How do you feel about becoming an elder? As you age, do you perceive yourself as growing into a new and valued role? When you say “I am becoming an elder,” how does it feel? Does it ring true? Does the word ‘elder’ have a positive meaning to you?
In some traditional societies, aged people fulfill an important and valued role. Elders sustain the community. Our ability to survive and thrive as a group depends on knowledge and experience, and elders have traditionally been the keepers of cultural wisdom.
One thing I have noticed in women at midlife is that we often grow into a desire to serve and nurture in a new way. While we may lose some of our passion for one-on-one care-taking, we may also develop a new passion for serving and sharing on a larger scale – reaching out and sharing our gifts with our community and the world, in new and exciting ways.
I think these new passions are a very natural part of growing into our capacity as an elder.
The risk in our youth-oriented culture is that we will lose respect and value for ourselves as we age, and we will begin to feel that our gifts are not worth sharing. It’s easy to say “our society does not value age” and blame our lack of participation on that fact. But until we step up and begin to share from a place of personal power and self-respect and love, this attitude will not change.
Are you waiting for permission from the young to claim the power of your age? Don’t! Now more than ever it is time to step up and share your gifts with the world.
How will you claim you power as an elder today?