I have had conversations of late that leave me a little less than disturbed. Recently turning 32 years old, it is weird to hear people responding with ahhhh and ohhhhh, like I am drying up, wrinkling, and turning grey at the same time right in front of their eyes. People, 32 is not old! I am not old!
Our culture has a whacked out sense of age, how we age, and how old is old. I am pretty sure that 32 is not old in any other culture except in America. America, who idolizes youth and despises their elders. America who allows the young, the beautiful, and talented to run our country instead of the wise, wrinkled, and greyed.
Now this is not a political post nor is it meant to demean anyone, but I remember even as Obama was elected the comments of how beautiful his family is, like the beauty of the Presidential family was something to place our hat on, something to be proud of, something to show the rest of the world that America has it together, you better watch out world because America has a beautiful Presidential family.
Weird. What is weirder is the concept that most Americans have about aging. Aches, pains, fatigue, joint problems, medications, losing memory and function, have all become accepted norms of aging. Leave it to the young and beautiful to run our country because at the ripe old age of 50 years old, it’s all down hill.
I am being a little bit sardonic in my humor and attitude, but we need to shake up our approach to aging as the mentality and ideas of aging impact our health as much as our lifestyles.
Our concept of aging will in fact impact the process of aging. Symptoms that people simply accept will develop into lifestyle onset diseases. If a symptom is accepted, it grows and morphs into something even more terrible. Something that started as a headache, turns into a migraine, turns into a brain tumor. If, through paying attention to my symptoms, to my body, soul, and emotions, I reject and fight a symptom it will not develop.
For example, I recently had aches and pains in my hand, similar to the beginning symptoms of arthritis. Well, I did not simply roll over and accept the symptoms like something was “happening to me.” I rejected the symptoms. I simply said, “I don’t have arthritis.” I rejected all negative emotions, negative thoughts, I forgave those I needed to forgive and broke off unforgiveness and bitterness.
A couple of days of fighting, of my hand not wanting to open and close as it normally would, and the symptoms completely left. My hand is completely normal.
If I would have reacted to my hand and the symptoms as if something was actively happening to me and that I was a passive recipient of a certain disease (namely arthritis), well I could have developed arthritis.
If it had not left through forgiveness, speech, and attitude, I would have looked at my diet and changed my diet. I would have been proactive to find the solution or the root to the problem.
We can all do this in regards to our health. We can all be actively engaged and proactive in our health. We can learn what we need to learn about our health, our bodies, and our food.
We can change our perceptions about aging through studying cultures who age well and who even love and embrace the process of aging.
I can truly say that I enjoy being 30 years old more than I enjoyed being 20. At 20, I had no idea who I was, what I was doing, or what was important to me. Over a decade later, I know who I am, I know what I want to do with my life, and I am actively engaged in the pursuit of my passions. It is exciting and exhilarating. I am glad that I am not 20 years old anymore. I feel this progression and I think that I am going to like turning 40. I am going to like seeing my life unfold and come together the way that it needs to. It is an exciting journey to take.
In the next few weeks, I am going to talk us through this aging process and help us to embrace and engage in the aging process with grace, joy, and understanding. Hopefully, we will find a new approach that embraces the process of aging and avoids the typical American pitfalls of aging.