Why am I ageing so?
Flying towards the clouds, a bird.”
Leaves and bark are beginning to fall, nature’s shedding in order to renew. There is a deep wisdom in the natural cycles of life especially when we heed our changes and needs.
Since my summer article three of my friends are dealing with cancer and heart disease, all in their early sixties. Is this just ageing or bad luck? What do they have in common? What is the learning here in approaching autumn, young or older?
Three women driven to excel, succeed or ‘do the right thing’, all are professional helpers. All three are motivated strongly to give, to do, to care, primarily for others – children, clients, community organizations – having little time, inclination or energy to devote to self-nurturing and self-healing. Their hidden responses to focusing on self would be: ‘why healing and nurturing is for others, I don’t need it! People would think I was needy or lesser if I was to want…’ ‘And the shame of owning up to being vulnerable.’ ‘Besides what would I really do with my life if I was to give up this job or helping or obsession?’
For these three women (and perhaps for all of us) the learning is to release the fear of vulnerability and to deeply care for ourselves (not self-absorption or narcissism). Like that bird, there is a freedom’s way of living where we live as ‘human beings, not just human doings’. The essence of being human is to feel, to care, to share, to be creative and to express qualities of a reflective wisdom and compassion. When we just ‘do’ or act without that mutual and equal flow of giving and receiving, we deplete ourselves and ultimately all.
There is a cost to ourselves, our hospitals, communities and planet when we don’t care enough. There is a dreadful waste and wasting when we live for others and never give to ourselves that true Freedom, our Beingness, This Autumn I invite you to reflect on: ‘what is it that I truly want to do with this one most precious and wild life of mine?’ Let us turn around the seeds of dis-ease and grow well our lives and our shared humanity.