Follow Your Bliss: A Conversation With Family and Friends

Dec 29th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog
A conversation with family and friends the other evening, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, prompted me to hear myself for the first time in a long time.

What I heard was a man, almost 70, who had begun slipping into attitudes of cynicism, sardonicism, doubt, pessimism and just plain skepticism. All these words generally define the same attitude. Their roots are found in doubt. They flourish when one allows the “popular” and often misguided forms of religious faith to overwhelm one’s own life long struggle with a workable concept of faith.

With the heavy press of what’s wrong with our world weighing upon us, it has become easy to be susceptible to the epidemic of feeling disenfranchised, empty, and hopeless.

Joseph Campbell’s studies of myths helped many see both the value of myth and the need to sort out those myths into patterns which provide and allow a better understanding of our search for meaning, in other words to identify a hope to which to cling.

His favorite counsel, as one seeks meaning, is to “follow your bliss.” Discover what it is that gives your life the spark, the energy, the electricity, as my son calls it, to be real and to live a life with honest meaning and sense of purpose.

Along the journey, we are met with occasions when we need to be inoculated from fear and negative spirits and small minded intoxications. Particularly, seniors in retirement have to struggle with replacing discontented grumbling with more optimistic, hopeful, buoyant behaviors, ideas and attitudes.

For the senior, particularly retired seniors, this may produce the need for striking out for totally alien territory. The prison of inactivity contributes more to ill health, incapacity, uselessness, indolence, passiveness, slothfulness and inertia than anything else. Suddenly, recognizing how close to the edge I was coming, my family and friends urged me away from that precarious edge.

It isn’t just coming to a resolution; it is being ready for an all out revolution in your own life. It is agreeing to wage war on the very enemies that steal the you from yourself. It is finding some identifiable infatuation with ideas and activities that come from both inside and outside yourself resulting in your inner self having a healthier disposition.

You don’t have to wait until January 1; start now, this minute, while you are reading this column. Think about how you can escape the prison of self incarceration. Breathe new life into your soul and spirit; introduce your body to healthy habits. Change the bad behaviors to which you have been beholden. Follow your bliss!



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