Is it Halloween? Are there ghosts in my house? I can only focus on what is in front of me. What is this me being scared? It's a mystery. Do you ever get scared? Is it a mystery to you? Tell yourself, tell others or tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Boooooo!
In my life experience, so I have heard, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience – rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Is me being scared, me being human? Same for you? If you have read this far, don't be spooked. Consider yourself to be a spiritual being. You're just taken the plunge into the river of life experiences, human and otherwise that is Stories and Journeys.
In my life experience, so I have heard.Life is a pause between two mysteries, birth and death. At the Minnesota State Fair, I have heard there is place to go to watch the miracle of birth. I have not heard that there is a place to go to experience the mystery of death. A place like a death cafe. In fact I have participated in several Death Cafe events at Lakewood Cemetery, where I will be residing some day after my death. There people who are dying, aren't we all, can discuss the mystery of death since death is part of life. At age 78, it is my body that is nearing death. I'm scared! I'm a spiritual being having a human experience.
In my life experience, so I have heard. The only thing certain, in this life, is death and taxes. These two certainties have heightened my awareness. My awareness of my recent trip to Iowa. It was a trip for my brother's military committal service. He died. Now he's at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. My awareness of my need to assemble my 2021 tax data. It's for Oct. 15 filing deadline that is also the start of Medicare open enrollment. As I am writing, I am aware of my recent trip to Iowa as I am assembling my 2021 tax data and anxious about Medicare Open Enrollment. What a combination! Scary!
MOVING TOWARD A COMPLETED LIFE
What constitutes a completed life? For me. For you. For anyone. The task of life completion. In a phone conversation with my brother prior to his dying, we agreed that we were both moving toward the completion of our lives. This leads me to the work of Connie Zweig. Ph.D. author of "The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul." In the chapter called "Moving Toward a Completed Life," she writes:
"What is a completed life? Is it based on a feeling of gratitude, happiness or forgiveness? Is it based on a belief of redemption, salvation or, reincarnation? Is it based on the achievement of an external goal? Is it based on the transmission of a legacy for a new generation? Is it based on an internal attainment of a spiritual stage of awareness?"
These questions may weigh more heavily on readers like me, as elders. We all may have our own life experiences for clarifying what constitutes a completed life. It continues to be a work in progress for me. How about you? Tell yourself, tell others or tell me at email@example.com
So, here I am a spiritual being having a human experience, a pause between two mysteries, continuing to reflect on my brother's life and death and beyond, assembling my 2021 tax data while I anticipate Medicare open enrollment starting Oct. 15 and deciding for whom to vote in the current election cycle as I move toward life completion. Note to self: the more conscious awarenes you bring to your living and dying in each moment the less scary you will feel. At least try it!
And now, I need to check the obituaries in the newspapers I read to see if there is anyone I know who has died, including me.
In gratitude. Who I am, who you are at any given moment is enough! No expectations! Everything is a process.
Donald L. Hammen is a longtime south Minneapolis resident, and serves on the All Elders United for Justice steering committee.
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