Please Advise Me. Have I Failed?

Question: Dear Luise: I am getting close to sixty years of age, and I feel like my life is coming apart, not coming together. Many times I see lessons clearly and some “overall” progress, but I don’t have much to show for it. What’s your take on this stage of life, and how I seem to be experiencing it? Thank you in advance, but please know that I find your web site very useful, whether you address my question or not. Sincerely, Yvonne

Answer: Dear Yvonne: I’m glad my web site if offering you something of value. Thank you. I would like you to do a little exercise. Please sit down, quietly and alone, and write down what you most value. Make a list. When you feel it is complete, start condensing it into your highest priorities. When that feels complete, as well, take the top two or three and separate them from the rest. Now, look at your life and see where you can find those things and write down your findings. It’s my guess that you do not have much to show for your six decades that would necessarily be valued by many. Luckily, we are not interested in what others think you should own and/or be. What does your heart tell you?

When I did this exercise about four years ago, I was not only amazed at what a “success” my life had turned out to be, from my own perspective, I was also able to look at what I didn’t want to continue with, because it did not meet my criteria. As a result, I promptly quit three very time-consuming, volunteer jobs! There are as many standards of success and failure as there are people who make them up. Find out what yours are and how you stack up to your own measuring stick! Then, make whatever adjustments you can, if need be. Blessings, Luise

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