A newly realized truth struck me today, just as I was celebrating my 48th birthday. I acknowledged that I have indiscriminately and compulsively spent energy solving problems and improving on ideas that were not mine. I realized that this is an enormous energy drain. It also serves nicely as a way to avoid facing my own dreams and desires.
The good news is that once I admitted to it, I was able to release it. Thus, according to 90 year old Joshua O. Haberman, I am already reaping one of the “benefits of growing old.”
According to this New York Times article by Paula Span, Haberman is a rabbi emeritus of Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C. Quoting from Haberman’s 6 Reasons to Grow Old; “The fourth gift harvested in old age is liberation from the compulsion or urge of setting everyone else straight.”
Admittedly, while not quite “old” (although it depends on who you talk to), I continue to grow in that general direction. I consider this sort of growth a good thing.
So, with the wisdom of Rabbi Haberman behind me, my 2009 Birthday Intention is this:
“With the exception of friends, family, and the wonderful people who engage my services specifically to do so, I release the desire to apply MY vision to dreams that do not belong to me. I use this recovered energy to breathe life into my dreams.”
Here’s my simple 4-step plan for following this intention:
1. Clarify the dream
2. Set the intention
3. Align actions to steps 1 and 2
4. Repeat steps 1-3 as often as necessary
What a wonderful age — fortunate enough to be experiencing some of the benefits of growing older, while not yet suffering much of the deterioration that we associate with aging.
My birthday wish for all of us is that we continue to find the benefits of growing old(er) in greater measure than we do the signs of old age’s decline.