Contributing to others, making a difference, leaving a legacy are the qualities of generativity. Generativity, coined by psychologist Erik Erikson, is the concern and care for the next generations. Generativity is considered a developmental milestone in the aging process.
According to Erikson, without generativity, we stagnate. And who wants that?
What to do instead?
Generate. Find some way and someone to contribute to. Make an offer. And then make another offer. Decide how to contribute and who to contribute to.
Give of yourself in both big and little ways as you get older.
7. I can’t bear another loss.
It’s a bad thought.
You will experience loss again, because loss, like aging, is a part of life. You can’t stop aging, and you can’t stop loss. Also, we are made to endure all of what comes with this process.
Every time we tell ourselves we can’t bear another loss, whether it’s a loved one, a pet, a material object, or a tooth, we set ourselves up for extra suffering. We inhibit the grieving process. We bypass the regeneration cycle. Dying and rebirth are part of nature. When we cling and resist loss, we deny our place in nature and diminish our role in the circle of it all.
What to do instead?
Show up and be present in the evolution of life and your role within it. You are part of this mystical, magical universe. You are stardust. Take your perch and look upon all of it with awe.
Feel your feelings. Make rituals to remember. Gather with others and reclaim your connection to the big picture.
Remember, the feelings that come with loss show us what we love.
So love deeply.
It’s time to start noticing your biased thoughts about aging. Recognize them as myths created by an ageist culture. Then, take charge and do things that will lead to new thoughts and better beliefs as you get older.
By changing your thoughts, you change yourself. By changing yourself, you change the world.
Aging is a wonder. And so are you.
What you don’t want to think as you get older? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
Written by Cecilia Dintino PsyD Originally appeared on Psychology Today