I turn 53 years old today! How did that happen? When I woke up this morning my heart was full of love and gratitude for being given the privilege to even celebrate another birthday - many don't get the chance.
Aging, it's a strange thing isn't it? As I get older, I ponder many more things than I used to.
One of the things I dislike about aging is how it is referred to in our culture. Have a look around. How many ads and products do you see with the word 'anti' in front of the word aging? It absolutely pisses me off! Why does aging even need an 'anti' to begin with? What is wrong with aging?
Another popular phrase that gets my goat is, "I may be old, but I'm still young at heart". Why can't we be old at heart and be okay with that? I mean, we spent years and years building up strength, courage and fortitude in our hearts through experiencing love, passion, grief, sorrow, disappointment, delight; etc. Why can't we simply celebrate that knowledge and wisdom we earned through those experiences?
I think our society/culture has it mixed up. There are cultures of the world that actually celebrate their elders as the carriers of great wisdom. They are deeply respected and revered. But here in the 'western' world it seems that the best place to put us aging folk is "out to pasture" so no one will witness our decay! How did we get it so wrong?
The fountain of youth is not found on wrinkle-less skin, it's found in the mind. Instead of saving up for bo-tox or a face-lift, I think we should all be required to line up for a mind-lift!
Sure our bodies will age. That's the universal law of entropy. We live. We die. But that doesn't mean that we should decay our minds with limiting thoughts. Rather, I think we should keep enriching and expanding our minds as we grow older. The human spirit is the only thing on earth that has the power to defy the law of entropy. The Universe has gifted us with a mind and a spirit that will continue to expand - if we let it.
There's a quote by Oprah Winfrey where she says, “Every year should teach you something valuable; whether you get the lesson is up to you. Every year brings you closer to expressing your whole and healed self.”
We need to heal and shield ourselves from any negativity that exists with aging. Getting older doesn't mean that we are declining or decaying. We are only as limited as we tell or believe ourselves to be.
I know people of all ages who are just waiting for their bodies to give out. They are expecting it. That means they are thinking it into being. Think a different thought. Start seeing yourself as a 50+, 60+, 70+ (or older) active and healthy human. And if you do that, and truly believe in it, I'm willing to bet that you will be that. The power of our incredible minds is astounding and almost completely untapped!
As I look back on the last 3 decades or so, I'm sure I probably could have prevented my body from more dis-ease and more than a few wrinkles if I hadn't drank that wine or eaten that chocolate, or stayed up all night laughing and partying with friends......but F$%K it! It was definitely worth the joint pain and the damn wrinkles I have today!
I guess what I'm saying is that there is no need to fear or push against getting older. We can be aware of how we are treating this house our soul lives in, of course, and take the necessary precautions. If our house needs some repairs, then we should take care of them, but more importantly I think we need to become aware of how we are decorating the inside of our house. The thoughts we chose to hang on our walls are the seeds of our life's garden. They matter.
Make sure you have good seeds - the kind of seeds that will yield the best crop. We reap what we sow. We get what we think. Sow those seeds or thoughts carefully, and tend to them daily with love and care. Then enjoy the harvest and celebrate all you have created for yourself.
And the good news is that as we get older and get more practiced, we become better gardeners. Let's celebrate that!