The Journey Continues – I Think I Understand Now

I imagine there are many of us who were exposed to that cranky, old man or woman who lived in the neighborhood when we were kids or perhaps you even had/have grandparents who seemed grumpy all the time.  As kids, we had no clue why elderly people seem gruff and hard to get along with.  There are even times when we mimicked them, making fun and laughing.  The truth is that there’s no way we could understand.

As we begin to age, some of us tell ourselves we have all the time in the world.  We can’t seem to fathom what aging really means and how it can affect us mentally, emotionally, and physically.  We still don’t have a clue.

Then we wake up one day and look in the mirror and see the first wrinkles at the corner of our eyes or the first gray hair on our heads and Life seems to take a 90 degree turn.  Things have begun to change.  Not everyone, but some panic and decide more dieting, exercise, and even cosmetic surgery seems to be in order.  After all, we just can’t look “old.”

I’ve been one of the fortunate ones.  You could say I have good “mom genes.”  My mother never looked her age.  At 80, people thought she was maybe 65.  As an adult, I’ve always looked younger than my age and I am grateful.  Although I’m very grateful for those “youthful” genes I inherited from my mother, I don’t think that’s the sum total of why people have always thought I was younger than I am.  It’s been my attitude.  I’ve always considered my age just a number.  You know, the number of revolutions around the Sun, years in this incarnation, etc.

But what about those cranky, old people?  What made/makes they so cranky?  There’s plenty of sayings and memes out there about the mind being willing but the body not-so-much as you get older.  It think that says something about where we focus our attention as well as the fact we believe we are solely these bodies.  We forget that these physical bodies are merely vehicles for an ageless spirit/soul.  As a result, many of us buy wholeheartedly into the “fact” about aging.  We have come to believe what our society tells us about aging: you become feeble, infirmed, and soon can no longer take care of yourself.

And yet, there are plenty of examples of just the opposite: people in their 80s, 90s, and even 100s who are still living meaningful lives and doing it without assistance.  These are he people who have come to be my heroes.  They show us that anything is possible, if you believe it to be so.

But what about those others?  The ones who are bitter, angry, depressed, and seem to be just waiting for death to come and take them?  How did that happen?  Could it have been avoided?  I realize that’s a highly theoretical discussion, but I also know we are more powerful than we believe we are, especially where are minds are concerned.  I also know that we always have a choice that is ours and ours alone.

Most of us have been programmed, since we were old enough to understand, to believe in the “acceptable” standards of society.  In other words, we were taught to believe in what’s considered “normal.”  Unfortunately, this is especially true of older generations, mine included.  I would say, for the most part, this is what’s happened to those cranky, grumpy, angry seniors.  They bought into society’s definition of what it means to be elderly and, now that they’ve arrived at that stage of their lives, they don’t like it.  Who can blame them?  Inside they’re still that young person, but now they find themselves trapped in a body that won’t comply with all the desires of their hearts and minds.  They see youthful people able to do what they still desire to be able to do and it makes them both angry and sad.  The older they get, the more they feel Life is over.

It’s not about fighting aging.  It’s about deciding how you choose to age.  Yes, that is a choice we each have and a power, by belief, we each have to manifest it as we desire.  Will you look 25 when you’re 80?  Highly unlikely (but not impossible).  What you may find is that your body is more cooperative because you don’t automatically buy into the common geriatric definitions of being elderly.  Like “The Little Engine that Could,” you will find yourself saying, “I think I can…I think I can.” and being intuitionally led to forms of exercise, healing, eating, supplements and more that help you and your body to continue on living the life you want to lead rather than feeling you have no choice, no power, to do anything but just take it as it comes.

It would be nice to remain forever youthful, but the truth is that it’s not the way of Nature.  Everything is born, lives, ages, and dies.  That is the cycle of Life in this reality.  However, nothing says you have no choices in the midst of any part of that cycle.  You always have a choice.  Never, ever forget that.

As for me, I think I understand now why those elderly people are cranky.  No one ever told them, and they never realized, they had a choice.  The ending to their story of this incarnation might have been different.  Thanks to them, I made a decision not to fall into the trap of the stereotypical senior citizen.  I look at every day with hope.  I end every day with gratitude for not only another day, but the ability to still do 99% of the things I have always done.  I’ll be 73 in May.  It’s still just a number – a number that I’ve learned to be quite proud of.  Who knows what the future my bring?  Because I understand now that it’s up to me, and I have a choice, anything is possible.

Senior Citizen

Love & Blessed Be