Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who Am I Now That I’m Old?

“Apparently, in the eyes of the culture, as is believed about elders in general, retirement causes stupidity and hence, retirees couldn’t possibly have anything of interest to say, let alone contribute to society.” Ronni Bennet

I’ve become more interested in who I am now that, according to the Social Security Administration, I’m officially retired and am not mainly identified by how I make a living.
We all wear many labels, the importance of which ebb and flow as we go through life: son or daughter, brother, sister, student, mother, father, citizen, worker, consumer, caregiver, grandparent and, eventually, retired.

In the middle years we mostly identify ourselves by our professions.
After all, “What do you do?” is one of the first questions we ask of one another when we meet and it mostly suffices to explain ourselves.

Closer to what I am feeling are Carl Jung’s seven tasks of aging - most particularly, right now, the fifth which is the need to find “a new rooting in the self” bringing together opposites in “the most complete expression of our wholeness.”

"Good topic, Ronni.Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) - who was probably the most famous Indian sage of all time, used to recommend the spiritual practice of 'self-enquiry'. Which means repeatedly asking oneself the question "Who Am I?" On and on, every day, asking the question and answering it.It's like taking the ego out for a strenuous walk and forcing it to walk and walk and walk till it finally falls down exhausted and we become free of the need to 'be' anyone. Instead, we can simply 'be'. "Marian Van Eyk McCain

article abridged ... read it all here >>

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