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Elders vs Olders

Being an elder is different than being an older.

There is a need to reclaim eldering, to reclaim elders. There is a need to grow more elders.

Most of us haven’t had the chance to be eldered well. We don’t learn how to be elders without being eldered well over a long period of time because it’s not a teaching, it’s a transmission of love over time. There is something divine about experiencing the steady flow of love that elders hold. It transforms us.

We often mistake teachers and guides for elders, they are not. But elders are teachers and guides. I think this misunderstanding has led people down confusing paths.

Elders carry a child like quality not a childish one.

Teachers and guides can carry wisdom and even share wise words. Teachers and guides can be great companions on our journey of life and they still aren’t elders.

Elders know when to say I’m sorry and not as a dismissive thing but takes real responsibility for their part in places that have gone off center.

Elders don’t expect you to say I’m sorry and will graciously receive it when its offered.

Elders can see you clearly because they can see themselves.

Elders will wait for you for as long as it takes and will let your choices be yours without attachment.

Elder will tell you the truth without attachment, when you are honoring yourself and when you aren’t.

Elders have lived some life and have taken responsibility for their own healing so they don’t dump their pain on you, consciously or unconsciously.

Elders will come for you when you are flailing.

Until we get really clear about what elders are and what they are not we continue to stay in this adolescent adult culture. We will continue to think we are grown up instead of really growing up to become initiated adults that can then grow into initiated elders.


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Hmm. I need this list so I can read it over again and again. I want to consider these things, in light of my own being and also in response to others.

Thank you.

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