Five Gifts of Aging Acceptance

 

It is understood through research that part of ageism is due to the fear of dying; especially in western culture. Because of our fear of dying, aging becomes a bad thing to do since it brings us closer to what we fear. To combat this, we try to avoid or at least deny that we are getting older with each passing day. If we carry the baggage of negative stereotypes of aging that we learned as children, we will also try to avoid the unavoidable.

Many of us go to great lengths to feed this denial in order to maintain our youthfulness. When we do so, through the myriad of ways society has created to help us feed the monster of age denial – we are missing out on the gifts we can receive by accepting our aging process.

FIVE GIFTS OF AGING ACCEPTANCE

The ability to receive – It almost goes without saying that with acceptance comes the ability to receive. Acceptance removes the barriers that denial creates and opens the way for the gifts of aging to flow into our lives. When we aren’t fighting useless battles against aging we are free to acknowledge and receive the rewards of longevity. Our minds are clear to see the small ripples of benefits aging breaks across our life’s shores. Take a walk along the beach that has been your life up until now and intentionally seek those treasures cast up from the deep. Everyone’s shore will be strewn with a different variety of “pearls” and treasures. What are yours?

The ability to live in the present – When we are able to accept, we are more able to live in the present moment. We are not fighting the battles of yesterday through regrets or the fears of tomorrow. We are present to what is going on around us right here and now. We are able to give more attention to the people and things that are right in front of us. That is a gift to them as well as to ourselves. Are you paying more attention to the people and things in your life right now as you are to your regrets and fears? Don’t miss out on the present. Remember: the present is a gift.

The ability to make moments count – As we learn to live in the present, life will seem to slow down. Through our increased awareness, we will see and experience more than possible when we are a million miles away fighting past (regrets) or future (fear) battles. Our awareness of all that surrounds us will come into greater focus, and we will clearly see that our attention is called for right here and now. It is good to be mindful of where our attention is. If it is present in the moment we are showing more respect, care, and love to the people in our lives. Moments will not be wasted and cherished memories will be made. Are you here for those you love or are you somewhere far in the past or the future?

The gift of authenticity – When we can truly accept ourselves for who we are, wherever we are on life’s journey, we free ourselves to truly be who we are – authentically. There is no need for any pretenses to prove to others and ourselves that we are something we are not. We are genuine beings who are grounded in truth. Our foundation is strong when we are true to ourselves. We must first be true to ourselves before we can be true to others. The best relationships are those based on authenticity because they are not conflicted with deception. Deception is not of the light. It is of the dark and it takes a lot of energy to pretend we are what we’re not. Like a spring of pure water, our authenticity will find its way to the surface. Are you using your energy to fight the truth or allowing yourself to be filled with energy by accepting the truth?

The gift of freedom – If we accept ourselves as who we are at any given moment in time, we will free ourselves from negative feelings like jealousy and anger that often accompany the desire to be other than who we are. When we see a young person with all the supple qualities of youth which we wish we could hold onto forever, we can look, appreciate, remember and let go. We don’t climb on the elevator to the lower levels of anger and resentment or jealousy over what another person has that we covet. We had our time in that place and despite the appearance of youthfulness, life wasn’t all a bed of roses then – remember? In fact, life is better now in many ways. Start counting them. When we are able to accept our aging process or anything else for that matter, we no longer have to fight against something. We are truly free.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Bonnie

    Excellent!!!

    • Thanks, Bonnie. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Lynn Fields Harris

    A Good Read!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lynn. Hope you are well.

  3. Hi Kathy S! Good for you for writing about the benefits of aging. I too started doing that especially after I turned 60 four years ago. I am so encouraged by all that I’ve discovered about the benefits of aging and am devoted to spreading the word, much like you do, about what we have to look forward to–rather than lamenting the fact that the years are adding up. While I don’t just write about aging, I am so encouraged as I see more and more of us doing it. I’m convinced that as a Baby Boomer we are not like previous generations (although there is something very positive to learn from them) . I think together we can change hearts and minds about what it means to grow older. Thanks for your work. ~Kathy G

    • Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, Kathy. I am lucky as I had a very deep bond with my maternal grandparents. It was through my relationship with them that I was “vaccinated” against ageism. I will check out your blog as well. Thanks for “tuning in.” Kathy

  4. I’m so enjoying this stage of life! Thanks for pointing out the inner joys of being older. Well written article; keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, Denise. I so appreciate your encouraging comment. It lets me know I am reaching people and that this blog is worthwhile.

  5. Ellen Stelling

    Beautiful. I am practicing.

    • We all are. And it helps to understand that there are joys and treasures to be found in later life that are impossible to find anywhere else. Keep practicing. Practice makes perfect, so they say. Kathy

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