Saturday, January 19, 2013

About Aging Gracefully

All photos via Pinterest

There are so many joys as we age!  I know that there is controversy about this but I am standing up in favor of it.  I have heard people scoff at The Golden Years.   But then I have heard people scoff at and expound upon most everything.  People's attitudes can often gravitate to the negative no matter the issue.  The thing is~our reality is what we think it is, true or not.  That is the bottom line.  The greatest gift of agency we have is we get to actually create our own world here and now.  I didn't know that when I was young.  Lacking that knowledge is tantamount to giving your power away to every wind that blows past you.  Life needs to be proactive, not reactionary and that begins in your head. 

It has occurred to me very poignantly again recently that we literally create our own reality.  This is something I have to keep re-learning.  Of course I know it intellectually, but every once in a while, I realize anew that my emotional development is lagging behind in this area.  When I feel myself slipping into emotional pain, whining or grousing about something or someone, I have to stop and ask myself, "Is this concern even real?"  Seriously.  Oh, if we could only get back the hours we have wasted fretting and stewing, even crying over things we thought were true, with no substantial shred of evidence whatsoever. That is worrying needlessly.  That is being faithless...towards God, ourselves and others.

My least favorite space to be with anyone else is wondering where I stand with them.  My own insecurities can get me to a point of being all tangled up over things I think might be true.  This is not good; this combination of insecurity and an active imagination!   The tint of my view of the world is just plain off at times and based on nothing but my fears.  I am learning I can choose to think well of eventual outcomes and that there are many variables when I am feeling a dissonance in a situation.  I didn't know this when I was young.  I thought my every feeling was accurate.  Not so.  We need to get use to being wrong and humbly being taught by life.  That polishing comes in our Golden Years.  I am voting for it. 

I have spent a lot of time wondering about why I struggle with these types of insecurities but, I have decided it pretty much doesn't matter.  It is what it is, as they say, based on what was in the past.  However, in my future I have the power to just stop doing the negative thinking and to choose happier, more productive thoughts.  Like an artist with a brush we can paint a picture that makes us feel so much happier.

This goes beyond Pollyanna's positive thinking.  It is consciously allowing ourselves to consider something and choosing to think good thoughts rather than just automatically assuming the worst.  It is choosing not to borrow trouble prematurely.  It is choosing not to worry and fret.  It is aging gracefully.  It's letting life teach us something new instead of just reacting in the identical way every time something happens.  It is knowing that if you don't change something, nothing will change.  The key word there is YOU!

It is having faith in other people.  It is loving in a different way. It is realizing that loving is what we give and maybe don't always get in return.   The real joy is in the giving of it and how selflessly loving uplifts us no matter what.  It is growing up and being an adult.  It is cutting others a little slack and more importantly, cutting ourselves some too.  Ta da...aging gracefully.

It is letting go of the things that have held us captive, by using our own power to change our paradigms or ways of thinking.  And let's face it head-on.  It is letting go of all our doubts and fears. It's trusting God, ourselves and others and loving life unconditionally.  Life is never going to be perfect here but it can be perceived in a much better way.

The Golden Years!  Bring 'em on.  Let the light and love within you make a difference.  It is a time to take more control of our own happiness, to savor what we have learned and to be a mentor in what can often seem like a dark world.  It is a time to be a good example of a happy survivor in this life. It's time to share what we have and to give back in ways we couldn't do in our youth.   As we experience life's joys and trials on our own and watch others do the same, we grow a lovely heart...full of compassion, understanding and wisdom and love that is for giving away.

It is a time of fully accepting yourself, not reinvented as the world would have you be~but as you really are.  The way God so beautifully made you, unique and incredibly special in your own way...His way, the right way.

When you look back you can see how far you have come and appreciate it. You are not perfect but you are making good progress.   And you can look ahead with more faith and longing for these really good days you are now discovering.  You will find more joy in the simple things that really matter.  You will know them if you are aging gracefully. 

I have never been one to say, "Oh boy, I sure wish I was 25  again!"  But looking back on all the stages of my life so far...when I am really ancient, I do feel I might just wish I could return to this time.  In this phase of life of more freedom where I still have my health and facilities and the ability to contribute to the world in my own unique ways.  And when I am that old I just hope I will be able to remember how wonderful life is right now, right here in this moment of contentment and joy that I am feeling today.  If I don't will someone please read this to me?

The Golden Years for me are a time of deeper and more meaningful love, compassion, joy in the beauties around me and more faith in God then ever before.  That same beauty and faith bring me closer to the surface with my tears, that come more easily now.  Joy and everything else is felt much more deeply than ever before.  I have finally figured out how to live each day more fully and be truly in it.

This is a place I want to stay for as long as I live.  I know that is probably not to be, so I am capturing my thoughts like a Kodak moment here today.  Aging gracefully is what it is all about.  Trusting in the Lord and His plan for you and me and submitting to His will.  In the scriptures it tells us that, "..Men are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25

By seeking for the joyful parts of this life, in a conscious way through our thoughts, we can create a world that allows us to fill the measure of our own creation.  We will find and experience that joy for which we were created in the first place!  We do, in fact, choose our view each day. I like the plan....don't you?

I could have used an understanding of this at 20...but that could not have been. The journey had only  just begun.   That is what I love and embrace about getting older.  And the absolute crowning jewel is doing it along side of my best friend and golden husband, whom I choose to see as perfect for me!


Sister Susie said...

I remember the analogy of the optomist seeing the glass half full where the pessemist sees it as half empty. The problem with them both, is there's nothing in the glass to begin with. "Having eyes they refuse to see, having ears they refuse to hear." (Eze. 12:2) One cannot ignor the "negative" forever for when the reality of it can no longer be ignored, it's too late to do anything positive about it. The refusal to see and hear what our present government is doing to this country, is a fine example of the negative not being spoken out against by the positive; or in such number that it makes the reality of our present governmental officials gutting our constitution to be an importance to bringing it to a halt! Matthew 6:19 speaks of the storing up where the thief breaks in and steals, sounds much like what the government has done to all of the hard working class that now looks as though they may not have the social security or medicare we have paid into all of our lives. I really don't want to seem negative, but there's not much positive about our past capitalist society becoming socialist if not dictoral happening right before our eyes. I wonder how many more "straws it's going to take to break the camel's back" of the hard working class that is carrying this country on ITS back? I guess that is why the LORD told us to live one day at a time. Matthew 6:34 says, "Don't worry about tomorrow for today has enough troubles of its own." AND AS YOU SAY, concentrate on the joys we have, for that is what is important. Trust in the LORD that no matter what, He will carry us through the trials of this life. Our faith will then be even stronger to enjoy our life no matter what occurs! How can it not be! Christ said He is a rewarder to those who seek after Him. (Hebrews 11:6) I thank the LORD for who I am, where I am, and how I am. When I want to start to gripe, I stop and think, Susan, there's always someone much worse off than you, so you should be ashamed to even think about complaining on trivial things! Thank you, Bonnie for always making me think!!! Susan