As we age, we will be presented with limitations that affect the way we get on with being here and living our life.
Acceptance is the key to the many changes we face as we get older. Our health may decline in various ways, our bodies can feel like they defying us, and we don’t feel we have enough time left to do all the things that have suddenly inspired us.
Accepting the limitations life presents to us as we age allows us to focus on what's important. Many fulfil their purpose more effectively when older because they don't have the other distractions and stresses in life that they had when working, bring up their children or other responsibilities, thus we get to live our live on our own terms with more ease.
Some in society view those who have retired as out to pasture because they are not so called chasing anything. Our dharma is not based on one sole purpose, thus what we have done for a living in life. We do express some of our purpose through work, but our souls purpose is much bigger than a pay check. Age itself does not obtain spiritual maturity, so in this transition some may start to contemplate life more and explore their spiritual selves.
Our bodies may be aging, but the connection to the life within us still exists strongly. When we are young we can be more wrapped up in our issues, but when older we notice more to be grateful for. To age with grace embraces wisdom, patience, gratitude, kindness and humour. When we accept, it allows us to adapt to the changes and see them as a time to focus on what really matters.
Many of us were brought up to respect elders but I am sure they didn't mean to blindly respect them at all costs, at least I hope not because bad behaviour is bad behaviour no matter who it is.
We need to take care of our elders in society because with age comes more vulnerability and needs but blindly respecting their opinions, advice or values is another thing. True wisdom does not badger people or arrogantly throw opinions down their neck because that is not wisdom. Wisdom is not necessarily warm and fluffy, it can be hard to receive but it should be given with compassion, empathy, and kindness.
We should always question other people’s truth or advice as this is how we find our own truth. Respect is not a given just because we are an elder and think we know better what someone else needs. If we have wisdom to share, we need to share it without attachment to someone agreeing with what we say nor should we be arrogant about it.
A person will ponder on what that means for them from where they are in life. It does not matter if we are right, as it is just an opportunity for someone to think about it if they want to. That's what seeds are all about, we are not here to force them to grow or badger someone because they are younger.
Some elders are just interfering in other people’s lives and need to mind their own business and focus on their own lives, leaving others to learn from their own experiences in life. Also, they may be projecting their own fears and experiences in life from their pasts onto others, which is not a reality nor true for another person’s path. We cannot learn other people’s lessons because they are not ours.
Elders with wisdom can show a person where to look, but it is important not to tell people what to see as it interferes with another person’s lessons in life. A person who has not yet gained wisdom from their life experiences comes from a place of victim consciousness and that can also present in elders who have not evolved as such. There are some things that must be experienced with age but the number of years on the planet does not mean much if we have not made good use of that mileage.