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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.
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.
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.
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?
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!