Sherry Esvelt once said, “We live life in decades. We do something ten years and then we start a new interest.” So, life must be a revolving door through which we go.
But what happens when we find they are things we don’t want to deal with, however good they might be? How does one cope with what we can’t endure?
The answer says Joan Chittister in her book, The Gift of Years, is that there is no such thing as NOT coping, the issue is whether we choose to cope well or poorly.
There can be resistance to coping, an immature reaction to a life event. Although we continue to get up and get things done, at the same time we’re not the same as we once were. If we whine, place blame on others, our good personality, once balanced and pleasant, is now spoiled and blighted.
Learning to deal with the vagrancies of life is a long-term project. The truth is there are no circumstances in life more important than to deal well with the changes that come at any time of life.
For example, Joan asks, do you question everything you do or have done? I should have stayed . . . I should have wanted to . . . I should have spent more time with . . . I should have gone from this place, this town, this dull life . . .
Questions like these “nibble and bring weariness. Years slip by and then it’s too late.” In other words, the end of life is in sight. It’s too late to take a trip to Turkey. . . to move to Florida . . . to begin again.
Worst of all, she asks, why did you do what you did in the first place? Explaining only leads to depression. “Don’t brood on the past, it sours the present.” (Isn’t that a meaningful idea?)
“The notion of past chances – of the things we have done – can dampen the glow of what we can do.
“The blessing of life is to be able to live it with an open hear adjust well no matter through what stage of life you’re passing.
“Youth is a cauldron of hot issues – career and excitement, dating and mating, succeeding and failing. Middle age culminates those – and, then you are immersed in bringing the decisions made in younger years to the some sort of completion – to raise kids – be established in business and the family and in social life.”
And then, she asks: Is your soul spoiled in the shell?
What is the soul? According to my American Dictionary, there are several answers:
It’s the spiritual part of a person as regarded in its moral aspect, or, as believed to survive death and to be subject to happiness or misery in life . . . It’s the emotional part or the seat of feelings – It’s also high-mindedness, and noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage.
Thank you PhotoPin for the picture and to Joan Chittister for her wisdom.