“Recently, on “Super Soul Sunday,” I talked with Don Miguel Ruiz, author of one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements. According to Don Miguel, “Ninety-five percent of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer because we believe all these lies.” One of these lies that we believe and practice and reinforce is that getting older is getting uglier. We then judge ourselves and others, “trying to hold on to the way we were,” said Oprah Winfrey.
You Learn To Make Wiser Decisions – It is true that as we age, we gather more experience. The more experiences we have, hopefully the wiser we are. Yes, I am sure we can name a few folks out there who have aged, and seem to make the same silly mistakes and decision. Let’s put those folks in “the exception that makes the rule category,” and say that as you age, you do become wiser and you make better decisions based upon your life experience. Your life experience is invaluable and becomes even more valuable as you age.
You Learn To Listen That Inner Voice – How many times have you heard that inner voice tells you “don’t make that decision,” “don’t date that guy,” “don’t accept that job” etc … and you ignored it? I know I have done that many times. But I also know that as I have aged, I have learned to listen to that voice. After 58 years, I know what happens if I don’t. The results are always a “hot mess.” That inner voice you have is valuable, and you begin to realize how important it is as you age.
You Learn To Know What You Like – I can remember trying a little bit of everything (well almost everything) when I was a young adult. I mean why not? Once I had children, I found myself doing a lot of things that I didn’t really enjoy; but they had to get done. I decided when my children were grown, I would live my life doing what ultimately gives me joy. It is great to have that freedom to choose to live your life, in a way that brings you a feeling of great satisfaction. I find this to be one of the best things about the aging process – knowing and doing what I enjoy.
You Learn to Say “This too shall pass” – With youth comes the drama of “Oh my gosh, and oh my goodness” for just about anything that wasn’t according to plan. Remember the drama of the 20s? What about the turbulence of the 30s? It’s not that we don’t have challenges, and yes, “drama” in our life’s as we age. It’s that we have the breath and depth of experience that reminds us that, if we got through all the challenges of our younger years, we most certainly will get through whatever else life chooses. One thing I have learned, as I have aged, is that nothing last forever. Unfortunately good things come and good things go. But also fortunately the same is true for bad things as well.
You Learn the Value of Silence – I used to think after having four daughters that silence was when all of them were quiet, and only the radio in the car was going. I recall when they would be spending the night at a friends house, or out for the day at some activity I just had to turn on the TV or radio, just to feel the silence. This is no longer true. I have taken the time to learn the value of silence. It took me awhile to calm my little “energizer bunny” personality down long enough, to understand the value of silence. But know that I do, I truly enjoy the “sound” of no sound. Silence gives me time for reflection, time to listen to God’s voice, time to just be. Our minds and spirits are renewed, re-energized, and refreshed when we take the time to be silent.
You Learn Your Strengths …and Weaknesses – As I grow older I am really learning where my true talents, skills and passions lie. I love taking the time to do the things I do well. I value the skills with which God has blessed me. I have learned how to leverage those strengths, in a way that I didn’t know how to do when I was younger. As we age, we begin to value those things about who we are that are strong and resilient. Also we learn to no longer be afraid of our weaknesses. Our weaknesses represent opportunity for further growth. It is so important as we age to still keep learning, keep growing, keep being engaged and motivated to be the best that we can be.
You Learn the Importance of Staying Present – I can remember spending so much time thinking about the past, about the future, about everything; but what is going on in my present. As we age, we become more aware of the here and now. This is a good thing. No longer taking for granted, the present is just another benefit of growing older and wiser. It is healthy to be aware of what is going on around us, to really enjoy the present.
You Learn the Value of Gratitude – There is so much I can say about exercising gratitude. I have learned how powerful it is to remember to be thankful and grateful, even for the smallest things. It is wonderful to recognize as we age the importance of gratitude. This practice gives us faith, keeps us optimistic, opens up new opportunities for gratefulness, and always reminds of how blessed we are.
You Learn to Trust the Process – One of the many benefits of getting older and wiser is that, you truly do understand we have very little control over what happens in our lives. Much of what happens in our lives is beyond our control. We have learned valuable lesson, if we made through a rough period before, we can make through another rough period. Over time, we begin to learn that we have to trust the process.
You Learn What a Blessing Is to Still Be – It is a fact of life that as we age, we have friends and family who depart from this life. We realize how truly precious each day is; and how truly precious life is. Many times, we get preoccupied with events that happen in our life, or around us that are negative. We forget all the wonderful experiences life brings us, no matter what our ages are. If we are still alive, we are still LIVING … and that is a blessing.