Have we forgotten
How to age in grace?
As I turned forty in a world that drools over youth, I was forced to step back and take a deeper look at myself, at my relationship, and at the rest of humanity, on the subject of aging.
I looked at the way I'd started streaking my hair, in order to hide increasing numbers of grey hairs. (I'd never thought I'd do that!) I looked at the way I frowned when I glanced into a mirror and saw wrinkles peeking through the makeup I'd just started wearing. I felt how hurtful it was to realize that the man I was with thought I was "unattractive" because of my age. I looked at how my sudden dread of aging was casting a shadow over the rest of my life. . .a shadow that was filled with negative messages, which said things like, “we must cover up, hide and deny our age.,” because, in our foolish cunture, “aging women are unattractive, unlovable and undesirable..."
Most of us seem so ashamed of aging, and so hung up on youth and what we LOOK like, that it no longer seems to matter what we ARE like! Wisdom seems to be taking a back seat to vanity. And as the depths of this reality seeped into my heart, I began to realize how damaging it is.
I also began feeling ashamed of becoming part of such a shallow existence and saw that, in the root of my vanity, was a need to be Loved, although Love has nothing to do with what I look like.
I suddenly realized how utterly foolish it is for us to waste so much time, energy, money and joy in a battle against the natural aging process. This was a real turning point for me. I left that shallow, unloving relationship, literally chopped off all my highlighted hair and started letting my greys light my days.
Now, several years later, as I look at the thickening grey stripes in the sides of my hair, I smile more times than not. I'm starting to actually feel proud of my streaks of wisdom. The more I genuinely enjoy them, the more enlightened I feel. I'm not kidding! Yes, I have days when my confidence staggers. But overall, I'm enjoying growing older and letting it show. I'm finding this process of honoring my age empowering!
Wouldn't it be great if it were Truly OK to grow old in our world? No more hair coloring! No more bald spot hiding! No more wrinkle removals or droop lifting! No more shame of what's going to happen to all of us anyway. No more beautiful women feeling unlovable...etc.
Can you imagine the extra joy, peace and contentment
that will grow into our Hearts, when we let go
of our foolish concerns about aging?
I stood in the lines where everybody goes
To fix the aging form of skin, hair or pose.
Strong as stone I stood as I studied my reflection
And found these words in my body's deep rejection,
"Each crevice built for tears - these wrinkles on my face,
Are proof of precious years that NOTHING can erase.
In the grey of my fine hair, I sometimes see a glow.
Please handle it with care and let this magic show.
The sparkle in my eyes grows brighter every day.
Please don't cover it up. Don't take THAT all away!
Every blemish, bump or sag, in the eyes of the weak,
May make me a hag. But HEAR these words I speak.
I want to remain human. . .the Truest kind of all.
Don't stretch, tweak or fix me. I don't want to be a doll.
I may not fit in, because of how I feel.
But I don't want to change. So, let me just be REAL."