The Forever Young article surprised me. A quick overview didn’t dig out the gems of wisdom
For me the gems were mined by a slower reading and really letting the author speak out that word of grace in the midst of lifes hard times. And making a perspective change of expecting life to just get less valuable when things get tougher.
Maybe it was the adventures of grace phrase that through me off a bit too. I thought this did not ound very scholarly and yet after reading it twice I can’t think of another phrase that works as well.
This article puts some real flesh on the bones of how aging can be an adventure and in fact can be the time when we really put things together, when we discover new things, try new things, and get different outcomes than we have before. My experience in chaplaincy has see a lot of those, “I or you are the exception to the rule” individuals. In fact my organization has singled out a few of these and helped to film their story and the project will be aimed at encouraging others in care, or just older to rethink how they view and practice life.
I like this quote from the auther, “using the fear, tears, anger, pain and loss as gateways into birthing deeper self-understandings and enriching relationships. CEElledge-Volker, page 63, second paragraph under Personal location. This voices a similar theme to the author of the second article on getting to the deep feelings and beginning healing or acceptance through that process.
This first article takes a bit of a left turn with the next section and I found this turn took me a bit to absorb. I liked the philosophical and this swings into the practical strategies of aging well, through support by Pastoral Care. I think all of us in Pastoral Care have found ourselves sharing with someone about a wholistic approach to their aging and so the question asked about how faith communities and pastoral care providers positively influence the seven factors of being Healthy/Well.
The talk these days in churches seems to be a lot about Outreach. What is said here of churches certainly would provide a lot of venues with programming. And within that programming as we know from the Addictions groups there is certainly a lot of potential for relationship and growth–some of which might lead to individuals experiencing freedom and a healthy future.
My favorite part of this article was on page 62 that a diminished physical function does not need to equal a diminished sense of self(my paraphrase) Therefore the movement from a healthy life with everything going for you doesn’t need to end in a despairing life with nothing left to live for. This is a major tenet of ministry with seniors and not new, but it sure is good to hear it again in a different context.
I am 66 and thinking I might stop this type of work and change to a different model of ministry. So I thought the page 71 offerings on retirement were right on time. I am going to copy this page and put it into my daytimer. There are things I better be looking into; and things to cherish while I am still engaged and excited.
The second article is a real good read. I had so many “replay the video” thoughts jamming into my mind about my training days in CPE, memories of residents, challenges faced, times when I entered into the deep, and times when I ran from my feelings and the feelings of others.
I like how the two articles work well together in terms of application to our work as chaplains and addressing the aging population that makes up a large portion of our residents. I found myself breathing out a yes, yes, yes. And I also talked in a meeting about the importance of this and with a colleague about how important getting through the layers of our feelings is, so we can begin to experience the turning point moment toward healing.
I admit feeling some pride in being a part of such a feeling focused profession. And thinking again and again how important our roles are in our venues. If not us then who is a phrase comes to mind. This is indeed our emphases. And its so much needed in our work, lives and world.