Let me take you through a brief review of what I thought I needed in different phases of my life. I offer this to you to stimulate your own thinking about what you need today to support you in serenely and joyfully living each moment of every day.
As a child I needed
1. to be held lovingly and kept safe by the adults in my life
2. to tear things apart and put them back together
3. to win in the games I played with my friends
As a teenager I needed
1. to get through every class without failing
2. to spend time with my buddies
3. to hold the hand of the girl with whom I had fallen in love
As a young adult I needed
1. to find a way I liked to provide food, shelter, and affirmation in the world
2. to find someone whom I love and who would love me
3. to find a reason for living
As a middle age adult I needed
1. to spend time with people who would support me in sharing my gifts and myself
2. to learn how to let go of my fear, guilt, anger, frustrations, resentments, and failures
3. to accept my limits, my aging, my dying
I now think that this is what I need now:
1. to listen to, understand, and accept each person who comes into my life
2. to support other people in leading meaningful and healthy lives
3. to accept that I and all I care about will, soon, no longer be alive
In my work as a hospital chaplain I have come to admire deeply family members and friends who support their loved ones who are sick or dying. I have found that without my family and friends I doubt that I could face serious illnesses or my own death.
This afternoon I stopped by one of the waiting rooms where family members and friends wait for their loved ones who are, for a few hours, being treated for some sickness. I focused in on a few items in the waiting room that had been provided to help friends and family get through those hours. Here are some of them:
Small tokens that welcomed them
Just a few simple things set aside by caring volunteers people to support families and friends who were waiting to see their loved ones after their treatments had been completed...
Isn't what we really need is to love and be loved...