Lessons from the experienced

Darryl Bachmeier
Mar 19, 2020

The older you get, the more you become inclined to focus on the deep aspects of life. Instead of being caught up in the superficial stuff such as money, appearances, and prestige, age becomes like the curtain that pulls away slowly, revealing to you what really matters.

It is sad that by the time we grow to gain that wisdom, we could be too old to do much about it. However, while it is never too late to be who we want to be, we still can seek wisdom at any age.

Let us consider six lessons of the aging and dying, which teach us how to feel more fulfilled in life, in addition to helping us to better understand our elderly loved ones.

Never put off expressing your feelings

Overall, politeness is preferred over authenticity in most cultures. However, having conversations based on our true feelings is a necessary life-enhancing tool at our disposal. You can’t go back and apologize for any mistakes that might have hurt someone you love, express gratitude for someone who might have been genuinely kind to you or even get information from somebody who has already passed away. Sometimes, it is inevitable to hold ourselves accountable to being honest, regardless of how tough it feels.

Live on your own terms

It is no secret that it requires strength and courage, as it feels easier to just “go with the flow” and make decisions that do not rock the boat. However, it is even harder to realize that, eventually, you have made choices just to please other people and that many of your dreams have gone unfulfilled. Although being hard, you need to determine where you want to go and what you are willing to sacrifice and work towards living in a way that validates who you are as a person along with your self-confidence that gives you the courage to step out on your own!

Pick your Life Partner Wisely

The older and wiser share the notion that choosing a spouse is one of the most life-affecting decisions a person can make. Nevertheless, looking back at their life journeys, seniors remarked their regret being too impulsive while choosing their life partner. Therefore, they recommend that not to marry at all is even better than to marry the wrong person. Take your time to get to know the potential spouse before committing, figure out what you want from the relationship, and make sure the person is really the right choice to spend the rest of your life with.

Resolve Parental Estrangement

Having a rift with a child is a common deep-rooted regret among seniors. Their biggest wish is that, instead of parting ways, they had made greater efforts for reconciliation. Even if they have great relationships with their other children, the one with whom there was this irreparable rift still caused them a lot of remorse and mental pain. According to them, releasing all the negative feelings of anger, guilt, and shame enables you to actually revive relationships with yourself and everyone in your life. Forgiveness is a gift for yourself, so leave the ego aside, and do what it requires to resolve the conflict with your beloved family.

Make Yourself Happy

Although it is a common piece of advice, many seniors did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice anyone can make. Instead, they had stayed trapped by their circumstances and old habits and never had enough courage to step out of their “comfort zone”. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were pleased, when deep within, they knew they were miserable. Their advice, therefore, is to change your lifestyle if you believe it makes you unwell, eliminate toxic people in your social circle, and appreciate the small pleasures in life.

Stop drifting, start swimming!

Among the regrets seniors remark in their last days is missing opportunities in their professional lives, simply because they were afraid of taking the challenge or too comfortable in their jobs. As long as the opportunity can grant you had better work conditions with no very compelling reason to decline it, why say “no” to it? Try something new, difficult choices let you live a life of choice instead of a life of chance, so they should be seen as great opportunities to put yourself out there and thereby shape your life and yourself.

Final Thoughts

Old age could offer us a valuable gift of a greater sense of perspective and phenomenal clarity of vision. It is wise to embrace your aging and do not waste your time worrying about getting old. Life is too short for regrets. Live your life the way you want it to be; be careful in choosing your life partner and taking life decisions, be open to express yourself, and never let fear prevent you from enjoying life.

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