Inner elder is a short video based on a mindfulness meditation practice. The video is a collection of photos of hospital and doctor’s clinic waiting rooms. A voiceover is an imagined Inner Elder giving advice to their younger self. The text is also included in the Holding Space zine of Bed Therapy Aphorisms (see previous post)
A valuable meditation is to sit and visualise yourself as a benevolent, wise old person. If you were to give your younger self advice, what would you inner elder say?
There is a lot of talk about healing your inner child, but not so much about meeting the inner elder we all have within us; the wise carer who can sooth and share the truth in times of need.
“Stop beating yourself up, you are always good enough as you are.
Understand one thing: being ‘imperfect’ is part of being human. It all belongs. It is possible to live a fulfilling life, no matter how restricted your life becomes.
Treat emotional wounds with gentleness. Have compassion to yourself and those who hurt you. They have their own pain. Learn how to lovingly forgive and set boundaries.
Find a few people you can be your true self with, but don’t spread yourself too thin. No matter where you are, you can set boundaries and live with love, gratitude, humility and compassion as compass points.
Look after your mind and body as a matter of daily practice. Try and establish a healthy routine.
Don’t waste time on vices that numb your pain. When you give them up, life opens up. You get the chance to explore new interests that you never imagined you would have, and those will bring you far more moments of true fulfillment and happiness.
Quit brooding on guilt and shame – these are useless emotions. Instead try and find the insight they point towards.
Remember, diagnoses are mismatched frameworks, but they can be helpful tools. But with any framework comes a great deal of baggage.
Learn how your brain works, and what your cognitive needs are.
Don’t worry about the past or future, or how long things take you. If you cannot resolve something, don’t feel that walking away is failure. It’s OK to put things on hold.
Find ways to detach yourself from people who do not believe you, or constantly talk badly about others behind their back. They are not your friends.
Remember you don’t need to educate other people. The only thing you can do for others is to work on yourself and be available for them.
Wait some time before judging a situation or judging others. Wait until you can think about things again with a fresh perspective.
Don’t worry about not working on your passion or ‘ikigai’. Rather just try and live a creative life, even if it is just watching the light change, or seeing beauty where you are. Cooking a meal, writing a poem, or growing a plant from seed- all these things can teach us so much about life.
Never worry about being ‘valuable’ or ‘productive’. You are a part of this huge, beautiful, mysterious universe, and all life has a deeper meaning.
Remember you are as lovable and as fallible as any able-bodied or non-atypical person. You are loyal and have a good heart, and you are never alone.”