Rethinking aging - as an invitation to a sacred journey

Guest writer

Rethinking aging as a sacred journeyI recently attended a workshop about faith. The faith about which I am learning is both my theological faith (what do I mean when I say “God”?) and my lived faith (how do I live this journey called LIFE?).  My intention is to keep active in my learning and living as I age and invite others to join me. NO, we cannot stop the advancing years. YES, we can choose how we will be in relationship with them! Attending the day with like minds, hearts and souls strengthened my faith in the power of connection and belonging and deepened my respect for diversity. Even amongst those who I think are so much like me because we share a theological faith, I learn of many diverse ways we choose to live our faith.  

This experience brought me back to an excerpt of THE INVITATION by Oriah:

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We are not alone as we struggle to open fully to life. When I am able to live with real intimacy, when I pay attention to each moment and do not shrink away from what is true, I experience a presence that is not mine alone, that holds me even as I hold the moment. This presence, this Great Mystery, known by so many different names – God, Spirit, Allah, the Great Mother – lifts me, fills me with a vast silence and a sharp taste of the interconnectedness of all life. I have faith in this Mystery and the many ways in which it sustains us.

My invitation to the WISE CIRCLE CONVERSATION that I facilitate includes the following:

 In your 40’s and 50’s (even 30’s) you notice that your materialistic values and social, career, financial achievements begin to lack fulfillment and meaning. What you now hear is the voice of your soul as WISDOM – the aspirations, attitudes and actions brought to life by the Universal Spirit. In your 60’s and 70’s, you continue to strengthen and deepen the energy of your wisdom.

Why do I choose the word “pilgrim”? And how is aging a journey? In my online search and conversations, I learn that a pilgrim journey is to a sacred, holy place. Also, a pilgrim is a traveler, a wanderer especially in a foreign place. AH – the invitation to consider aging as a sacred, holy experience to a foreign place – a place that, while unfamiliar, also invites us to engage, to learn, grow and heal. 

Now is when I remember that “heal, whole, and holy” all derive from the same Old English word “hal”. As we age, the memory of the mind, the agility of the body and calmness of the soul may seem distorted and disconnected. We are called to heal, which means to live with the ongoing stresses and difficulties AND joys of life in such a way that we feel whole. We are called to accept the limitations of the body and live in relationship with our feelings as they come up and express themselves. We are called to hear the inherent stillness of the soul.

All of this we can do as we age in our travels on this journey of life. We heal into wholeness -  diverse in our expression of what is meant as holy, sacred, and soulful. And let us consider that we walk in faith – also diverse in how we live it through our connection and our uniqueness. 

Gloria McArterDr. Glo (Gloria) McArter, counselling therapist, speaker and writer, encourages individuals, couples, and groups to use curiosity, courage, wisdom, and worthiness to nurture good health and wellbeing. As a spiritually independent seeker, she inspires an authentic and vulnerable relationship with the universal energy source of many names. Dr. Glo knows that opportunities and possibilities that are explored and accepted will enhance meaning and purpose in the continual evolution of years and age. 

You can read more articles from our interfaith blog, The Spiritual View, HERE

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