The #1 thing that I learned at the IAGG World Congress is that I am enough. That my perceptions of aging across the life span are more than enough to light a fire in putting down on paper the book inside of me.
No researching or even deep diving into other’s experiences with parental relationships. Just write about my own, my experience of how my parents seemed to relate to their respective pater & mater, of my sibs’, of best & worst practice friends’ relations & interactions. With lined pages at the end of the book for readers to lay down their experience with parents and/or other significant elders.
As I see it in my mind heart spirit, THAT YOUR DAYS MAY BE LONG… will start with a short-form listing of the Ten Commandments:
Hear O Israel! You shall have no other god. ~. ~ You shall not make idols of any kind. ~ ~ You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain. ~ ~ Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. ~ ~ HONOR YOUR FATHER & YOUR MOTHER, that your days may be long. ~ ~ You shall not kill. ~ ~ You shall not commit adultery. ~ ~ You shall not steal. ~ ~ You shall not bear false witness. ~ ~ You shall not covet.
What is meant by this “honoring” our parents that we are promised will lead US to drawing richness from all our days? In my earlier years, I got the message that it meant “obey,” which never felt right. At the ripe “young old” age of 65, I’ve come to understand it to be honoring our parents as fellow humans, as people, with histories influencing illuminating coloring their judgement; as individuals & partners doing their best, given who they are – what they know the times in which they live(d); accepting frailties along with strengths, making tender allowance for poor judgement as well as valuing wise counsel.
To me, honoring my parents includes permission for them to be flawed humans rather than fallen gods.
It is allowing them to be the visible that I saw & experienced AND the unknown I can never know, to judge what I know of their actions, while always remembering their intentions are beyond my understanding, to strive for a combination of clarity compassion humility. And to hold those same feelings for myself.
If it is enough to be me, it must be enough for my parents, too.