How Did I Get to Be 70 When I'm 35 Inside: Spiritual Surprises of Later Life

How Did I Get to Be 70 When I'm 35 Inside: Spiritual Surprises of Later Life

by Linda Douty


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Have the courage and curiosity to face the inner changes of aging—and learn how they can help you find meaning in your later years.

"I used to think that age sixty-five was the start of a slippery downward slope to the cemetery. But inside, I felt a surge of enormous energy, with the potential to approach aging as an uncharted adventure instead of a prison sentence."
—from the Introduction

Unlike other authors, spiritual director Linda Douty discusses the challenges and surprises of aging by talking about how you actually feel, not what you're supposed to feel. In a warm, down-to-earth voice, she offers a spiritually grounded method to adjust to the unexpected as you grow older. There is no one-size-fits-all here, but a variety of responses to the inner and outer transformations of aging and new ways of looking at them. She looks at surprises, welcome and unwelcome, concerning:
• Self-image • The physical body • Relationships • Spiritual life

Questions for reflecting on who you are in this period of your life—or who you would like to be—will help you live each day more purposefully and joyfully.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683361176
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 784,095
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Linda Douty, a leading speaker on the topics of meaningful aging, personal growth and spiritual formation, is author of How Can I Let Go If I Don't Know I'm Holding On? and How Can I See the Light When It's So Dark? She is a spiritual director, a contributor to Presence (the journal of Spiritual Directors International) and a dynamic retreat leader. She is on the faculty at the Academy for Spiritual Formation.

Table of Contents

Introduction i x

1. Opening to Surprise 1
Two Doors 1
Don't Believe Everything You Hear 4
Changing Your Script 13

2. Surprises of the Sel f 25
I'm Still Me! 28
Your Orphaned Creative Child 35
The Vanishing Social Filter 39
Buried Dreams 43

3. Surprises of the Body 47
Who Is That in the Mirror? 49
Listening to the Body’s Wisdom 52
Coping with Pain and Illness 56
Libido and Longevity 61
Are Limitations Limiting You? 64

4. Surprises in Relationships 71
Friends Who Feed Your Soul 72
Renegotiating Partnerships 77
Adult Children: To Speak or Not to Speak 81
Honoring Memories 85
Beyond the Front Door 88

5. Surprises of the Sacred 93
God and Me 94
Rethinking Prayer 98
Heaven, Hell, or Something Else 101
Hearing the Spirit’s Guidance 103
Motives and Methods 107
Trusting the Mystery 110

6. Surprising Challenges 113
Learning to Fly Solo 114
Setting Boundaries 118
Tying Your Shoes and Giving Up the Car 121
Sleeping Dilemmas 123
Fear and Faith 125
Fallacies of Forgiveness 129
Accepting the Life You’ve Lived 131

7. Surprising Gifts 137
Being Real 137
The Healing Power of Play 140
Gratitude Is More Than a Thank-You Note 143
Delight in the Details 148
Time: Friend or Foe? 151
The Many Faces of Freedom 154

8. Surprising Wisdom 157
Living through Loss 158
Say It Now and Do It Now 161
Clearing the Clutter 162
As Simple as a Smile 165
Learn to Receive 167
Fan the Brightest Flame 170
One Who Never Leaves You 174

Epilogue 177
Acknowledgments 178
Notes 179
Suggestions for Further Reading 182

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