Our western culture celebrates youth and beauty like it is an accomplishment…
We esteem those who fall into the perfect patterns of subjected beauty that we have set up through our media and cultural forms…
We create standards of perfection that can only be fully realized through the sterilized and filtered pictures plastered on social media and magazine covers…
In contrast, the natural processes of aging are looked upon as defects and things that need to be avoided. We talk about ‘fighting the aging process’ or taking ‘anti-aging’ products which will slow down the natural progressions and spare us from our ‘inevitable demise’.
Even within the context of aging, we celebrate those who look younger than their biological age and quietly judge those who ‘haven’t looked after themselves’. We wonder why someone in their 40s would allow their hair to turn grey and start comparing our own lines and wrinkles with those of our friends, wondering if we are ‘aging well’.
Plastic surgery and other cosmetic interventions, even amongst ‘regular people’ are becoming more routine and there is a whole industry of “natural” anti-aging interventions from collagen pills to facial peels that are now available in health and beauty stores.
Even apart from the physical, we can experience more health concerns, aches and pains, and have less energy and vigor than our younger selves. We may start to find our productivity goes down or we are a little more clouded in our thinking.
When our whole culture is geared towards staying young, this can cause us to feel like aging is unnatural or something to be feared. When the values of our society quietly communicate that our worth diminishes as we get older, it is time to bring truth to this fierce lie.
The fact is, every day that we get older is another day that we have to live, love, learn and contribute to the purposes that we are here to fulfill. The alternative to growing older is…not growing older…ceasing to exist…
When that happens, our contributions cease…our ability to teach the next generation ceases…the wisdom that we have learned can no longer be passed along.
Trying to look and feel your best is something that we all want to do, and nobody should be judged for the decisions they make in that regard. If you personally want to buy into cosmetic interventions or color your hair, it is good and right for you to do that. The point is simply that we should be celebrating all aspects of getting older, rather than setting impossible or unnatural standards.
It is time that we as a culture started celebrating the benefits of getting older instead of being so concerned about the lines on our faces. We need to understand that “fighting” our bodies leads to disease and dis-harmony and places the focus entirely on the wrong thing.
Further, if you are making cosmetic decisions out of fear of judgement or lack of confidence, this then becomes a soul issue…
If you are struggling with fears over getting older, I invite you to speak aloud the following affirmations. Take these things to heart and use them to dispel the lies that you are anything but infinitely loved and valued just the way you are.
I am 100% deserving to be loved, appreciated, valued and safe
I love my body and I treat it with respect and gratitude
I am wise and knowledgeable, and I look forward to the legacy that I can leave for the next generation
I am choosing to let go of any false standard of beauty that society has dictated for me
I choose to live with vibrant energy and self-love
As more of us choose to make these our truths we will ensure that the true value of our elders is embraced and celebrated. We will stop looking on the outside and see the infinite truths and wisdom that our elders hold in trust for us. We will affirm their best contribution to us is to share what their many years have taught them. When this becomes our reality, we don’t need to keep re-learning the same lessons over and over again.