I had the pleasure of joining a women’s discussion group from my church recently. They graciously allowed me to lead a discussion on life. Yup, we tackled life. As you can imagine we meandered around a lot of thoughts moving in many directions.
At one point one of the ladies made a statement that caused me stop in my tracks. I suspect you all have had that happen…someone says something in the midst of a lively discussion that causes your mind to go silent for a moment and you hear those few words echo something meaningful.
What is this season about? That’s the phrase that gave me pause. Just like the weather, our lives have seasons. Of course we don’t often think of that when young because, after all, we’re so busy living, exploring, imagining all the glorious things we’re going to do that we don’t have time or the inclination to be reflective.
But then we hit those later years and reflection becomes a common occurrence. And why not when you consider we have a longer path behind us than we likely do ahead. It’s about this time that we can begin to wonder, what does it all mean? What is my purpose for being here…what is this season of my life about?
One individual shared her thoughts on the subject. She said she believes this season for her is about three things…being a catalyst, connector and encourager.
She explained as a catalyst she finds herself starting new things and then passing them on to someone else to carry forward. As a connector she uses the many people she’s met over the years and the experience she’s gained to connect people and things for specific endeavors. And as an encourager, which she declared is her favorite part of this season, she finds people are divinely placed on her path, giving her the opportunity to reinforce who they are, what they’re doing, and encourages them to continue on.
I imagine right now you’re all thinking “I want to know this person and be a part of her season of life.” How wonderful would it be to have someone like this in your life? But there’s another perspective I’d like you to consider. How wonderful would it be to be that person, to put forth the effort to explore your greater purpose and decide you too are going to be living large in your season. Your words may not be catalyst, connector or encourager. Maybe you’re intended to be a maverick, or an inspiration or even a supporter. Maybe your compassion quotient is large enough to fill others cups when they’re leaning toward empty. The amazing thing is that each of us has gifts that sometimes haven’t matured until we reach our later years. It may have taken a lifetime to hone them with a lot of practice sessions along the way. It may have taken a good part of a lifetime to gain the confidence to be who you were meant to be. It’s possible that you’ve been aware of your purpose but you needed to build the courage to act on it. One of the many incredible gifts of age is allowing our minds to move toward reflection. And in that reflection we may find that all the noise and insecurity of our youth has moved aside and allowed the wisdom of age to shine a light on our purpose. We all have the ability to touch lives, to change the world around us, to make a difference to someone or something every day. But we have to make a conscious decision to act on those possibilities. Instead of deciding that age has ended your ability to change lives, I believe it grows your ability to do so.
And I’ll go further. I believe we have the obligation to share our life lessons with those who could benefit from them. Wisdom is wasted when it sits silently in our consciousness.
*This article is a reprint of a blog posted by Adele Lund, Laureate Group’s Director of Community and Business Relations. For over 40 years, Laureate Group, a local, family owned business has been helping older adults and their families manage the challenges of aging. Laureate Group operates eight senior communities throughout the Greater Milwaukee area. Additional resources can be found at: blog.laureategroup.com • www.laureategroup.com • Laureate Cares: 262-832-7113