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Life Review  

How Seniors Can Conduct a Life Review to Find Peace

Written By Lastly.com

Conducting a Life Review of Your Past Helps You to be Content with the Present

“All the World’s a Stage,” said William Shakespeare. And perhaps there’s more truth to that long-ago statement than we imagined. After all, life passes by in phases, not unlike the acts of a play. Your first act was certainly your growing up, or coming of age years, which undoubtedly flew by so fast that they are now a distant memory. Your second act probably stretched out a bit longer as you took that early gained knowledge and fledged out on your own into the great wide world. Perhaps you found love, raised a family, served in the military, held numerous jobs, and experienced loads of trials and tribulations.

Now you find yourself in the more mature third act with a lifetime of experience behind you and hopefully, enough years left to put that gained wisdom to good use. Maybe you are happy with the roads you chose and the decisions that you made along the way. Perhaps you’re still struggling with the paths not taken and the ‘what-ifs’ that remain. If you’re feeling any of these emotions, take heart in knowing that you’re not alone.

 

The good news is that you don’t have to spend your remaining years fretting over the past and wondering about what could have been. That would most certainly be a waste of the precious time you have left. Instead, it’s healthy to take time to reflect on your past, your decisions, the people you found yourself with, and the circumstances—both within your control and outside of your control. Here’s how a life review of your past can help you find peace today.

 

Recall Your Past through a Life Story Journal

Journal. Journal. Journal. Writing your story (or telling it through an audio or visual resource) is a perfect way to review your past, considering from whence you came and how you arrived at the place you are at today. Creating a written, audio or visual life review journal can help you find closure with any past negativity or uncertainty and feel a sense of completion for what is already done.

 

Think back through those first two acts of your life. What events and circumstances shaped who you are today? How did the circumstances of your parents set your path in life, or cause you to veer in a different direction?

 

It may be best to organize your life story journal thoughts by decades, so as not to become overwhelmed and to help retain continuity and a thread through the telling of your story. Remember, this life review exercise is only for you. It’s meant simply to help you attain peace of mind regarding where you’ve been and what still lies ahead. It’s not necessary for anyone else to see what you’ve recorded (on paper or through audio or video) unless that is your desire.

 

When recording your life review, start with the facts but don’t stop there. Plan to take the time to dig deeper into the emotions that may have surfaced at the time (or now), or emotions that may have been buried—then or now. What was going on in the lives of others, or in the world, that may have influenced you or caused you to act or refrain from action?

 

What choices did you make, or were fyou orced to make? What was your motivation for making those choices? And how did those choices impact your life? What if you went the other way? How different would your life be today?

 

Now is the time to come to terms with the decisions of your past. Other than making amends (read on for more on this), there is little or nothing you can do about the past. So record it in your life story journal. Then take a good look at it through the eyes of someone with years of knowledge and experience behind them.

 

Use Your Life Review to Make Amends

We talked about the roads not taken and the people who have come into your life. Those are the relationships with the people around you. But what about your relationship with yourself? Whether it’s your personality, your body image, your religious upbringing or your contributions to the world around you, there are many things to ponder when considering how these most important relationships have affected you.

 

Do you need to make amends with yourself for things that you did or didn’t do throughout your life? Are there others you should forgive so that you don’t live out your remaining years filled with bitterness, hostility, and resentment? And is there anyone you should seek out for your own forgiveness? Are there any wrongs that you can at least try to make right during this stage of your life? Have you created grief or turmoil in the lives of others?

 

These questions and more can help you to gain perspective on your life and the decisions you’ve made. So, you’ll be able to let go of negativity and focus on your positive intents in the years to come.

 

When you experience true forgiveness, you can release yourself from the past hurts, pain, and bitterness. Note that forgiveness is not about accepting your own wrongful behavior or the wrongful behavior of others. Forgiveness is more about letting those actions go so that they don’t hang over you anymore. Forgiveness is about choosing to let go of yesterday’s hurt and resentment so that you can live in peace today.

 

If it’s inner peace that you are looking for in the last years of your life, there’s more you can do outside of a life review. You may want to address these statements/questions with those you care about now and/or those you have cared about in the past. Think about those who may need to hear these words:

  • Thank you.
  • I forgive you.
  • Will you forgive me?
  • I love you.

 

As you conduct your life review of your past, you’ll come to a new realization. Although other people and events may have played a part in your life, you—and only you—are truly responsible for your life. Your actions, your thoughts, and your life are truly yours alone.

 

Undoubtedly, you are feeling new emotions as you find your way through the latter period of your life. By creating your life story journal and taking the time to reflect, you will soon discover an acceptance of your past. And this wonderful acceptance will help you find contentment and live the rest of your life in peace.

 

At Lastly.com, we can help you review your life with our innovative LifeReviewTM. Take a walk down memory lane and capture the significant events and memories from your life so that future generations will remember and cherish your life story.

 

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