Getting older

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“I love getting older. My understanding deepens. I can see what connects. I can weave stories of experience and apply them. I can integrate the lessons. Things simply become more & more fascinating. Beauty reveals itself in thousands of forms.” ~ Victoria Erickson 

❤ 😀

Getting older is often seen as a negative thing, so many people complain about getting older and turning cetain ages but it’s actually a blessing to live to be as old as possible. Every age and stage of life has its blessings. The older we get, the deeper our wisdom grows. If we were younger we wouldn’t know as much as we do now and if we want to be us now but just a younger age, there would be no difference except for the numerical lable.

In Buddhist class last week, we were reminded of how each situation or stage of life can be seen as good or bad and can be strongly desired then when we finally get there, we see it’s not the perfection we made it out to be. We become disillusioned and see that this thing we desired so much, it too has its unpleasant qualties. For example, many people can’t wait to move out into their own place, leaving the family house they were born into. They think about the independence they’ll have but then when they get out, they see they have so much responsibilty they never had before. Being on our own is great but it’s not “perfect.”
Many single people wish they were married but then many get married and it may be great but there will still be complications and struggles we don’t have to endure while single.
We may wish we had an amazing looking lover then we get him/her and then feel jealous like the person is desired by everyone else and it was easier to not have that ridiculously attractive person. lol This is a funny example our teacher gave. It had everyone laughing.
Many people without kids think their lives will be perfect after having kids but then the kids come along and it’s amazing for people who want them, but there are struggles they never realized.
Lots of kids want to grow up fast but then many adults wish to be younger.
We may want a more impressive job or a promotion but then that comes with struggles and distress we did not have before.

So, see each stage and age of life has beautiful blessings but also struggles. None of them are pure bliss. But we can still make whatever age and stage we are at, blissful, simple, beautiful.

It’s all about how we look at it. Many people would give anything to be where I am right now even though sometimes I wish I were somewhere else in life.

Many people complain about turning 30 or 40 years old but then there are people diagnosed with a terminal illness who want nothing more than to live to see their 30th or 40th or 80’th birthday. If you ever complain about your age because you feel “old,” just imagine if you get diagnosed with a disease and are told by doctors that you will likely be dead within a matter of months. Wouldn’t you give almost anything to go back to that problem of being “old?”
I met people who have breakdowns merely because they just turned a year older.
One day at work a few years ago, I told a girl “happy birthday” and she burst out sobbing and said “no don’t say that! There’s nothing happy about it, I’m old!!!” She was 38 years old.
Poor girl. But to someone else, turning 38 years old is the absolute greatest blessing on Earth. Like maybe someone who almost died once or was told s/he likely wouldn’t live that long. It’s all about our perspective and we CAN change our perspective.

Many years ago when I was young, 20 something years old, I read a true story in a magazine written by a young woman who was recently (back then) diagnosed with terminal cancer. She wrote something like “by the time you read this, I will probably be dead.” Her name was Stephanie. She was happy and engaged to be married to a wonderful man and she said after she received the diagnosis, it was kind of like being in another world. I don’t remember the exact words but her writing, I remember it being so profound and I imagined myself in her place and felt her emotional pain. I really felt it.

I can never know what it’s like to be terminally ill, any aspect of it, unless it happens to me, but her writing portrays so well what it’s like that I was able to deeply imagine and get a fraction of a feel.
Not all writing can do that. She was very skilled.

She said shortly after the diagnosis, she was out walking with her fiance and she was so envious of every single person she laid eyes on that day. All of those people who would likely live to see many more birthdays while she wouldn’t live to see her very next one.

She was disturbed when people would tell her that it’s really no different for a terminally ill person because anyone can die at any second. A healthy person can step off a curb into a street and be struck by a car and killed in an instant. But she said for the terminally ill, it is different because they have a death sentence or something like “chasing” them to kill them. Again, I do not remember the exact words. But this is the sentiment.

She said to be terminally ill is like having a speeding train constantly coming at us and it’s bound to eventually catch up.

Yes, we can all die in an instant, young, old, healthy, sick, innocent, guilty alike….but no it’s not the same for a terminally ill person. They very likely will die soon. Most people won’t be killed although we can be.

After reading her story in that magazine, I looked her up on the internet. I don’t remember much but I do remember her name and face and blonde hair. Unfortunately, like she wrote, by the time I discovered and read her story in the magazine, she was dead. Cancer took her beautiful life.

And I’m still here, alive & well. So it was different for her.

I feel like maybe if I was just diagnosed with an illness and told I probably won’t live to be thirty years old then I heard people complaining about getting older, I would be kind of pissed and a bit resentful. lol

Once we’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, age doesn’t matter all of a sudden. Why should it ever matter?

Once in Buddhist class, our teacher said, imagine if we just were handed the most expensive diamond in the world and are now financially rich beyond our wildest imagination.

How would you feel?

Then a few hours later, you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and told by a doctor that you will very likely be dead within a few months.

Now is the diamond still worth anything to you personally (it will still be good for your family if you have one)? Are you still thrilled? Does all the junk you can buy still matter?

This is an example to show that things aren’t inherently good or bad but our mind places the value on it. A diamond can be very valuable to us one second then the very next second, it means nothing. Most people would probably love receiving this wealth but then what if we receive it then an hour later our child dies or our close friend or our pet or parent, we probably wouldn’t care so much anymore about the material wealth.

Health is more important (in my opinion), than being financially or materially rich. But in some ways, the most important thing is our attitude. We can’t always help being sick or financially struggling but we can always choose our reactions and as long as we have a positive attitude and inner bliss, our outside environment cannot touch us.

Let’s cherish wherever we are right now and warmly embrace it even if we are working or hoping for something else one day.

And here is a great song that shows how something amazing (having an incredibly beautiful wife/girlfriend) still can have its unpleasantness about it.;-D

“When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You watch your friends
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
It never ends
You know that it’s crazy
You want to trust her
Then somebody hangs up when you answer the phone
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You go it alone.” ~ Dr. Hook

mobile:

desktop:

“When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You watch her eyes
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You look for lies
Everybody tempts her
Everybody tells her
She’s the most beautiful woman they know”

lol Great song!

😀

Much love,

xoxo Kim

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8 thoughts on “Getting older

  1. I love this! So much wisdom in this post. We’re constantly looking for something else, other than what we have right now, to make us happy. True happiness does come from the inside ☺️

    • This is so true! We can be happy right where we are. It doesn’t mean we can’t work for changes but that we accept & love where we are while working for more if we want to. Thank you so much for your comment! 😀

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