At 84, Louise Hay is still making a difference about how we see ourselves in old age.
No matter what age we are, we will all grow older. We will also have great control over how we shall age.
What are the things that age us? Certain beliefs about aging, such as the belief that we have to get sick when we get old. The belief in dis-ease. Hating the body. Believing in a lack of time. Anger and hatred. Self-hatred. Bitterness. Shame and guilt. Fear. Prejudice. Self-righteousness. Being judgmental. Carrying burdens. Giving up our control to others. These are all beliefs that age us.
What do you personally believe about aging? Do you look around at the frail and ill and assume that you’ll be that way, too? Do you see poverty among the aging and think that that’s your destiny as well? Do you notice how lonely many older people are and wonder if you will be in the same position?
We don’t have to accept these negative concepts. We can turn all of this around. It doesn’t have to continue to be this way. We can take our power back.
Feeling vital and energetic is much more important than a facial line or two (or even more), yet we’ve agreed that unless we’re young and beautiful, we’re not acceptable. Why would we agree to such a belief? Where did we lose our love and compassion for ourselves and for each other? We’ve made living in our bodies an uncomfortable experience. Each day we look for something that’s wrong with us, and we worry about every wrinkle. This only makes us feel bad and creates more wrinkles. This isn’t self-love. This is self-hatred, and it only contributes to our lack of self-esteem.
What are you teaching your children about aging? What is the example you’re giving them? Do they see a dynamic, loving person, enjoying each day and looking forward to the future? Or are you a bitter, frightened person, dreading your elder years and expecting to be sick and alone? Our children learn from us! And so do our grandchildren.
What kind of elder years do we want to help them envision and create?
We used to live very short lives—first only till our mid-teens, then our 20s, then our 30s, then our 40s. Even at the turn of the century, it was considered old to be 50. In 1900, our life expectancy was 47 years. Now we’re accepting 80 as a normal life span. Why can’t we take a quantum leap in consciousness and make the new level of acceptance 120 or 150 years?!
It’s not out of our reach. I see living much longer becoming normal and natural for most of us in a generation or two. Forty-five used to be middle-aged, but that won’t be true anymore. I see 75 becoming the new middle age (I’m now in my 84th year). For generations, we’ve allowed the numbers that correspond to how many years we’ve been on the planet tell us how to feel and how to behave. As with any other aspect of life, what we mentally accept and believe about aging becomes true for us. Well, it’s time to change our beliefs about aging!
When I look around and see frail, sick, frightened older people, I say to myself, “It doesn’t have to be that way.” Many of us have learned that by changing our thinking, we can change our lives.
I know we can change our beliefs about aging and make the aging process a positive, vibrant, healthy experience.
We can change our belief systems. But in order to do so, we “Elders of Excellence” need to get out of the victim mentality. As long as we see ourselves as being hapless, powerless individuals; and as long as we depend on the government to “fix” things for us, we’ll never progress as a group. However, when we band together and come up with creative solutions for our later years, then we have real power, and we can change our nation and our world for the better.
It’s time for our elders to take back their power from the medical and pharmaceutical industries. They’re being buffeted about by high-tech medicine, which is very expensive and destroys their health. It’s time for all of us (and especially the elders) to learn to take control of our own health. We need to learn about the body-mind connection—to know that what we do, say, and think contributes to either dis-ease or vibrant health.