And No Sweat! My life for the past two years has been full of adventure, new people, loving family and a couple of hundred people talking to me about aging and what their experiences in life have been. In the past year a number of these people have started a gratitude journal to help diffuse feelings of several unpleasant emotions: anger, narrow-mindedness, quick judgements, fear, social impotence, marginalization and confusion. The need to be introspective as an elder in order to feel centered is a common occurence. The political climate and chaos of acts of terror urges an elder, who still wants to make a difference in the community and the world on a higher moral plane, to search in writing personal journals, reading, classes, lectures, deep conversations, prayer and generally reaching out for answers to hold onto.
Then we remember—-life is suffering with a few moments of joy beyond our dreams. And then there is the suffering. For me, the more my heart aches for the victims of storms, any human violence and the aftershocks of human trafficking or drug trade, the less I can function with positive energy toward the ills of the people or animals in need that can be helped. Trauma is trauma and the only thing that varies is the degree of pain and details. Letting the trauma of the entire population of the world overwhelm you is a waste of your extraordinary elder status and wisdom. Practice letting things go into a pile of events placed in a closet on a shelf wrapped in a soft blanket that contain people and places broken so badly you may not be able to help. They will wait for you while you make chicken soup for your neighbor next door who just gave birth. Work on what you can work on and be mindful about your energy and gratitude and focus on the now.
None of the above applies if you one of Nelson Mandela’s council, an editor of a national newspaper, a well-respected magazine or any of the richest people on earth. You, my newest friends, can come over for a cuppa tea and a piece of my chocolate cake so you can learn how easy-peazy-breezy it would be to help the suffering…for you all, a walk in the park I am sure.
Pecan Pie with vanilla bean ice cream please –easy.