Fall path

© Johannes Plenio, Pexels.com

It’s a whole new life, I have not yet embraced it, and I am scared. So it must be time for me to write about it, my best way to find out what’s true.

What do I mean by a whole new life? I mean there is so little left of the life I lived for eight decades that I feel I’ve entered another world, and almost as if I am another person. I barely recognize myself and my ailing body, and my surroundings seem so unfamiliar it’s as if I am in another country or maybe on another planet.

Who am I? What am I doing here? I honestly no longer know the answers to those perennial questions, and that, my friends, is more than a little frightening. I’m coming to see that I may need to find answers if I want to stay on earth much longer.

Sharon, the remarkably gifted woman I see weekly for intuitive healing touch, told me yesterday that my energy body was practically divorced from my physical one. “I”—body, mind and spirit—am barely here. She could feel that with her hands, and in her heart and gut as she touched me. I could, and still can, feel it too. Am I disappearing before my own eyes?

Perhaps. Sharon even went so far as to wonder aloud if I want to stay here—yes, here on Planet Earth. For as she wisely pointed out, I can only heal, or even adequately manage my strange new symptoms, if I can commit to fully inhabiting this old body, my earthly temple as long as I choose it. Can I?

Experts who study how to live long, happy lives often suggest that, among other things, the most successful people in that regard all have a sense of purpose. They have a reason to get up in the morning compelling enough for them to kick back the covers and follow through with whatever else they must do to make it through each day. It doesn’t have to be anything hugely ambitious, but it has to be something.

Although I probably couldn’t always have articulated what my purpose was, I don’t think I’ve ever before felt at a loss for a sense of one. I’ve been a daughter, a sister, a student, a wife, a mother and friend. I’ve been a columnist, a manager, a yoga teacher, life coach and mentor. There always seemed to be roles providing a sense of purpose—a raison d’etre—underlying my willingness to get up in the morning. Always till now.

Of course I am, and still can serve as mother, a friend and now a grandmother. And I gladly do. But those roles have their limitations, particularly for someone who wants to manifest love in the footsteps of her great teacher, Swami Kripalvananda.

How, pray tell, can I manifest love in a way worthy of the effort it now takes to maintain a body struggling to stay on its shaky feet? What small part can I play in adding love to our troubled world, a part that makes it worth what has come to seem the considerable challenge of sticking around?

Some of my kind readers tell me that my writing is helpful, even inspiring to them because it is so honest, so vulnerable, raw and real. And that’s good news. For even if my extreme blood pressure fluctuations continue to dramatically limit my energy, I can still manage to write. (Or, I should say, I can dictate words on my phone, since my left hand is too impaired to be comfortable typing, and my ancient computer finally died anyway.)

Yes, I can write more words like these, speaking the stark, unblemished truth about the challenges of being, being old, being mortal, being scared, simply being human. That I can do. Whether it will offer enough of a sense of purpose to sustain me a bit longer remains to be seen. Please stay tuned.

Welcome to my Blog:

Do you long to be your truest, most loving self? So do I. I created this blog to help us both be that. Choose posts from the categories below and please comment on what the words stir up.

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About the Author: Suzanne Grenager

A seasoned writer and mentor with a gift for helping people see and be their most authentic, empowered Self.

13 Comments

  1. Martha March 4, 2024 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Maybe purpose, by going deep within to pray and meditate as Swami…to be so still – to then gather all of you.
    I send you love and understanding, as I watch my dear father with similar struggles and questions.

    • Suzanne Grenager March 6, 2024 at 10:36 am - Reply

      You got it, dear, Martha. I emulate Swami Kripalvanand’s deep-dive approach. But honestly, it’s not easy for me right now to be still enough to “gather all of me,” as you so wisely put it. Thank you for your love and encouragement and I am sorry your father is also struggling.

  2. Jody Myers March 4, 2024 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Beautifully written!

    I guess we don’t know what Swami Kripalu went thru in the last few months of his life
    but he clearly was not comfortable in his body either, although I believe he continued his practices
    until the day he died.

    I hope you continue to share your journey in your writing practice as long as possible, as it is helpful
    to us the readers.

    • Suzanne Grenager March 6, 2024 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Thank you for appreciating my writing, dear Jody. As I said in my reply to the last comment, our great teacher Bapuji is a role model par excellence for what I am going through. While I’d like to establish a more regular practice of meditation to help carry me through, I am not yet committed. I appreciate your reminder of his complete dedication right to the end of his life.

