(Today’s blog is the third in a series of entries that treat a matter that most older adults eventually face: How will we live well when we can no longer take care of ourselves?)
Once we’ve confronted our fears and worked at reframing our thinking, the next steps seem to be largely practical: Research the optimum facilities and choose the best options. There might be an intermediate step, though: How do our loved ones stick with us as we make decisions? One possible answer: We imagine ourselves engaged with those who want to be most helpful. That might look something like this:
Who’s taking the time for compassionate listening?
Somone close to us engages us in deep listening. We sense that they care about our welfare, and that they’re willing to take whatever time is necessary to understand us.
How do we avoid thinking about these decisions only as “moving”?
Those who love us stay away from the idea that this whole matter is just about moving ourselves and a limited amount of our possessions into an unfamiliar setting.
Where’s our curiosity taking us?
Those around us tickle our curiosities with their questions about what might be possible. They wonder alongside us about what’s most interesting and most inviting. How we could again become our best selves. How it might feel to live in a safe, nurturing and life-enrichening setting.
Whose feelings are shared with us in a non-judgmental way?
Those loved ones have stuck with us during our decision-making, and their feelings haven’t circled around us as accusations or disappointments. We understand each other!
How do our loved ones give us grace to change our minds?
Surrounded by caring and helpful loved ones, we’re comforted by their willingness to let us waver or hesitate in making decisions. Their kindness inspires our own best thinking.
(Next time: Getting down to brass tacks… and other practical matters!)
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