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The Joy of Aging for Men and Women

Youth and age, such an extreme contradiction. Yet as the world's population gets older it becomes more and more obvious that the youth side of the equation rules advertising, marketing, film making, manufacturing and just about everything else. With so many facets of life dedicated to the word 'young', it is no wonder we explore every capability within our reach to maintain our youth. We exercise until we drop so that our body can retrieve a shape hasn't had in twenty years. We undergo various medical or surgical procedures to mold, sculpt, tighten, firm and refresh our physical bodies. We color every strand of silver, add hair where it has vanished and remove hair that has appeared. We try every diet and elixir that holds even the most remote possibility for attaining a teenager's physique and energy.

Is this wrong? Absolutely not!

But, as we are doing all of these things we have to acknowledge the fact that life is moving us forward in time and that we have created the word, concept and identification associated with aging. Being old is a relative circumstance; when one is ten years old, someone who is forty seems ancient. Unfortunately we have a tendency to carry that youthful relativity throughout life. When we reach forty, or whatever magic number we have attached to the concept of being old, we identify with that, begin to think and feel old and equate it to uselessness, lack of vitality and our own mortality.

In our concept of 'age' we need to learn to embrace the physical, mental, and spiritual changes that naturally occur in all of us, male or female. We need to approach age with new definitions that don't reflect maintaining adolescence. We need to alter the labels we have created that identify the concept getting older. We need to learn to respect the time we have spent on this earth and the lessons we have learned. We need to accept ourselves and not fear a wrinkle, lost hair or extra pound. We also need to appreciate the physical body as a transitional vehicle for the spirit which is everlasting.

There is no doubt that each and every human will undergo changes. They are perpetual from birth. There is no need to fear or deny them. But, there is a need to understand, welcome and involve ourselves in these transitions. We have worked hard to reach the levels we have attained and the knowledge we have garnered through the experiences of living and we have every right to expect and demand the reward of joy as we age.

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