Everyone has an opinion of what being in the later years of our life should be. That’s perfectly okay and normal because we each see and experience things from our own perspective. What goes into our perspective is a whirlwind of emotional, physical, psychological, social and spiritual experiences, and let’s not forget the learned behavior we’ve brought with us. The bottom-line is that we don’t know any more about this last stage of life then we did the other stages we went through. However, after many past stages of life I’ve learned that by embracing each one along the way I’ve been able to experience life from a different more deeper perspective than the one before. As I attempt to embrace the senior years of my life, I find myself looking back a lot. Not so much in a longing of wanting to go back, but more of how far I’ve come. These are the years that give birth to all the wisdom I now hold within, and as I discover this, there is a sense of satisfaction in how far I’ve come, what I’ve learned, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen. As long as I have a clear enough mind I’ll always feel like I can do most things. It is in the trying that I learn my limitations. It is true that growing older is not for wimps. A lot of time and energy is used to get ourselves moving and being a part of life. I’m learning to embrace the limitations as they present themselves, and I work hard at not giving into the gravity that pulls me back into the sitting position where my body would be perfectly happy to park itself.
So, if I talk about being older at times, it’s because I am. If I talk about running out of time, don’t chastise me. Just bring me back to where I am right now. If you think I’m obsessing over it, don’t tell me how to think, but help me to embrace it. And if I can’t hear or understand you, don’t brush me off and say never mind. Give me a chance to hear what you have to say.
In closing I share my opinion of the later years of my life. I am a senior and that’s okay. I am getting older, but I’m not old in the sense of giving up. I’m not afraid to be where I am or say where I’m at in this stage of my life. I’m a senior and that’s okay with me.
At the end of the mini series “Genius,” Einstein is dying, and as his long time secretary looks at him with sadness, he takes a flower from an arrangement and holding it in his hand says, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
I looked at Tom with a childlike excitement, and said, “I learned that all by myself!”
Just a few simple lines, and yet they hold within them a great awakening, opening up a whole new world for us. You don’t even have to be a genius to discover it yoursełf. It reminds me of when my father-in-law had his cataract surgery. He said he could see things with such clarity and crispness, and the colors were so vivid. When our own blinders are stripped away we can also say, ” I can see clearly now.”
Why do I need notes to remind me
What’s already written my heart?
To be grateful for a new day.
For the people I love
And pray for too.
To remember to hear the birds sing
To smell a rose or two.
How could I ever forget
to tell you
I love you too.
And don’t forget to laugh out loud
And be silly instead of blue.
Savoring a glass of wine
With a piece of dark chocolate
Walk on the grass in my bare feet
Maybe even dance in the rain like a kid.
Sing a song that goes to my heart
And makes me tap your feet.
Oh the gift of life
Is so sweet
Yet can be gone in the blink
Of an eye.
So why waste my time
Writing notes to myself
When I could
written in my heart.
In the little bit of time that I’ve been out since my surgery I’ve gone to doctor offices and physical therapy. It seems that everywhere I go people are talking about how much they dread getting together with family. Mainly because of one person or another that just rubs them the wrong way. I guess they just need to vent to let some of the built up steam out before the actually event. I don’t know the people they’re talking about so they must feel safe telling me all about it. I can’t imagine that there are very many people who haven’t experienced the same dilemma at one time or another.
One women said that playing games helps. It keeps the conversations at bay. Than I came across an article from the Science of Mind Magazine by Stef Swink. She says: “The way to support your family is to offer to them the very thing you desire from them. Perhaps your example will eventually inspire them to consider the same path.”
As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And remember the Golden Rule that Jesus taught: “treat others how you want to be treated.” Combine these two ideas with a lot of love and I bet this Christmas they’ll be a lot of miracles taking place.
Today I closed my eyes,
And my body ascended into the sky.
I felt light
as if gliding on a cloud.
As I leaned
looking over the side
I saw patch work
sewn with quilted hands.
planted upon the land.
God whispered in my ear
isn’t it simply grand?
there’s no place I’d rather be.
Than floating across the sky’s
It’s like being in heaven…
Photo from Pinterest.com
“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God.” —Thomas Merton
I often talk about the true self. I think the idea of it for some is a cliché with all the talk of about finding our authenticity. But in taking a non-interest in knowing what it means is like missing the train that takes you on a ride of discovery, you don’t even have to go far because it exist within each of us. Fr. Richard Rhor says, “A Zen master would call the True Self ‘the face we had before we were born.’” Our true self is our authentic self and it exist within our soul. Thomas Merton likened it to “a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven.”
