By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(June 14, 2017)
It usually starts with the appearance of a gray hair or two. As time passes, our “wisdom lines” deepen and become more obvious. Sagging happens in places that have never sagged before. Our joints hurt. We see photos of ourselves and we’re shocked. “That’s not me!” we proclaim.
I’ve been a “senior” for many years, and, like others, I responded initially to my own aging with reactions of alarm and denial. “This happens to others, not to me!” “Where did the time go? Wasn’t I just that insecure high school girl trying to navigate the social territory that came with a body waking up to new sensations?”
And now that body is heading toward death. We’re taught death is a bad thing, so we wage war on the evidence of its approach. We buy creams and lotions that promise to erase wrinkles and firm up sags and bags. We enroll in gym memberships to tone our muscles and hone our strength (by the way, I’m not making any of this wrong). With a cupboard full of vitamins and anti-aging pills, we hire a surgeon to nip, tuck, lift, augment or diminish. We dye and lie when it comes to our hair. Anything to postpone facing the obvious – that none of us gets off this ride alive.
Eventually, we come to see we have no say in the aging process. We can’t control it; it marches forward with or without our approval.. To surrender to it serves us, because to do otherwise – i.e. to resist – leads us down a path of dread and other forms of emotional suffering.
We are not our bodies, our personalities, our thoughts or emotions. That which we really are doesn’t feel old and doesn’t die. When we accept how aging is as natural a process as birth, we can watch it with curiosity. Then we allow ourselves to feel all our feelings, to embrace the uncertainty and fear. We welcome the lessons and hidden gifts.
I’m learning to squeeze the juice out of what time I have left. I choose to savor the joy of talents and interests rediscovered and previously unexplored that help me touch my Essence. I’m learning to love the gray (and the hair colors I choose from time to time) as well as the “character lines.” I see aging as a time to complete incompletions – to clean out my physical surroundings, to mend relationships, to withdraw blame, to heal and forgive.
I leave you with this quote from Eckhart Tolle: “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”