This morning I took a break from my computer and as I passed the mirror, I looked in. I had my glasses on and the sunlight was streaming in. YIKES! Look at those lines around my lips and the crevasses where sweet smile lines should be. I don’t mind growing older – that’s inevitable but I just don’t want to look like it.
I took off my glasses and smiled because the focus was softer. Lines not so noticeable. Then I looked into my own eyes to give myself a pep talk and before I could, my eyes in the mirror caught my eyes in my vision and I saw something amazing.
My eyes were full of mischief. Sparkling. And then like time lapse, they were eight years old. Then eighteen … thirty-one… fifty-three, now sixty six. Holey smoke – they are the same eyes! I was laughing – yes I do that once in awhile when I am in the privacy of my own self-discovery.
I was laughing because my soul was showing the physical body me that I was always full of wonder. Full of delight in the beauty that surrounds me. It showed me that even when my eyes are spilling over in tears of sorrow, or wide in fear of some perceived threat on my existence, the essential me is timeless and ageless… and full of wonder.
In naming the six fears that plague men and women, Napoleon Hill lists fear of growing old and fear of death among them. I do not fear death, and I don’t really fear growing old. I have created my own definition to “old” which doesn’t include an inevitability of illness, nor does it include a loss of energy, vitality, wit or charm or enthusiasm or willingness to start a new project or loss of attractiveness.
I don’t feel invisible like so many women write about in their later years. I am never invisible to myself and I lovingly engage with people of all ages and persuasions. I don’t seek out crowds or piles of friends. But when I am with people – new to me or familiar, friends and family, I let myself be real and authentic and engage from the heart.
I say authentic and think some who might see me carefully put on makeup and earrings, choose my clothes and tackle my ever curly and unruly hair that this does not denote authentic. But it does. I am that. One who enjoys presenting myself to myself in the best light so that when I go out in town or city, have coffee and quietly work on my computer in a noisy port side café, or chair an international ZOOM meeting, I feel good about myself.
Feeling good about myself opens all the channels for my mind – thoughts, emotions, intuition and inspiration to flow freely. These that I name are the stuff of the soul. They are ageless and timeless. Yes I can stamp my feet in frustration at not getting my way like a little girl. I can also weep like the mother of all in deep grief for those I love who have suffered.
I grieve for the earth and her people and animals, wildlife and growing things that suffer through ignorance and greed. I can jump up and down and clap my hands with glee at getting what I dreamed for. While my dreams have matured, my expression of joy has not diminished a bit. I still get loft when I jump. I love to dance and have learned in my maturity to take the wise advice that says dance like no one is watching. I can do that. Under the moon. Barefoot on the beach.
I am rich with life experience. Loss and gain. Love and betrayal. Fear and courage. It all shows in my face. Etched on the landscape of my skin. But within, deep in my heart … ahhh now that is a different story. My soul told me so.
Look into your own eyes and tell me what you see.
Growing old is not for the faint of heart – that’s for sure. But there are strategies for enjoying this time in our lives with a wisdom and appreciation for the nuance of time that is not available to us in youth when time stretches to a distant horizon.
Follow me, embrace your ageless, timeless nature and let’s play with this adventure called life. I’m starting a new business. What are you doing with your dreams?