I am in the process of some "life repair". Trying to make the down parts of my life less burdensome, regretful, and painful.
In down moments I find myself trying to answer questions that have no real answer. Perhaps you ask yourself the same ones: "If only I had done .......?" or "Why didn't I listen?" or "What was I thinking?"
Even though there are no real answers to these questions, healing is possible. To age intentionally means that at some point we accept who we are and how we have lived our lives. When we engage in life repair we open the "old files" (life decisions and wounds) we have branded as "negative" and relive them in our minds to find the deeper meaning. Then "refile" these as positive experiences free from the negative emotional brand. This is not easy, however and, for many (myself included) might be the biggest task to aging intentionally.
The essential part of this process is the willingness to forgive...others as well as ourselves. For without forgiveness we tend to let things fester like sores. Most religious traditions have precedents for melting this "hardness of heart" into compassion. Since I do not have a religious affiliation or practice I have turned to meditation and journal writing as my own path to reprogramming or repairing those painful parts of my life. The more I stay in this healing process the more the aches and pains of a lifetime are transformed in to something "good". Or as my therapist friend laughingly says "It's an Afgee (AFGE)". (aka: Another F______ Growth Experience)
I am certainly not finished with my AFGEs and I have a feeling that my "life repair" work is going to take a while, however, I am aware each day of feeling a little lighter and just a little bit less anxious, more open and positive.
Here's to healing for us all in 2010!!