead of soul death. Light instead of darkness. Love instead of hate. I said no to sinking into an abyss of apathy on a daily basis. I chose to get better instead of becoming bitter so that I could grow wilder and bloom.
I´m now in my early forties and I count my blessing that I had made the right choice to get better. I no longer carry the past with me – I feel as if I have been given (or earned) a brand new beginning, which isn´t tarred by the past. A new life to create whatever I choose.
And it all came from making the right choice. A choice every woman will face. To get better or grow bitter, my friends, which one will you choose?
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.