Though Fred Rogers was a master at feeling children’s feelings, which was how he could reach them, he also crafted many wise words we adults could learn a thing or two from as well.
Self-care and self-love are paramount to aging gracefully, so that we can live full, healthy lives. I didn’t get that until my mid-adult life, but get it I did—and so will you.
Maybe you learned at a young age that if you cared for yourself you were being selfish — a message that is confusing, often creating guilt within.
Living a full and healthy life requires attention to your self-needs, by you or someone who loves you, if you can’t care for yourself. Living a full and healthy life doesn’t mean you’ll live a long life, but it means you’ll up your chances significantly of living your best life while here.
I was sitting at my getaway house to get away while working on my book on aging—or the fear of it.
I know, you might think, but wait a second, you just launched your third book only minutes ago. Okay, maybe not minutes but months for sure, so why the heck another book. Well, because I see aging connected to weight, body image, and eating disorders.
Everywhere I turn, someone is attempting to stop the aging process. Can we?
Being young is fast, fun, and exciting—but there is a time and a season for all things. Not that we shouldn’t stay youthful because we should, but not to the point of a gripping obsession.
I’m exploring how we can age gracefully without signing up for every pill, surgery, needle, vitamin and the list goes on and on.
The population I work with (which very well may be you!!) is fearful of the aging process working on the quest to forever stay young. And, I admit, sometimes I too am on this same hunt. I too question if I should get my eyes done or a nip and tuck somewhere. But where does it end?
Or where does it begin?
I remember this lovely woman who came to see me years back because she was out of control with her food. She was a diet jumper. She always found one fad diet or another to go on. And of course each time she was with a vengeance saying, “This time it’s going to work.” And it didn’t.
She had so many fears; the fear of getting fat; the fear of being alone; the fear of getting old.
Anyway, once we unpacked what was really going on with her, it came to defying aging. At first, I thought she was in her forties, or so—but as she moved, talked, and motioned with her hands, not to mention noting her neck, I realized she was far older than her beautiful face.
Hmm, I pondered on that for quite some time. Is it better to have a youthful face with old body parts, or is it better to be your best with where you are? Hence… the birth of my fourth book on the aging process and how we can muster up the strength and understanding on how do move through life in a healthy body, mind, and spiritual connection.
So, you might wonder what ever happened to this woman. Well, she went on another diet, and then another, and then a surgery, and then some Botox… until she realized none of it was allowing her to be her authentic self. That no matter how many nips and tucks and pounds lost and pounds gained, she couldn’t run away from herself. That she needed to love herself and embrace her gifts.
And gifts she had.
She was kind and giving and selfless when it came to others. She realized how important it was to wake every morning with a purpose—with something to do. She no longer chases the diets, and now lives in a healthy, perfect size for her, and though she loves her creams and primping, she’s less urgent about staying young and more attentive to live healthy.
Aging gracefully. Stop and envision what you would feel like being at peace and not plagued by the obsession with aging—knowing that for once you have no urge to lean into the mirror and count every new line—every new sag, wrinkle bump, vein, or newly popped-up something. I promise if you look close enough, you will find something I know I do.
What would you feel like to master and work through what you’re afraid of as you allow yourself to age with dignity and honor? Perhaps you have fears over pending illnesses or seeing others you love aging and becoming frail, or worse, approaching death, and you fear this will happen to you, too.
And it might, but chances are it won’t and certainly not in the same way or as you imagine.
So, spending precious moments focusing on the might ofs and should ofs and could ofs is squandering unrecoverable time.
As we age, we’re entering the unknown—all of us. We don’t know what to expect on any given day, and perhaps others’ misfortunes create obsessions and fears concerning or own forecasts.
When we embed another’s misfortunes as a possibility that they could be ours, we fester the worry—the obsession. If we stay in the now and embrace our good fortune, take care of ourselves with healthful nutrition, moderate exercise, and gaily grooming and hygiene, particularly in relation to our teeth, we are on our way to aging gracefully.
What about you? Are you chasing diets? Are you chasing young? How’s that working for you? If you are not chasing thin and you’re not chasing youth, please tell us your secret—we all want to hear from you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down and share…
Next week stop by to explore another topic on obsession from my obsession series.
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. YOU are important to me. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. If there was something you think I should have added, I’m here and want to hear what you have to say…
To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, and aging, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…
And now my newest release:
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.