Society idolizes eternal youth, and we are encouraged to strive to look as young as possible. Society does not seem to appreciate the wisdom that comes with age. It seems to me that we are told to hide any signs of age. I definitely have my moments when I fear of aging and I succumb to this pressure. I look in the mirror, and all I can see are my wrinkles.
Age is just number?
Our society also puts pressure on us that relates to other aspects of aging. We feel pressured to become a parent by a certain age. Behave more like a grown-up, or to make more rational choices related to money, our careers and so on.
However, our age is only one factor in who we are today. It does not determine whether we are ready or willing to take these suggested steps in terms of our spiritual maturity or other abilities.
Why then do we allow fear of aging to take hold of us? If we are being honest, we all worry about this at some point or another. When the idea starts to kick in that there are fewer years to come than those that are behind you, it certainly feels scary. Even before that point, we start to worry.
Are we most afraid of the physical changes that are happening to our bodies, such as wrinkles and gray hair? Is it actually a fear of death? Or is it more of a fear of unfulfilled dreams? The wrong choices that we made and regret? Or is it the unrealistic pressure that our society puts on us, or we put on ourselves, to look younger than we are?
Birthdays - Fear of aging confirmed
In the past, I have felt more anxiety than joy on my birthdays. It felt depressing, and the birthday parties were just occasions that reminded me of the fact that I was getting older and about the goals that I had not accomplished yet.
Choosing my own path
It took me 37 years to figure out that I get to decide what is right for me: not society or my social circle. I don’t need to compare my journey to my friends’ choices or my parents’ expectations.
Everyone’s life path is different, and the choices we make should vary accordingly. Whereas some people might be ready in their 20’s to start a family or open their own business, the time might be better for someone else 20 years later in their 40’s – or maybe never.
Rather than the wish to look young, my main goal now is to look healthy and to feel peaceful on the inside. I strive to develop my physical and mental abilities and do those things that make me feel happy. For these goals, age is not a limiting factor since this journey will last the rest of my life.
Happiness and Health
Nowadays, on my birthday, I reflect upon the things that I’ve accomplished over the past year and consider goals that I still want to achieve. I no longer waste energy on regrets or second-guessing myself. What matters most, in the end, is that you can genuinely say that at this moment, you are happy and satisfied with your life. It is so simple in the end.
Acceptance of yourself, your body, and your choices here and now is what brings you peace of mind and happiness. It is okay to measure yourself against where you want to be rather than measuring yourself against where others think you should be. Aging is a natural process that we should embrace rather than running away from it, and by shifting your perspective, you can age gracefully. It´s time to say goodbye to fear of aging.
Just like wine, we can get better with age.
Kind Greetings, Teija | Online Fitness Coach with 2FitnessLovers.com