This I Believe

Helen - Dallas, Texas
Entered on June 7, 2006
Age Group: 65+

I believe my life has been marked by the presence of a guide (Guardian Angel if you will) – a being from the spiritual world that has been “assigned” to encourage me to make good choices – choices that will best help me fulfill my destiny. We are each on our own path that leads us toward our full potential – each path varies since each person’s destiny is unique. Still we are blessed by divine guidance. Our task is to learn to receive it and choose to follow it.

From my own experience, here is an example of my “learning to receive” such guidance. Looking back, I can see that there were repeated efforts to guide me; and repeated efforts on my part to ignore it. Finally, at a point in my mid-forties, my life was a shambles. I was about to divorce for the second time and faced the need to support myself for the first time. This still, small voice was urging me to reply to a position as psychologist in a nursing home. I didn’t know one thing about Geriatrics and had honestly not planned to learn either. A friend kept urging me to simply interview, and I finally did just that. Somehow I knew after the interview, in which I admitted to having no experience working with older people, I was going to be offered the job. The few days of waiting did not change my being assured of that…it only gave me that much time to stew around about accepting. The “still, small voice” became more forceful with the strong message that I should say YES. Finally, on the last night before I was scheduled to hear from the Nursing Home, I was awakened by the voice and it was no longer still or small. So I listened and later accepted the position.

As you may imagine, that was the beginning of a marvelous career. It led from getting to know all about 350 older people and loving it, to directing a five state training program for nursing home staff, and eventually to a professorship in, and interim chairmanship of a department of Gerontology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

I went from despair and disillusion to the happiest years of my life. Needless to say, I have been very careful to “tune in” to that still, small voice ever since.