To find this place of centeredness, it’s important for us to understand the difference between our true self and our false self. You will know you’re living the false self when you recognize how hard you look on the outside for the answers that can only be found from within. When we search from the divinity that exist within, we join body with spirit as One. Our true authentic self is able to express the God that is within us. “That pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven,” and does it get any better then to know It desires to shine through us. .
I have this image in my head that we are all waiting in line at the top of a cliff to look through the same telescope. Half of the people are told what to look for, and the other half are told just to observe what they see before them. After each person is done they stand around talking about what they saw. The ones who were told what to focus on saw only what they looked for, giving them a narrow view. The ones who observed the full view saw all there was to see within the diameter of the telescope. This gave them a greater appreciation, and as they stepped back and looked at the vastness beyond the telescope they saw that there was even more to be seen. Those who had the one thing to focus on couldn’t understand why those who had no restraints didn’t see the importance of the one thing that stood out to them.
My image is different ways of looking at things that form the perceptions we choose to believe. But it goes even deeper than that because there is still a uniqueness in each of us that gives a view that only belongs to us. There is no right or wrong way. What we each see with the openness of our mind, heart and soul is meant to add to the mix of which we are all a part of. It’s like a great recipe with many different ingredients mixed just right to create a tasty dish.
Not everyone is going to like what we see or see what we like. That’s okay, because it challenges us to get the recipe just right. A little bit of bitterness added to the pot can be balanced with a little bit of sweetness. So we can either help one another to see the bigger picture, and sit down to a great concoction of conscious soup or we can remain a one minded ingredient that has nothing to offer but division. The challenge is not to see what someone else says you should look at. We don’t have to agree to see what we can’t see. We simply need to go back and look through the telescope of life with our own eyes open wide. Than we will see what the bigger picture has to offer. Allowing each one of us to make a more informed decision about the things we choose to believe.
So the question we must ask ourselves is: Am I looking only at what everyone else tells me to see or am I looking with my own eyes at what the view has to show me in it’s entirety ?
It can be difficult to form a concrete understanding when we’re trying to make an informed decision. There is often as many good reasons as there are bad reasons on a subject. So how do I decide which way to go?
I think that’s where our intuition comes into play. It’s that gut feeling that will tell us which way feels right. It will also twist us into knots when we choose what goes against us. Our intuition holds a special place in which our beliefs and values lie. It’s representative of our true-selves.
Now some would say you don’t need all this, just turn to God and He’ll give you the answers. I won’t argue with that. I just like knowing that the person God created me to be has the ability to use the gifts He’s blessed me with. Because He created me after all. Gave me a brain to use. The freedom of choices, along with many tools like intuition, emotions and my senses to make the best informed decision. Then He simple responds to me by asking, “what does your gut tell you? That my dear friends is where our individual unique personifies are able to exercise what only we ourselves were created to do.
I’ve been working hard at gaining my strength back after having two sinus surgerys within a three month time period. Pushing myself daily to move and get back to the living. I had a good two days this week even doing some exercises and this morning I had to drag myself out of bed. So as I think about what I’m going to write today my brain goes blank. All I can think about is how I feel. So as I read Mr. Rogers quote I feel encouraged by his words; “Life isn’t perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves.”
Today this is my best, and I feel ok with that!
In my reading today it was about the joy of words. It strikes me as a worthy subject to write about because of the passion I have for words.
Words allow us to find a way to bring our thoughts out of our minds. The word is expressed in our own creation. God thought first about what he wanted to create. Then that thought came forth expressed in a word, and that word became flesh. We are made in the same image and likeness as our creator. So we have the same ability to create in the small the same way as God creates in the big.
Our words allow us to communicate with our fellow humans as well as God’s other creations. Even plants are known to react positively to our words. Words don’t even have to be heard or spoken they can be understood through sign language, writing, reading and even through our actions as well as our senses. Wow! As I write this I’m discovering the vastness of words I never looked at before. Isn’t it amazing how something we’ve done all our life can be taken for granted. We don’t even realize the power our own words hold within them.
Just like all the tools we have to use in life. A hammer can be used to build things or destroy them. Our thoughts must find a way out of our minds, they want to create. So what we focus on, believe and entertain will find a way out, and when we open the gate to our mouth the words they express will come flying out. They will create something positive, good and life giving, or negative, bad and destructives. We’ve been given a great gift. We should keep a watchful guard at the gate of our mouth making sure we don’t let any words out that don’t express who we really are. Our words are a mirror reflection of the life we create for ourselves. It’s kind of creepy if you think about it, because it gives others the opportunity to read our minds.