I’m 44 years old and stubborn. When my friends (who are about the same age as me) talk about the trials of getting older, I often tense up. I hear their complaints about aching knees, gray hairs popping up all over and eyesight diminishing with a sense of resistance.
I think to myself, “I am not going to be held back just because I’m getting older!”
I become determined NOT to become obsessed with wrinkles, gray hair or any changes that threaten to slow me down. I resolve to greet getting older with an indomitable sense of possibility.
A positive attitude can really make a difference when it comes to aging or anything, but to what extent does my resistance to the accumulation of years and their effects on my body and mind actually hurt me?
At what point does resistance spill over into denial and prevent me from living the life I really want?
This happens to so many of us– regardless of age. We meet what makes us uncomfortable and fearful with a stiff back and a resolve to not let it keep us down. How might our experience of these unwanted experiences be smoother and more peaceful if we stopped fighting what is?
When we resist it can be invigorating at first, but then it gets exhausting. Dr. Wayne Dyer points out that , “every time you use force, you create counter-force.” Th ose achy joints and gray hairs we symbolically push against with our determination to erase them or cover them push back just as hard. Not literally, but with just as much effect.
The fight weighs us down leaving us worn out and depleted .
Resistance is futile because not only does it produce a counter-force from the so-called “opponent,” it also points me and you too away from what we want. F ocus and energy are funneled into the immense effort to refuse or deny what’s happening . This takes us away from precious and amazing moments that we’d otherwise be enjoying in our lives right now.
Resistance robs us of the ability to discover and embrace the possible benefits of getting older. Whether it’s a new way to be beautiful, a new set of exciting experiences or a new-found freedom as children grow up and are less dependent, we can’t see these gifts of aging if we’re all caught up in resisting it.
Stop resisting and allow.
At first, the thought of allowing instead of resisting might sound passive. This isn’t true at all. As you notice an urge to deny or fight back against aging (or thoughts about aging), pause, breathe and create space within yourself. This space can bring clarity and calm .
You can more easily identify exactly what’s triggering you about hearing a particular comment or feeling stiff and slow. You can effectively figure out what you truly need instead of blasting away in some way at whatever has made you uncomfortable.
Maybe what you really need is to stretch more often or in a different way to support your changing body. Perhaps you’d benefit from exploring why that comment brought up the strong reaction in you. Are there worries and fears that you could look at more closely and then release?
Just because you’ve stopped fighting aging, it doesn’t mean you’re not making conscious decisions about what will help you feel great and do the things you want to do. Because you’re working WITH the changes happening in your body and mind, instead of always pushing against them, you can more quickly and easily provide yourself with whatever you need to be healthy, active and to thrive.
We’re all getting older all of the time. This is a fact. The more any of us can make peace with aging and simply strive to be our best in any situation or under any circumstance, the happier we’ll be.