Friday, February 6, 2015
Cursed Gray Hair, Extra Pounds and Wrinkles - Did I Truly Sign Up For This?
For the youngsters among us, these things are mostly foreign as a potential part of their being. For those of us who have earned our years in life, we may embrace or fight these things with a vengeance daily. I’ve had it lucky, some would say. For most of my life I’ve been able to rely on good genes. But I woke up one day and a few pounds found their way onto my body even though I changed not one thing in my eating or exercise patterns, there are lines I’m now cognizant of as I put on my make up getting ready for work, and when I look in the mirror there are sparkles of gray at the top of my head. I used to dye my hair just for fun, because I’d get bored with the way I looked and in my younger years, I truly thought that blonde was more fun. I just didn't consider I signed up for the rest as I now approach near half a century on planet Earth!
I have contemplated these things over the past few weeks as I purposely let my roots grow out about an inch, wistfully held a tinge of remorse as I had given away two complete wardrobes in the last two years thanks to menopausal weight gain wondering, “When God? When will the weight gain stop – I don’t have another minute more in my life for exercise?” It took me back for a moment when I was a teen growing so tall, much taller than my friends and I’d ask, “When God? When will I stop growing. No one could possibly love a giant woman?” Funny thoughts I realize now in this moment as I face something similar. Fortunately for me now, though, I have the wisdom of the years that tells me things I did not know in my youth. First and foremost, it is okay to be who you are and look the way that you do. You need do nothing to be accepted because the people you want to accept you only on their very precise and exacting terms will only ever leave you wanting and wondering why they didn’t hang around to begin with. If you could find that space to accept you for you, how you look, the lines, the wrinkles and even the gray hairs, you might realize something with much unanticipated joy, “Hey, wait. I’m not a kid any more and I’ve still got the heart of one!”
I go back to my last vision in the mirror now and I think, “Wow, it’s kind of cool how the light sparkles in the white hair that grows now out of my head.” I love sparkles, so I think I’m going to embrace the beautiful white strands. The weight? Well, it is my vehicle and I’m healthy so it is what it is and I love it any way. The lines? Well, I have smiled so much in my life that those lines are now permanently etched into my face and you know what? I hope I add to them. I believe that we live our lives full of youth and vigor and then at some point, we begin to separate from the main stream of what everyone else considers the right look or way to be, we find peace and solace in our own company and we allow our consciousness to expand as we slowly begin to separate from the merely physical aspects of consciousness.
I winced much over the last few years as I fought to keep from gaining weight, I kept dying my hair when the roots grew out with “sparkles” and I never hated the wrinkles but winced a bit when I saw them deepening. My body cannot fight time as it is currently equipped in this frame and I think rather than becoming upset about it or overly obsessed with worry about it or even trying to change it, I’m just going to embrace it. I’m just going to embrace me. You see, there isn’t one thing wrong with growing up and growing older. Yes it is more painful sometimes and at times it’s a bit disconcerting when you see how much your reflection has changed. But hopefully as you contemplate such thoughts, you realize very deep down the richness and fullness of the knowledge you’ve gained in each year of your life here. Hopefully then too, you fully realize how much more important what you’ve learned is than what your body, face or hair looks like.
The only thing that comes with us when leave our lovely planet Earth (as often I have said) is our consciousness and the things that we learned during our visit here. We’d be by far better served and be better able to serve humanity if we learned self-acceptance. It makes it so much easier to love and accept others just as they are. It is liberating in a way that no words can truly describe but when you have arrived at this space, you know you’re on the right track. Life is meant to be lived; so live. Whether you are tall and thin, short and heavy, have a full head of hair or no hair at all, fully gray or painted sparkles…love yourself as you are right now. You can spend all the time in the world perfecting your body here but it is only a temporary vessel and you can’t take it with you when your time here ends. If you’ve spent no time learning to appreciate the things that truly matter, all the things you think you gained in your youth, the looks, the comments and the attention, etc. will all be meaningless in the end. When the clock strikes your life’s final hour, you will then consciously realize much more fully where you may have wasted parts of your life chasing another’s ideal you will likely regret. Figure that out now and do something about this.
The antidote to the dilemma of chasing another's ideal of you is to stop chasing anyone else’s ideal of you. Simple right? While you're at it consider curtailing any chasing of material happiness or purely superficial dreams. Dig deeper into the true beauty and meaning in your amazing life. Try harder to connect on common ground to others through love and compassion. Take good care of your vessel in terms of health and productivity but don’t spend your life trying to stop the hands of time here. You are so beautiful at every age and at every stage of development. Allow yourself to bloom where ever it is you find yourself planted. Embrace the true beauty in life which is the less tangible and more “felt” parts of existence. Love yourself just exactly the way you are every single day and when you leave here, it is that love that assists you best on your journey home while all the “things” you built here are left behind. Leave a legacy of love. Inspire others to do the same.
And just in case it is not clear, I love every beautiful face at every amazing stage of life and I smile at the courage of every soul that arrives here and stays here among us.
© 2015 Jaie Hart (photo and words)