Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘elder people

Elder people are ashamed of dying before offering something to this troubled humanity

Many people are afraid of old age.

They fear the loneliness and isolation, the unattractiveness of wrinkles and sagging skin, or the impairment of infirmity.

But according to psychologist Marie de Hennezel, old age is an attitude of mind (most of them lost their mind anyway, though a few have this energy of determination to remain functional on their own)

Hennezel suggests it can be a period of contentment, and happiness that comes with letting go of old attachments and finding new roles. Here are some tips based on her book The Warmth Of The Heart Prevents Your Body From Rusting.

Tip 1
Be realistic about becoming old. Accept that biological aging is unstoppable. Do not be ashamed of losing your seductive shape in old age. Accept you cannot change the loss of former physical powers, and previous economic and social roles.

Tip 2
Look after yourself. Make room for bodily pleasure whilst eating moderately, keeping alcohol to a minimum and avoiding drugs and tobacco.  Stay physically active, doing things at your own pace. One can get more out of life in old age with a body that is functioning to its maximum potential.

Tip 3
Take advantage of your new stage in life to look for things you can now do which you were not able to do when you were young – having more time for yourself with no responsibility of parenthood and earning a living and with greater freedom of speech to say what you think.

Tip 4
Accept the inevitable degree of solitude that comes with living alone in old age and not going out to work, not as isolation but as a freedom to meet ones own inner spirit and be oneself and to discover unsuspected resources and release latent energy.

Tip 5
Maintain a social life when you can, forgetting yourself a little and taking an interest in others, using a pleasant tone of voice, making yourself agreeable, cultivating your charm, giving and receiving and showing generosity. Then smiles and kindness, respect and affection will do you good. Friendship means a chance to share your worries.

Tip 6
Keep contact with the younger generation. This is still possible despite today no longer being an era of the extended family which had meant naturally occurring contact across the generations. The trick is to be young at heart, not expecting too much of others who have their own busy lives but simply being receptive, retaining a taste for life and a desire to pass on one’s experiences and lessons learned.

Tip 7
Make the best of your looks and find new ways of making love to your partner. Don’t bury your own sensuality and desire in old age.

When we grow old we are not in love with the other person’s physique but with his or her presence. Think of beauty as something intimately tied to emotion. It is what we call charm: the depth of a look, an expression in the eyes, a dazzling smile.

Charm does not grow old, nor does emotion. In fact, both can even gain in depth and intensity with age. Learn about the tradition of the Tao of Love a Chinese spiritual path. It recognises that it takes longer and is more difficult to attain orgasm if you are old.

Although sexual relations may be slower and less active it can become more sensual. Sou-Nu the governess of Emperor Huang-Ti declared  ‘A firm hard member which is thrust roughly in and out, is of less value than a weak soft member which moves gently and delicately.’

Tip 8
If you are widowed, and the loss of the partner was a great ordeal, it is possible to work through a bereavement by internalising the company of the deceased loved one and still feeling their protecting presence.

Tip 9
Live in the present moment by savouring the good times and forgetting the bad (why forget anything? It is bad for the memory).  Rediscover your ability to be enchanted and amazed, in old age allowing your curiosity to be stimulated by being open to new experiences. You can still learn from life for old age can bring new things.

Tip 10
Find peace with the past and with yourself by taking stock of your life. Ask yourself  ‘What was it all about?’ Give expression to unshed tears, repressed anger, and self-delusions.

Forgive yourself for your failures. Be prepared if necessary to pay for past mistakes and negligence and put your life  in order before leaving the world’s stage.

It’s never too late to change for example from being a bit of a grumpy, selfish depressive individual who spends life complaining and annoying others: but to do so will require an inner awakening and great effort and forbearance.

Tip 11
Accept help when it is needed. Make needed changes to where you live. Do not feel diminished by receiving personal care. It is possible to entrust your own body to the care of others without embarrassment or sense of humiliation.

Tip 12
With old age, one realises that everything of this transient world passes away. Why not try searching to find something that doesn’t pass away?

This could mean listening to what is inside you; an inner part of yourself that is more important than your external side. If you have the courage to explore your own depths you can draw upon them. Allow the part of yourself that does not grow old to live.

Those who have explored this spiritual path have let go of worldly things they had been attached to and said they have found something eternal in which they felt they could put their hope and trust.

Paul wrote in the Bible ‘Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’ (2 Corinthians 4:16).One can leave one’s ‘little me’ and receive a higher consciousness: when one is in contact with the Spirit inside oneself, one never feels isolated or cut off.

Copyright 2011 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of  Heart, Head & Hands  Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

havau22 | January 30, 2020 at 10:44 am
Note 1: I have been taking care of my elder parents of older than 90 and it has been trying. My father died after being bedridden for 2 years and had to change him, clean him and feed him. Now is the turn of my mother and she is Not in any sustainable condition.
Actually, after taking care of her for 6 years, she passed away after constant pains for an entire week: This is the hardest situation of being exposed to constant pains for 3 days and nights and Not knowing how to be of any help.

