Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.”
Carl Jung said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
The great thinkers and writers of every time had something to say about our true identities — about our sense of self and how we define that self.
It’s something the entire world can be preoccupied with, and it’s easy to fall into the habit of defining yourself according to worldly, temporary and sometimes false identities. You might have considered yourself a mom, a dad, a wife, a husband, an electrician or a CEO.
Perhaps you consider yourself a sewer, a knitter or a crossword puzzle enthusiast. Maybe others call you a senior citizen or an assisted living resident.
But in reality, none of these descriptions fully describe who you are. They are titles and descriptors for certain seasons and areas of your life. And yes, once you become a parent or a spouse or a nurse, your life is forever changed and that may be something you associate with yourself forever. It’s important to remember that you are more than all of that, though.
Because if you define yourself in only the terms of who you are to others, what you did for a living or even in descriptors such as “nice” or “smart,” what happens when those things aren’t true anymore? What happens when you retire and are no longer working as a nurse? What happens on days you don’t feel well and you simply aren’t nice?
Tying up your sense of self — and potentially your self-worth — in these types of labels can leave you floundering when the label doesn’t seem to fit anymore or for a moment.
If you’re an “independent senior” living a vibrant life in anindependent living community — and you take pride and value from that distinction — what happens if you fall and hurt yourself and need help for a while? What happens if you simply need assistance with a financial matter, figuring something out on the computer or moving a piece of furniture. When your identity is wrapped up in your independence, it might be harder to ask for the help you need. In some cases, people who are wrapped up in such a label might not ask at all, and they miss out on opportunities and life enjoyment they might have otherwise had.
One of the benefits of assisted living is that it offers some great chances for getting to know yourself anew — for growing in that wisdom that Aristotle described in the quote above.
When you make a decision to downsize from an existing home and move into an assisted living community such as The Gardens in Springfield, MO, you are making a huge life change. As you move from previous chapters of your life into this new one, you also likely change. Here are a few ways assisted living can help you get to know yourself in this new stage of life.
At The Gardens assisted living community, we know and love all our residents. They’re all unique, vibrant people with stories to tell and plenty of talents to share. If you’re worried about being labeled an “assisted living resident” if you make a move to a community, don’t be. Assisted living residents probably aren’t who you think they are, and living in such a community can also help you realize you might not be exactly who you think either.