Elderhood freedom is one of the most important aspects of the third stage of human development. Adulthood may be characterized by accomplishment and responsibility but the next stage offers the fullness of human freedom.
As I was getting close to my retirement years. I was trying to figure out what being older, a senior citizen or elder might be like. I had been reading books but all the authors seemed to talk about was planning for IT and about preparing for losses - loss of income, of status, of health etc.
I was wondering if there was anything really positive about growing old.
So I asked, an older friend "Ruth, what is the best thing about aging?"
Without missing a beat she said, "Oh, the freedom!". I must have looked puzzled because she went on to elaborate with a list of examples.
I do not remember all the examples. What I remember is the SPEED of her reply. She did not have to ponder my question or search for a positive thing. AND I remember the glow in her face as she spoke. It was as though her whole body glowed as she spoke.
And I have found that what Ruth said is true. As I slipped into this next stage of life I have been struck by the enormous sense of freedom. And when I talk with others, they too mention thefreedom.
Now I thought I was 'free' when I was an adult. But that was nothing compared to Elderhood freedom! I have found, too, that when I share my new found sense of freedom with my older friend, Ruth, or with other elders, they all nod in agreement.
Yes, freedom is a dominant mode...and then many move on to other characteristics of this marvelous stage of human life.
Of course I wondered what this freedom is for...this amazing freedom that comes as we move into the stage beyond adulthood.
Why such freedom?
Some psychologists have said: There are more individuals in a room full of eighty year olds than in a room full of 50 year olds.
Perhaps this is the main use of this new freedom of our older years. It is there so we will become who we truly are - the person that we were made to be.
No more do we need to hide our true selves for sake of a job. We can experiment...try new things...develop new aspects of ourselves.
Elders are called to search deep within themselves and release all the pieces that were hidden away during the responsible adult years.
It seems that one of the uses of your enormous Elderhood freedom is to become more of who you are. In fact this becoming who you 'truly are' is one of the great tasks of this stage of your life.
There will be more on this topic so do stop back in a couple weeks .....
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