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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Asking the Big Questions

Life Review

Questions about the meaning of one's life arise quite naturally as a person approaches death. The questions center on how well a person feels they have lived, the things they have accomplished, how happy they were, the impact they had on others.”
Henry Fersko-Weiss (Life Review and the Search for Meaning; Parabola, p. 82, Spring, 2017)

Erik Erikson deemed the last developmental stage of life to be a choice between ego integrity and despair. In other words, how a person ends their journey here on the blue planet depends on how they traversed the whole of it. My own experience with individuals at the brink of transcending from one reality to the next, is that folks die the way they have lived. If we spend our whole lives without introspection, without asking those weighty questions, then we may not be very peaceful with the answers that surface at the end. Because the life review is a real thing.

Fortunately, we don't have to wait until we're on our death bed to ask them. We can ponder them at any point, and actually, it's helpful ask them on a regular basis. “How's my life going? Am I satisfied with the way I'm relating to others? Do I feel myself to be on the right track with my work, with my loved ones, with my soul? Am I fulfilling my purpose here? Is there something in particular I want to change?” If the answer to any of these is unsatisfactory, then we have opportunity to make necessary changes. The first task is to take full responsibility for the way we are living, and then adjust accordingly.

Life is so complicated, so busy, and our attention is outwardly directed almost all of the time. Many of us never ask the big questions until we're on the proverbial ropes, until we are facing a grave illness with the possibility of death. I have to say, it's never too late to ask them. I've watched people doing that evaluation in the final days of their lives, and coming to resolution. But why wait? When we likely have years ahead of us, when the opportunity to live from our soul still exists, why not grab it?

                                                       In the Spirit,

                                                           Jane

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