  3. Karen March 4, 2024 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Dear Suzanne, I hear your fear of the about your life now, especially the condition of your body. My thoughts…..

    Stay or go: As Sharon said, you can choose to commit to life or let it go. If you commit, in spite of the struggle you have to face each day, can you “trust the process” (as my friend Cyndy says) that what unfolds is what your soul/higher self needs?

    Love: My understanding of love is that it has to start with self-love. After that you can radiate it (through subtle activism) out to the world, as your Swami and many others do and have done. You can do that from bed or anywhere!

    Writing: My final thought is that writing has been your passion and you do it so well! Putting your concerns and doubts out there for us to read helps us look deeper into our lives. So if you commit to staying in your body, I hope you will find true purpose in writing and sharing. I deeply appreciate you and your writings! ~~Love, Karen

    • Suzanne Grenager March 6, 2024 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Thank you, dear Karen, for your very thoughtful sharing, so beautifully worded too! May I indeed trust that the process I am undergoing is food for my soul, as you gently suggest I do. And your idea of self-love radiating out as “subtle activism”touches me deeply. That is exactly what I hope I am doing, through my writings—yes, thank you—and in any other ways I possibly can. I am so glad you appreciate my words and take time to respond so eloquently to them.

  4. Helen King March 4, 2024 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Becoming an Elder has its’ challenges and rewards.
    As long as you are here, there is something to do or share…
    As the balance changes choices are so important, – for yourself, your family and others.
    Be all that you can be, dear one, that is enough.
    You have always made good choices and will now!

    • Suzanne Grenager March 6, 2024 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      I deeply appreciate your faith in me to make good choices and to be all that I can be. May it be so! Blessings on our elderhood, dear Helen.

  5. Sam Selby March 6, 2024 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Suzanne, this piece hits me right where it counts! If we’re lucky enough to survive past middle age a lot of us will be facing difficulties like those you’re confronting. It’s so helpful that you’ve given voice to a ‘dark side’ of aging. Choose to hang in there! Thank you.

    • Suzanne Grenager March 7, 2024 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      I am glad to hear that you find my writing about the dark side of aging helpful. It’s what I know right now so it’s what I must write. Thank you for reading, for sharing here, and for wanting me “to hang in there.” So far, so good. Love to you!

  6. Sharon McCarthy March 6, 2024 at 8:28 am - Reply

    This piece is as beautiful as it is tenderly transparent about the vulnerabilities of living an authentic life. During our first 30 years we expand into our evolving, inquiring self. Then we establish our passions and dedicate to our vocations and avocations. Whatever we do in the next 30, may it be revelatory. The slipping of identity might be as liberating as it is destabilizing. Most of us will befriend not-knowing along the way. Yet our purpose can be distilled to tending essence. Loving and Being Loved. Being Peace. Being fully Present. You are so Loved!

    • Suzanne Grenager March 7, 2024 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for those clear, impassioned words, dear Sharon. Our purpose distilled to tending essence, to loving and being loved, to being peace and being fully present—what else was there ever to do that really mattered! But given my current stage of life and condition, and thanks to supporters like you, I feel—or aim to feel—I have license to let that be enough. And since there is so very much I don’t know right now, may I befriend not-knowing along the way.

  7. Barbara Hagler March 27, 2024 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Suzanne,
    At 84 I may be a few years ahead of you in this new life. I identify with your questions and fears.
    In spite of intending to be healthy through good food, exercise, attempting to do all the right things, I have instead faced numerous health challenges, numerous surgeries, even three surgeries last year. It is a frustration to me to deal with these limitations – an up and down journey. And I too ask who am I and why am I here?
    As I pondered over your writing, I glanced up at the top of the page and saw Suzanne Grenager – Sister Seeker Awakener Scribe.
    This is who you have been and is it not who you are now and what your purpose still is???
    As a Sister Seeker you truly walk alongside of us as we all seek answers to life’s questions.
    As an Awakener you awaken us to be aware, to be more enlightened.
    And how do you do all this now? By being a Scribe, a writer. By sharing honestly your deepest thoughts.
    My thoughts are that you are who you have always been, although in a different setting, a different body, and yes a seemingly whole new life. I encourage you to reconnect in a new way that core of who you are.
    I do believe that as long as God allows us to be here on this earth place, He has a plan and a purpose for us.
    My dear Suzanne thank you for being who you are – Sister seeker, Awakener, and Scribe. I see light in the path at the top of this page. Keep shining your light in this world.
    Love and blessings, Barb Hagler

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