I’m embarrassed to admit this, because I know that acceptance is the key to true spirituality, but I really don’t like getting older. It sucks. My body doesn’t work as well as it used to. People treat me differently. My hair is all grey now, and I’m aware that in many situations I simply get overlooked because of how I look. Older people aren’t valued in American society. I know that this doesn’t affect my ultimate spiritual magnificence, but I can’t help but be affected by society as a whole – and how I’m treated. Any wise words on aging?
Aging and Agitated
I am truly saddened by how we, in the United States, view our elders. As we age, we get better and wiser! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go back to ANY earlier age! Life has gotten better and better for me every year.
But I understand your experience and know that you aren’t alone in this!
Here are some things I suggest to counteract the fallout of elder-invisibility:
1) Hang out with others who are your age and older. Not only will you bring value to those older, you will feel younger with them – because you are! (I have a dear friend in his 70’s who sings at old folks homes. It’s incredibly enriching for everyone!)
2) Find a way (there are organizations for such things) to mentor and/or hang out with someone younger. This is a wonderful way to share your wisdom. Because the setting and circumstances are specifically created to support you sharing your wisdom, it has a better likelihood of being well received. This way, if you are in a situation where there is less than deep honoring of you, it’s not your only experience.
3) Continue to do what you are passionate about, and share that. Whether this is walking, knitting, or just chatting with people about life, there is a place where your gifts will be welcome and received. This will help remind you of the value that your lifetime of experience has garnered you. Sharing your value is a great way to notice you’ve got a lot of it! The good you share will bless others, and the appreciation others have as a result will be a blessing for you!
We are a young nation. In time, I’m certain we will wake up to the realty that the wisdom that comes with age should be held in the high regard. As opposed to only honoring the innocence of the youth (in all their lack of experience with life). Meanwhile, be aware that there are plenty of young people who feel unseen because of their youth.
4) In your personal prayer practice, feel your wisdom and the gratitude you have for feeling celebrated by others. Feel this as if it is already happening. How do you stand and walk? How do you act in the world? And then, stand, walk and act this way. There is much to be said for being a commanding presence due to your own self-esteem, and knowing your own value.
5) Have more fun! This goes along with #3, but might be in addition. If your passion is not a great joy-additive to your life, find what is, and do that as much as you possibly can! Joy, like love, heals everything.
Blessings and Love to you in all you do!
What is your experience with aging? Share your comments below!
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