RealPagan- Paganism for the Real World

     I am persuaded that the second half of life can be the better half because it offers the opportunity for genuine freedom. It can be the time when we learn that it is not necessary to conform to the ridiculous standards of masculinity that we imbibed in our younger years.

    The crippling demands on our lives that were handed to us, and which we accepted as inevitable, can be seen for what they are, because we are beginning to realize how impossible they are to fulfill.

    We can truly learn that our value as persons does not reside in what we have done, what social status we have, what we own, or how many push-ups we can do. We can embrace, perhaps for the first time, an authentic spirituality comprising not the rules of duty or dogma but vital relationships to ourselves, others, the world of nature, and the sacred that permeates it all.

    We have forgotten the rites of passage that help us learn how to become wise elders who
actively participate in our communities and live deep, fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, our
culture’s current perspective is that the second half of life offers only decline, disease,
despair and death.  If we are to live our best second half of life, to embrace these years and flourish in
them, we need to consciously shift our cultural perspective.

From age fifty onward, we know that there will be four frontiers to face:
—Retirement: from what, toward what?
—The possibility of becoming a mentor, a steward, or a grandparent.
—Coping with the natural challenges of maintaining the health of an aging body.
—Mortality: losing our loved ones, and the inevitability of our own death.
Each of these frontiers will demand from us very different attitudes, disciplines, and life
skills, many of which have not yet been clearly associated with increased longevity. Each
frontier will challenge us to be courageous in the face of our fears. This new terrain
promises to be both daunting and exciting.

So, how do we transcend this, gracefully?  What can guide us through these later stages of life?  Do we look to the Myths, Lore and stereotypes to help us with the lessons?

How are we to go about in discovering, designing, planning and creating the healthy and satisfying life that we desire?

Tags: The, aging, half, life, of, second

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Replies to This Discussion

MM Everyone-
I recently joined this group to meet friends in my phase of life.
Early this month I became 59 years old. In order to be where I am now I had to pass through the other phases of my life.
I have been doing a lot of contemplating this month.
Last November my son died from a pulmonary embolism. He was 37 years old. He was a good man. Brilliant. He read books that I will never get around to reading. He had the same job for 16 years and went from the ground up to his own office as a Supervisor. He had many friends and was well loved. People went to him for sound advice. He had a spirit of love and forgiveness and he had amazing patience. He was the first of seven children.
I have asked myself "Why him? Why not me?" many times since it happened.
I never thought about outliving one of my children. I certainly never meant to.
I look at my life and wonder how I lived this long.
I survived an abusive relationship for 18 years. I made many bad choices and am a recovering alcoholic. (3 years this past July).
My son seemed to be born much older than I, and truth be told had wisdom I may never achieve.
The chaos of my abusive relationship caused he and I to have very little time together the last few year of his life. The moments we did have were great but few and far between. I always thought there would be time. It ran out before he could see I was finally free and able to be on my own. I am on disability as a result of that marriage. I live in an apartment that is subsidized through Catholic Charities. I help my children as much as I can and my 11 grandchildren. I try to be someone that people can come to. Not for wisdom perhaps, but for an attitude of tolerance and non-judgmental love.
This phase is a challenging one. I try to learn from all the bad choices I have made and not dwell on what my life could have been.
I discovered Witchcraft at 50. I no longer had to wonder what is was about me that made me 'different'. I knew that I had found a belief system that did not include hell and demons and submissive wives. I did not have to be beaten into submission. Still it was a time of 'living in the broom closet'.
I committed suicide. I do not say 'attempted' as I was successful and brought back three times that night.
Then I woke up in the ICU in what I can only describe as being in the arms of the Goddess. If she wasn't going to let me die, I figured I had better learn how to live.
Today I say to you , honestly, I would not trade places with anyone else. There are no do overs in this life. But there are still do betters. That's where I am now. Just trying to do better. To appreciate what I have, what I had and what I can still accomplish.


Love the line there are no do overs........ there isn't a more honest statement that can be made...Yet, tis sad, that so many do not realize its truth.

Trying to do better.... again, a wonderful truth and testimony, to how far you have come, and the lessons you have gained in your life....

Appreciate what I have...ohhhhh, how  so many do not.... and then must live with that knowledge. Appreciate what I had, the grass always looks greener, when it is not where we are.

Appreciate what I can still accomplish.......Every day as my feet hit the floor and I am off to another day of chaos, I ""take five"" to thank the Lady and the Lord, for giving me the chance to do just that....

Hugs for such a lovely inspirational read!!!!!!!!

Blessed Be, MJ )O(



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