Three Lies We Tell Ourselves About Aging and One Beautiful Truth
My Best Years Are Behind Me- LIE
When our inner dialogue creates the myth of how our greatest achievements are in the past we need to remind ourselves immediately that we are indeed living in the past. It is easy for the mind to conjure up memories of supposedly happier times. This type of nostalgia is notably reflected in the character Uncle Rico from the movie " Napoleon Dynamite". He tries to recapture his high school quarterback glory days by ordering a time machine off the Internet. All of us have a tendency to romanticize the past especially when we are unsure of the future or uncomfortable with our current situation. When we begin to speak and think in past terms our mind is no longer in the present moment. We are robbing ourselves of precious time in the here and now.
I'm Too Old to Learn or Begin Again- LIE
How many times have you heard people in their 40's and 50's grumble, "Well, if I was younger..." I'd do such and such. Unless we are referring to unnecessary risky behavior such as bungee jumping or naked para sailing we learn until our demise. Biologically, childbirth after a certain age becomes even more dangerous but there are alternatives such as adoption. Start a new career. Go to school. Take a boxing class. Run a marathon. Adopt a shelter dog. Pose nude in Playboy. Dance until dawn. Learn a new language. Travel. Write a blog. Eat a gallon of ice cream in your underwear. Save the world. It's YOUR LIFE. There are too many people under forty who consider themselves old and have their entire future career path streamlined to retirement. When we are concocting all the charts and graphs, analysing data and saving for the stereotypical "old age" bingo fest, arts and crafts mindset, where is the NOW? Are you enjoying your life now ? Why do people believe they will be happy in the future if they are incapable of being happy in the present ? Human beings have the desire and capacity to accomplish so much more than we allow ourselves at any age. Even after the godforsaken age of forty ( I say sarcastically) we are developing new skills and challenging ourselves. Don't ever let insecure people tell you, YOU ARE TOO OLD.
Where Do You Want to Go? Map it!
No One Loves Me, No One Cares- LIE
Do you remember the scene in "Arthur" when Sir John Gielgud's character slaps Dudley Moore in the face after he complains about being unloved? "You spoiled little bastard! You're a man who has everything, haven't you, but that's not enough. You feel unloved, Arthur, welcome to the world. Everyone is unloved. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. And incidentally, I love you." Figuratively, every one of us needs the Hobson slap to occasionally remind us we are not the center of the universe. Life altering events occur in later years but they can also occur at any moment. Parents experience Empty-Nest Syndrome or grown children move across the country. Sadly, you may unexpectedly lose a spouse or significant other. Perhaps you move after a job loss or start fresh in a new city after divorce. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Love yourself. We can't expect others to love us if we are not capable of understanding and loving ourselves. If you feel unloved, ignored or unimportant begin to examine, explore and rediscover who you are and what you need to feel fulfilled. Be comfortable alone. There is no one more deserving of your love than you. Most importantly find a way to comfort and serve others who need you. Show compassion. It may no longer be family, a spouse, a lover or your own children you help but their is a whole world who needs all the love you can give.
The Truth : You Can't Stop It
Truth in lifes advertising. You can't stop the aging process. Sure there are entire industries of doctors, pharmaceutical companies and beauty product campaigns dedicated and thriving on keeping our society self-conscious about sexual performance, grey hair or sagging skin. People will always choose procedures or "quick fixes" if they truly believe it will make them happier. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good or more confident. Do you have to rely on them? The most beautiful people I know or have known accept that we are all aging. It is natural. It is life. Like all things, we too shall pass. Beauty and grace shine in the wisdom of our acceptance.