My recent speaking presentations have focused on the topics of “The Power of Aging”, “The Wisdom of Aging”, “The Transition Through Age”. I encourage reflection on the relationship with one’s AGE — the number of years of breathing, existing on our planet earth. Then we contemplate AGING – the process, experience of moving through these years of existence. I hope to inspire (breathe in the Spirit) an attitude of healthy curiosity about realities from which none of us will escape – as our age advances, what possibilities and opportunities do we consider in this aging experience?
My calling is to speak the words of my present BEING and relish in my BECOMING by connecting with the energies of life – physical, emotional, mental, relational and spiritual. I learn that especially in those constricted places of pain resides the power to meet the challenges of aging and to also honor the joys of the same experience. When I first realized I am the example of the person who I want to interest with my writing and speaking, I hesitated to use the word “aging”. I connected the word with growing older and I did not want to “do older” as this idea for me meant gloom, isolation, shame, depression, anxiety and fear.
Growing older is not the same as aging
I like how Thomas Moore (The Care of the Soul) describes that growing older is not the same as aging. For Moore, one can grow older without going through the challenging life processes that make the authentic person of substance and character. He invites us to say YES to the opportunities presented as we adapt to difficult life issues. I say that we are also invited to say YES to vulnerability, courage and a willing attitude to learn. For some circumstances, we learn from a place of joy and peace, and others, from our pain and sorrow.
I am grieving the passing of my sister on July 8th, three days before her 79th birthday. We knew that death could come at any time from the aneurysm too near her heart for the option of surgery. In these years of her holding space for the inevitable, her mission was a more compassionate physical and emotional caring for herself. I feel regret with my wish we had a closer relationship in our younger day; I feel content with our connection and conversations that deepened and matured as we did with advancing age. With past deaths of friends and parents and now my sister, I am guided to reflect with even more spirited heart and soul on this pilgrimage of life. I enhance my wisdom and courage and hear the Spirit’s invitation to “preach what I practice.” My sorrow is the energy that fuels these life-affirming opportunities. Blessings, Sis.
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