Reminiscing is supposedly the favorite activity of the aged. Having worked with elders, I would dispute that. Most of the elders I have known are far more interested in the present and visioning the future, even if it is a future that they know they will not see. But if one listens, the aged do tell stories.
Yes, and these stories are sometimes events in their lifetimes or connections to those who were so important in their lives, traumas endured, or remembered pleasures. These stories are vital to both the teller of the story and the listener as each has a role in envisioning past being revealed in the present. For a moment, something is revealed that if the listener is not present, may be lost forever.
In contrast, I often see reminiscing, or remembering, with children who are making connections with the child that they used to be, but have moved beyond. These connections are important as milestones and are sometimes expressed as judgement toward those younger.
Both reminiscing and remembering are types of visioning. As a Spiritual practice, it can be useful in the present to reflect upon one’s relation to the Holy and how that early vision is, or is not, part of one’s present. Did your family practice a particular faith tradition? Who told you about the Holy One? Were there stories, songs or celebrations? Do you have feelings of having moved beyond these early experiences, or do they inform your present?
For today, I invite you to vision backwards as a Spiritual Practice, to withhold judgement on who you were as it may, or may not, inform who you are now, and your relationship with the Holy One. Attend to the memory, the story, and see the connection, the movement, the pleasure if there is pleasure and the sorrow if there is sorrow. Be aware of other feelings as well. Be gentle with yourself.
Our visions of the present and the future are grounded in remembered spiritual stories. Your story is important, remember it, journal about it, and if appropriate share it with another generation.
Thank you for reading this blog. Your comments are appreciated.