Sometimes I find myself way too focused on what I see in my mirror. In my mind I feel pretty much the same age as I have for the past 30 years – for real! THEN I look in the mirror and go, Whoa! WHO are YOU?
Aging really is a gift; it means you are still here and not done. As women though, we seem to view aging as something to run from and something to cover up. There is make up, hair color, wrinkle gel, age spot cream, tooth whitener, the gym, healthy eating, and LOTS of vitamin infused water. These are all wonderful and useful, but should NEVER be the things we define our worth by. I am just as much a good bread baker with or without makeup. I am just as much of a creative Pinterest queen with or without hair color. I am currently writing – in my pajamas, messy hair and don’t care. Point being – our true value is NOT found in a mirror. It is found in our heart.
Have you ever met someone who just to look at from outward appearances, would not be considered attractive? However, there is some shine or glow that comes forth from every pore of their being and after you get to KNOW them, they become the most beautiful person you’ve ever met. I have had this experience. The most beautiful people I know are beautiful from the inside out!
If I lose myself in my negative opinion of my age and my physical flaws, I lose the true essence of who I am.
I, like most of us, want to somehow stay youthful. None of us like wrinkles or gray hair or any signs of aging. Really though, all these things are signs of LIFE! We got the scars and the wrinkles and the gray hairs from experiencing life! We stayed in the race. We ran to WIN. If I make it to the finish line and look like I fought my way there, (blood, sweat, tears, wrinkle and ALL), then THIS should be a GOOD thing. I so want to embrace my aging body. I am SO trying.
Who are we really?
What determines our worth? Are our looks really in this equation at all, or should they be? Sure, being healthy and active and fit are necessary for the ability to do and be more. Agree. But to dismiss our signs of aging as a bad thing HAS to go. We tend to dismiss older people as, “Oh, they are just old.” Really? JUST old? Buddy, we have lived through some stuff! What do you want to know? What can we teach you? What can we warn you about? Want to learn how to make bread? Older people are NOT a burden or a “has-been” or some random dusty antique – they are RELICS and survivors and warriors and walking encyclopedias of days gone by.
Sure, I am not elderly yet, but I WILL be. And so will ALL of us. How about we stop trying to avoid the aging process and embrace our job of teaching and serving and molding the NEXT generation? I think what is being lost is what the Bible speaks of when it refers to “…generation to generation shall speak His praises…” Young people NEED the older people. Older people NEED the young people. We are all connected. It is NO shame to be young nor is it shameful to be old.
I will probably still color my hair awhile longer, and use make up (you’re welcome). However I am going to stop being my own worst critic at the reflection in my mirror. I am going to cheer myself on and remind myself how far I have come and how much I still have to offer from that very long journey I took to get here.
“Let this be recorded for a generation yet to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” (Psalm 102:18)
What an older person can leave behind will matter to those who come behind us. Think of all the amazing life lessons you have accumulated – Psalm 78:4 says NOT to hide them from their children but TELL to the coming generation. Tell what? TELL ABOUT GOD and His deeds and His wonders.
THIS right here – “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father and he will show you, and your elders – they will tell you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7)
Dear person over 50, who is emotionally crippled by the mirror and only sees physical flaws. It is TIME to rise up and be the shining light of generations gone, here, and yet to come. What an honor to still have time and opportunity to be a lighthouse for the lost, the battered and the broken. Teach them love, wisdom, forgiveness, when to speak or when to be silent; show them patience, teach humility, reinforce life skills, laugh often and loudly, take pictures, bake bread, journal your history and experiences, and be their refuge from a cruel world.
Come on my friends – step up and own your age! There is still time to leave a lasting legacy. The person in MY mirror wants to be a history maker. How about you? For the sake of generations HERE and yet to come, there is much work left to do. Lift up your glass of vitamin water with me! (wink wink) Cheers to us!