Unfortunately my work history has been influenced by many factors. Some are historical and others I have realised are due to my life-long fear of being ‘out in the world’ which started in kindergarten. I grew up in the 1940s and ‘50s and married in the ‘60s. I completed two years of a four year General Nursing Course in my late teens and because I chose to marry at twenty the rule of the day was woman who married had to leave their profession.
I found this set up rather convenient as the world of nursing felt quite harsh for me and I had a fantasy that staying at home doing ‘domestic duties’ and hopefully having a family, would be a comfort from this harsh world.
I did attempt to find work some years later when my two children started school, however, my husband at the time was horrified and insulted that I would do such a thing and take away his position of power within the family.
My husband was a doctor and thought it would look bad in his social circles if his wife was working in a non-professional position.
I don’t remember adult education training being offered to woman at that time so I sat around for a few years until the marriage broke up and I found myself with a new partner who was not into working at all. I eventually found night work in Aged Care to support my two young children.
There were opportunities in the 1970s for woman to return to study and re-train and although I contemplated this and even made some applications I allowed myself to be weighed down by my personal struggles and did not follow through with any training. I had another child and after another relationship breakup found myself a single mother with three children by now. I struggled to survive at this stage but found some part time work as an usherette in a local theatre.
Around this time the Government introduced a payment for single mothers and this was the beginning of my dependence on social welfare that continued for many years. Over the next thirty years and another child in tow I survived on these payments, at times supplementing the income with part time work. At one stage I worked one day a week in a women’s health centre and some time in a health food shop.
I eventually embraced the hippy lifestyle and moved to a valley where I sold some craft and offered massages as a supplement to the Government payments.
This lifestyle was a convenient way for me to hide from the world and not have to face my fears and lack of confidence.
In 2010 I began attending presentations by Serge Benhayon and also attended healing sessions with practitioners at the Universal Medicine Clinic in Goonellabah.
I was able to look deeper into my lack of self confidence in the world and also the many hurts I had carried from the past that kept me feeling inadequate and exhausted most of the time.
I started feeling a new sense of wellbeing and self-worth and was able to find employment in Community Aged Care. This opened up a whole new world for me. I found confidence during work meetings to express myself and I loved working with the elderly clients. I felt valued in my work place, my finances were improving for the first time in many years, I stopped watching daytime television and, all in all, my life was becoming purposeful and joyful. I felt healthy and amazing.
This continued for five years. My situation changed in January 2016 when my daughter passed away and as a result two of my granddaughters came into my care. I was 71 years old. This was a very difficult time and I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed with the new responsibility I was facing.
My work life was suffering as I became more exhausted and I made a decision, with much regret, to resign. I was back at the ‘domestic duties’ and although I knew bringing up the girls was important I had also lost a sense of contributing in the world.
I also believed that I had to face the fact that I was turning 72 and although my enjoyable work life had been short, I now needed to adjust my thinking and accept I was retired.
Most people would agree that this was a very suitable age to cease working but where do these beliefs come from?
It was suggested to me recently that it would be a good idea for me to return to some work as a way to present myself in the world and share connection with others. At first my thoughts were, “Are you mad? I am 72 and bringing up teenagers. Who does that?” I then realised that I am still living in the comfort of being in my own home and protected from connecting with others in the world.
We all have so much to share with each other and, as elders, we have had a lot of experience. It feels necessary to be sharing that with others.
I am now exploring what ‘beliefs’ I have been carrying that are holding me back from this world of possibilities. It was explained to me recently that my belief that “I am too old to be working and also bringing up children” is not really a truth. It is a belief from my mind and not from my body and even though I have recently had stents placed into my heart arteries, it is still only a ‘belief’ that I am not capable of working.
If I listen to my body when it is in it’s full truth I will then know what tasks I am capable of and I will honour that.
This is so different from the old way of making decisions based on our ‘beliefs’, which are not coming from a truth. I now look forward to exploring this with my practitioners at Universal Medicine and am looking forward to the possibilities ahead of what I can contribute in the world. As I read on this website, ‘Until the last breath!’
Irene S., Australia