The suicide of a beautiful model at the start of 2019 has made me think yet again about what messages the world sends women specifically and men in general. Why would a woman with a perfect body and fashionable lifestyle end it all?
Why indeed. Annalise was 46 years old, had her own apartment in fashionable Bondi, no money worries and a circle of friends. So what happened?
I don’t think it’s such a puzzle. The lady was four years away from 50 and menopause and being childless and recently divorced she had no hope of building a family in the traditional sense of the word and was terrified of an uncharted future. Christmas and super-charged emotions must have been swirling around in that beautiful blonde head of hers. Alone in her flat and wondering what middle age would look like for someone whose career depended on youthful good looks. Sun damage was already leaving an indelible shadow on the backs of her hands and tiny wrinkles were appearing around the corners of her eyes. The mirror must have told her the twenty-something guys in the gym wouldn’t be ogling her much longer. Maybe she dreaded showing her passport at airports and owning her 46 years. Certainly she must have known the flattering catcalls of workmen were becoming less frequent and fantasies about a family were cakes in the rain (Macarthur’s Park reference for all you millennials).
Women have a use-by date that men escape. It’s biological and that wretched clock is ticking from the moment menses begin. For some reason being fertile makes us feel worthwhile. Of course today with powerful beauties like Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren and Andie McDowell breaking barriers and ground our perception of ourselves is changing…slowly. And with the burgeoning #MeToo movement we are starting to value ourselves enough to say we don’t want or need the objectifying attention of predatory men. But it’s slow to change. Even beautiful Jane says she isn’t brave enough to wear wrinkles like Maggie Smith and Judy Dench, also magnificent and attractive women.
So who shows us the way?
Men also have problems that translate into mental health issues. Men have to be rich or high achievers. They are taught from childhood that they must take care of families and step up when someone is in trouble. They are taught to put their lives on the line for their country. They are sacrificed for the greater good in pointless wars and ridiculous street fights. Masculinity as defined as by the Pocket Oxford dictionary is possessing strength and courage. Femininity is being instinctive and nurturing. Both sets of characteristics are service-oriented.
This narrow bullshit doesn’t even touch the sides of what it takes to be human!
Being human or simply, BEING, means serving your soul, finding out who we are and pursuing our soul journey. Every day we are breaking new ground inasmuch as we have never experienced the present moment before. To the soul it doesn’t matter how much money or beauty or power we possess, the experience of life is not a physical one for the soul. We feel life in our minds and somewhere else that is hard to define except in relationship to everything else we can sense. Prof Rupert Sheldrake says it brilliantly when he claims that the stars are inside our skulls. By this he means that the single point of existence for ALL THERE IS belongs inside our own consciousness. Try to imagine that you alone exist in the universe and that the universe exists in you alone. For this is the truth. There will never be another point or moment of existence outside your own awareness. You will carry yourself into eternity and as you expand your awareness and increase your ability to accept new information and new experiences you will dissolve the seeming boundaries and experience an infinite connectedness. How much you can hold inside your skull and soul depends on how willing you are to dissolve prejudice.
Holding God in your mind is your truth.
Being is your reality.
The stars exist inside your skull.
If only Annalise had understood that her potential for life was boundless and not defined solely by her aging, albeit lovely, body she might still be with us. Family isn’t always biological and beauty isn’t always physical and wealth isn’t always financial.
Wealth and beauty are the bounty of connection.
I have stood on a beach at midnight and seen myriad threads of light connecting distant stars. I have heard the cries of unseen whales and translated their song into a map of waters unknown. I have stood under the full moon and felt its light echoing Shakespeare’s praise. I have walked along the Appian Way, my feet polishing ancient footfall and anticipating the quests of future generations. I am more than my flesh and greater than my mind. I AM.
Safe in the universal womb from which all possibilities are born and sharing dominion with the stars inside my skull I AM a soul in evolution.
God speed Annalise and next time remember to be.