Aging: The Master Teacher

The 100 Wisdom-Lessons that Aging Teaches Me

Apr 09 2021

Is aging more a problem or an opportunity?Friday, April 9 What does aging mean? Does aging have any enriching meaning at all? Aging presents us with something of a paradox. We joke about aging… and we curse aging. We focus on aging… and we want to forget aging. We try to hide aging… and we flaunt aging. We want to ignore aging… and yet aging can’t leave us alone. We need aging, mostly because we don’t care for the alternative… yet we certainly don’t want aging.  Yes, we seem to have a love–hate relationship with aging! And yes, I guess...

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Transform Your Attitudes About Maturation

Dec 18 2019

How is it that one day we might meet a person whose chronological is 49, but who looks acts, and thinks much, much older;. The next day we meet another person who is chronologically 94, but who looks, acts and thinks much, much younger? What makes for such a difference? I have studied this seeming contradiction for years and have distilled my findings down into 12 “keys of spiritual vitality”. Here’s the first… Transform your attitudes about maturation: the degree to which you have successfully shifted your basic beliefs about aging from beliefs involving loss, to beliefs involving heightened opportunity for deeper spiritual...

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A New Vision of Parish Ministry

Dec 04 2019

A true crisis exists in the field of religion and aging. Almost no thorough or extensive research is being done to better understand how spiritual resources and religious life contribute to successful adult development, nor how it interacts with other variables in later life. (James J. Seeber, Spiritual Maturity in the Later Years) What we need now more than ever is to become more intentional in our work to, with, and for maturing adults. We can and must become more active, more assertive, and more focused on the fundamentals of ministering to those in their maturing years. A new vision...

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The Spiritual Needs of Maturing Adults

Nov 20 2019

Our spiritual needs emerge developmentally innervated with our physical and psychological needs. Our spiritual needs are felt as “Yearnings of the Soul” that require our advancing attention lest we lapse into a “spiritual failure to thrive”. Failure to thrive is the name given to the condition of an infant who doesn’t adequately physically grow because she/he doesn’t receive sufficient human touch, warmth, and affectionate attention, even though she or he receives quite adequate food and hydration. I think we can use the same concept of failure to thrive to describe a maturing adult who either neglects, or in some way...

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Become a Spiritual Elder

Nov 06 2019

Living agelessly teaches me… to become a spiritual elder, not "elderly. " Let’s do word association… What words come to mind when you think of the word “elderly?” Perhaps slow, worn down, mentally scattered, cranky, nonproductive, depressed maybe forgetful, etc. etc. What words come to mind when you think of the word “elder?” How about wise, distinguished, helpful sage, knowledgeable, alive, involved, comfortable in one’s own skin”, etc. etc. Now would you rather “grow up” to become an elderly or an elder?? The choice is yours, after all. Even persons who have been stricken with chronic physical ailments and consequent disabilities...

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The Paradox of Living

Oct 09 2019

Living agelessly teaches me… the paradox of living: that loss and suffering are my primary means for inner growth and spiritual development. A paradox is “an apparent contradiction that points up a truth.” Have you ever counted your losses? Fully recognized the consequences of what you had to give-up? Did you lose anything the day you were born? Do you remember giving-up infancy? Early childhood? Adolescence? Young adulthood? In order to grow to your next developmental step, you had to first let-go, give-up, lose what you had. If you didn’t let-go, you would not, indeed could not move to the next stage...

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