Pain of deep loneliness? Any tips?

What about the loneliness of the elder people whom nobody care to spend a minute to visit and listen to them?

We’ve all felt lonely from time to time. But sometimes, things can get out of hand. Psychologist Guy Winch lays out some straightforward tips to deal with the pain of deep loneliness.

Loneliness is a subjective feeling. You may be surrounded by other people, friends, family, workmates — yet still feel emotionally or socially disconnected from those around you. Other people are not guaranteed to shield us against the raw emotional pain that loneliness inflicts.

But raw emotional pain is only the beginning of the damage loneliness can cause. It has a huge impact on our physical health as well.

Loneliness activates our physical and psychological stress responses and suppresses the function of our immune systems. This puts us at increased risk for developing all kinds of illness and diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

Shockingly, the long-term risk chronic loneliness poses to our health and longevity is so severe, it actually increases risk of an early death by 26%.

Emerging from loneliness is far more challenging than we realize.

There are many paths to loneliness.

Some enter loneliness gradually. A friend moves away, another has a child, a third works a seventy-hour work week, and before we know it our social circle, the one we had relied upon for years, ceases to exist.

Others enter loneliness more suddenly, when they leave for college or the military, lose a partner to death or divorce, start a new job, or move to a new town or country.

And for some, chronic illness, disability or other limiting conditions have made loneliness a lifelong companion.

Unfortunately, emerging from loneliness is far more challenging than we realize, as the psychological wounds it inflicts create a trap from which it is difficult to break free.

Loneliness distorts our perceptions, making us believe the people around us care much less than they actually do, and it makes us view our existing relationships more negatively, such that we see them as less meaningful and important than we would if we were not lonely.

These distorted perceptions have a huge ripple effect, creating self-fulfilling prophecies that ensnare many. Feeling emotionally raw and convinced of our own undesirability and of the diminished caring of others, we hesitate to reach out even as we are likely to respond to overtures from others with hesitance, resentment, skepticism or desperation, effectively pushing away the very people who could alleviate our condition.

As a result, many lonely people withdraw and isolate themselves to avoid risking further rejection or disappointment. And when they do venture into the world, their hesitance and doubts are likely to create the very reaction they fear. They will force themselves to attend a party but feel so convinced others won’t talk to them, they spend the entire evening parked by the hummus and vegetable dip with a scowl on their face, and indeed, no one dares approach — which for them only verifies their fundamental undesirability.

Breaking free of loneliness and healing our psychological wounds is possible, but it involves a decision — a decision to override the gut instinct telling you to stay away and to play it safe by isolating yourself.

Instead, you must do three things that require both courage and a leap of faith:

Take action

Accept that loneliness is impacting your perceptions and understand that people are likely to respond more positively than you expect. If you feel socially disconnected, go through your phone and email address books, and your social media contacts, and make a list of people you haven’t seen or spoken to for a while.

If you feel emotionally disconnected, make a list of 5 people you’ve been close to in the past. Reach out to them and suggest getting together and catching up. Yes, it will feel scary to do so, and yes, you will worry about it being awkward or uncomfortable. That is why it is also important to:

Give the benefit of the doubt

It is fair to assume that someone who enjoyed your company in the past would likely enjoy spending time with you in the present as well. Yes, maybe they’ve been out of touch, maybe they never called after promising to see you soon, but you must accept that the reason they’ve been out of touch or the reason you haven’t been close lately might have nothing to do with you.

In all likelihood, it is their busy lives, their competing priorities, stresses or opportunities that led to the “disconnect” between you. In many cases, there might not even be a disconnect — in other words, the reluctance you assume on their part might not even exist. So reach out to the people on your list but remember to:

Approach with positivity

Yes, you fear rejection and yes, you’re not in the best frame of mind, but this is one situation where it might be important to fake it. When contacting the people on your list, try to put yourself into a positive mindset.

One safe way to do that is by using text or email so you can use emoticons to create the smiley face you might have a hard time manufacturing on your own face. Review your messages before you send them to make sure they sound appealing.

Avoid accusations (“You haven’t called me in months!”) or statements of disconnect (“I know it must be weird to hear from me…”). Express positive sentiment (“Was thinking about you!” or “Miss you!”), an invitation (“Let’s grab coffee,” or “I’d love to get dinner and a catch-up,”) and be specific in terms of time frame (“How’s next week looking?” or What’s a good day this month?”).

Loneliness is extremely painful, but once you recognize the perceptual distortions it causes and the psychological trap it creates, you will be able to marshal your courage, take that leap of faith, and plan your escape. Freedom will be sweet once you do.

GuyWinch_clickable

Illustration by Anna Parini/TED. 


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