Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash
“There is a time in our lives, usually at 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.” Their dreams of their twenties may be lying in a crumple. They may be with broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises.” ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ from Women Who Run With The Wolves
The statement above is from the fabulous book - Women Who Run With The Wolves – and is an acknowledgement for any woman who has ever felt like you’ve lost-out on life in some small or big way – or had too many paths that just didn’t turn-out the way you had planned or hoped for.
And the statement is a beautiful pre-cursor for an exercise the author encourages all women (and men!) to do where she recommends constructing a personal ‘descansos’ – which is a symbol that marks a part of your life that was cut short.
Typically a ‘descansos’ are known for being on the side of the road to mark the memory of a tragic accident and to honor a life that was cut short. And in this case, I am introducing to the process of doing your own personal ‘descansos’ as a way for you to take inventory of any past hurts, ‘mistakes’, wrong turns, lost opportunities, broken hearts, and just plain disappointment that you’ve experienced on the road of life thus far.
Conducting your own ‘descansos’ is a way to document, honor, and grieve those individual deaths along the way – and leave them where they are meant to be left – in the past, honored, acknowledged, and on a road already taken in your life.
I experienced my own transformation with doing a ‘descansos’ where I found myself remembering and honoring past events that I didn’t realize had an effect on me so deeply. Through the exercise I discovered big blocks of resentment and anger for things that happened in life that I believed should have turned-out differently – but hadn’t.
I can’t stress enough how key this type of exercise is to the Claim Your Worth!® process because of the fact that – if you are holding onto resentment, anger and un-forgiveness, then you’ll undoubtedly block yourself from feeling deserving and worthy of what you yearn to experience in your own life - even if the resentment and anger and
un-forgiveness is directed toward someone else.
What it really boils down to is: looking around for the debt that you believe you’re owed from either someone else - or life in general - to pay you what you feel you’re entitled to. And having this view only keeps you steeped in a lack mentality because it keeps you looking around at what is owed you vs. looking within to what is already there.
This is why I encourage you to do the ‘descansos’ exercise so you can take inventory, acknowledge, and honor your past – and give all those mishaps, and missed opportunities credit for the role they played, and then, you can finally be debt-free and leave that old-debt where it belongs - with a small cross on the side of a very long, beautiful, sunny, flowered-lined road that is called - your life!
When you go to make your own ‘descansos’, it’s important to be ready for the beautiful transformational process that will ensue. By doing this exercise you are making a choice to cleanse yourself of your past and mark the small and big deaths that make your life your own, and then let go of them to embrace the future that awaits you.
To get started, buy a few big pieces of white poster board and a black, thin-tip magic marker. Then, find yourself some privacy, and begin to make a timeline of your life where you’re going to mark a cross on each point on the path starting with when you were really young, up until the present. You’re marking down places and pieces of your life where you feel a part of you died. You will mark the roads you didn’t take, the opportunities you feel you missed-out on, and the successes you believe should have been yours, but the failures you had to endure.
If this exercise sounds a little strange, I understand. Yet – I strongly encourage you to do it – especially if you’re feeling an inner block, some unexplained anger, or just plain old resentment - where life feels like it should be easier or working more in your favor.
By taking the time to honor your life this way – and the pieces that may have been painful - but just as worthy - you are showing yourself how much you care, and how much you’re ready to move on, pay-off the debts, and claim your beautiful future.
By doing your own personal ‘descansos’ you are clearing the path and illuminating the way for you to Claim Your Worth!® in a significant way.
I commend you for having the courage to look at yourself, your life, and your personal journey this way. I promise you – its well worth it - and so are you!