Aging is a Beatiful Thing and Nobody Does it Like Mother Nature
I’ve heard it said that death is the great equalizer. As true as this statement is, I see that aging too is the great equalizer. Stuff happens as we age, and no matter how much power, money, beauty, or sex appeal you have, you can’t say no to what Mother Nature has to offer.
One of the intentions of this book, Aging Like a Guru, is to cultivate not only awareness but also our innate intelligence in a way that sparks a curiosity about what it is like within these human packages. Another intention is to see that, regardless of your chronological age, you are most likely always in the question: Aging – Who Me?!
Can you remember the first time that you thought about death? (I was 5.) Can you remember the first sign of aging that you noticed on or in your body? (I was 35.) I suspect that from that moment on, you became vigilant, if not hyper-vigilant to any and all follow-up indications that aging was happening to you.
Sex appeal, money, and power can only go so far. DENIAL can only work for so long. Substances such as alcohol, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications, facelifts, and the rest, only allow us to avoid and numb the human experience within the aging process that is occurring to us. At some point, relentless vanity must succumb to reality. Humiliation dies a hard death, out of which sweet humility is born. Such is the gift from Mother Nature.
I love how when talking with people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s, they express that they don’t feel old inside – they feel like they are in their 30’s or younger. They still feel like a kid, and desire and enjoy all the pleasures that were part of their younger lives – that never goes away.
So, at some point we can distinguish ourselves from the sack of bones that for decades we believed was us. And, we can come to discover that we aren’t aging, it is our bodies that are aging. We get wise, enough to be able to handle the truth of this fact, and willingly detach our identity from our bodies. We wise up and realize that there is no point in fighting Mother Nature. This doesn’t mean we get depressed and crawl into our graves before our time. No. No. No. It actually means just the opposite!
Aging like a guru means that there are many points in life where we choose to detach ourselves from who we thought we were, who we wished we were, and who we pretended to be. We come to surrender and accept that this Life-Journey provides many opportunities to question the purpose of being on this planet. All of the physical signs of aging – a big package of humility-building opportunities, wrapped in a big bow, are a gift from Mother Nature for those who dare to ask again and again and again, who am I, what’s the point of my presence on this planet, and, how will I know when I’m done?
Each of us, as aging gurus, has our own unique answers to these questions. I’ve discovered that many people, including myself, who willingly sit with themselves and with these questions, are most likely to discover a lightness of being within. We smile more, even laugh, though the circumstances of aging will inevitably put us in our graves. We come to know ourselves as the ageless one within. We come to accept that we are not our circumstances – we aren’t even our wrinkly, old bodies. As aging gurus we stop taking the whole life-thing so seriously, and come to enjoy the simpler pleasures of just being.
Regardless of our age, each of us face a plethora of choice-points that challenge our sense of Self. Though grueling and difficult, each life choice prepared us and has led us to this moment of truth, this moment of courage in facing the inevitability that we won’t make it out of this alive. Now what? You have to see the humor in that! Or, maybe not yet!!
This is a chapter from my book AGING LIKE A GURU-WHO ME?