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Happiness Is A Choice

Chapter II Continued

We Are Belief-Making and Belief-Consuming Creatures

A woman in her middle seventies came to our teaching center with the intention of dealing with her anger at a culture that had begun to dismiss her contributions and her wants because of her advancing age. She had noted in stores and in her bank that people spoke to her in loud little boy or little girl voices, as if they believed she could not hear or understand. Sometimes they addressed her as "dearie."

Although she had been a widow for twenty years, she now decided she was ready to have a meaningful relationship again, which she hoped would include sex. When she shared this desire with her friends, they changed the subject quickly. When she approached her grown children, they appeared startled and suggested that a desire for that type of physical contact at her age was less than appropriate. They, too, squashed the discussion. No one wanted to talk to her about her overriding concerns, she said, "None, except, of course, you!" We both laughed. She delighted in being able to share her deepest thoughts without being judged or rejected. "I guess there's two times in life when you're not supposed to talk about sex," she mused, "when you're under ten and over seventy." She laughed again, thoroughly enjoying her insights.

In our sessions together, as she challenged and discarded the stereotypical beliefs held by her family and friends, an underlying issue surfaced. She realized that she had always been seeking approval from the important people in her life, cutting off her own desires in order to please others. As soon as she verbalized the scenario, she decided immediately that she no longer wanted to act in that way anymore. In addition, she concluded that having sex as part of a love relationship, even at her age, would not only be dignified, but absolutely thrilling! Armed with her new perspective and a new attitude, she returned home.

Four months later, I received a letter from this spirited lady. As I opened the envelope, a photograph fell onto my desk. The picture captured a beaming portrait of this woman arm-in-arm with a smiling male companion. The message on the reverse side said, "This is me with my boyfriend. We just moved in together. He's fifty-eight years old, a great friend and a wonderful lover. Not bad for an old lady!"

People can change at any age.
Where there is life, there is possibility.
Even ancient beliefs can he overturned or replaced
in a matter of moments.
We are the river!

Chapter 2 Continued