A balanced look at ageing
There are two definites in life- ageing and dying. Dr John Demartini, a human behavioural specialist, world renowned teacher, and author of over 40 personal development books gives a fresh take on adjusting your mind when your mirror seems to be conspiring against you. Here is his advice to turn around the most frequent fears about ageing.
I feel ignored and lonely as my children live their own lives and visit infrequently
We can have unrealistic expectations and hope people will continually visit us because we are family or we can increase the odds. People make decisions according to what gives them the greatest advantage over disadvantage, greatest reward over risk and greatest benefit over drawback. Just as customers go where they are best served, so do people, which includes family members.
If you aren't offering your family something more inspiring than they can get elsewhere, they will go elsewhere. Think about each individual you would love a visit from. Make a list of their needs, interests and what they deem valuable to them. Then contemplate how you might be able to fulfil some of them. The more you can offer them, the more likely they will want to be with you.
I used to be beautiful, but now my looks are fading.
You have two choices: Get yourself to a plastic surgeon or write down 200 reasons why your body is beautiful the way it is. Begin to appreciate the next stage of your evolution. Think of all the benefits of your current age and turn them to your advantage. Focus on the flowers not the weeds. There are always benefits to every drawback and blessings to every curse.
Would cosmetic surgery help my self-esteem?
If you are having difficulty appreciating your body the way it is, don't be afraid to refine and polish it. We once were only able to cut our hair and use oils for our skin, but today there are numerous means and ways to adding a more youthful look. Unquestionably these new refinements can make you feel more alive and once that begins on the outside it often takes root on the inside. So either love yourself the way you are or turn yourself into what you would love. Today you have such options.
I worry my partner doesn't find my wrinkly, saggy body attractive anymore?
Maybe the reason we begin to lose our sight as we age is for the sake of staying together. The attraction between two people usually starts from within. It begins with an open and loving personality and this, more than physical looks, stands the test of time.
To increase your self-esteem physically, stand in front of the mirror and look for the things that you admire about yourself. When you can admire yourself so will others. No matter how you look there is always someone that will find you attractive. But avoid giving up on your looks. Get into action, get into shape and put effort into your appearance. Nature always gives you some advantage to work with and everybody gets something. It may be your smile, your hair, your eyes, your attitude, your intelligence or your accomplishments, but you have something that is attractive. Find it and capitalise on it. Remember, the greatest sex organ is between your ears. It is all about your attitude.
If you have accumulated a lot of emotional baggage between you and your partner, your sex drive may subside. Try writing down 200 reasons why your partner is worth touching and loving and watch what happens.
My body betrays my best intentions- I'm just too tired...
Everyone can find reasons not to get into action. Lubricate those joints and awaken a cause greater than your obstacles. To be alive is to serve and reward others and yourself. As long as you can breathe and move a muscle, you can contribute to the world in some small or significant way. Dig deep inside yourself, locate that inner drive for service and make a difference in someone's life. This will renew your own spirit and revitalise your heart and soul. You will feel alive and younger. Don't let excuses stop you from living a dream. Get moving now before your old belief takes away your new life.
I didn't plan for my retirement. Can I turn my finances around?
No matter what your age is, you still have something you can contribute to someone. Try looking for someone or a group of people to serve and money will become a by-product of services rendered. Then save a portion of whatever you make and become a master of money instead of a slave. This will set you on a path to financial freedom.
What lies ahead? Is there anything I can do to ward off the ravages of age?
Keep your mind and your body active. If you don't use them, you lose them. Stretch your joints, breathe deeply, eat wisely and moderately, drink plenty of water, keep moving, take daily actions that are inspiring, serve others and plan your life the way you would love it to be and you will add years to your life and life to your years.
My partner is looking at younger women: how do I compete?
It is not wise to live in a fantasy that your partner will not notice young and attractive people. That is natural and can be stimulating. Anyway, be careful of double standards. You are probably doing it yourself. Try focusing on what you have to offer your partner and not on what you don't. Empower all areas of your life so you are still the best package on the market and he will be less likely to stray. Concentrate on what he considers most valuable, for example golf or work, and see what you can do to contribute to those areas of his life. And remember a physically satisfied man is less likely to wander.
I have so many regrets in my life, I didn't achieve what I wanted and looking back over lost opportunities depresses me.
The truth is, if you truly wanted to do so many things, you would have done them. All decisions were, and are being, made according to your true hierarchy of the things that are most important to you. If you did not get to do something it is because you had other, more fulfilling things to do at that time. Honour what you have done instead of dishonouring what you haven't done. Anything you can't say thank you for in your life will run your life until you become grateful for it. Try making a list of how whatever you have done has served you and others. Don't stop compiling that list until you can look in the mirror and be grateful for who you are and for what you have achieved so far. My suggestion is to read something inspirational every day. Count your blessings every day. Send a thank you every day. Hug another individual, or an animal, or something, anything, every day. And never stop telling yourself; "No matter what I have done or not done, I am worthy of love".
I'm afraid of dying.
We sleep at night best after a great and ful-filling day of service. We will slip into death more calmly if we are grateful for a fulfilling life. When you ask yourself on your deathbed did I do everything I could with everything I was given, you want to be able to say; "yes, absolutely". Get focused on what you can still live for and the time of dying will take care of itself. Otherwise what you fear the most may come upon you just that much sooner.
I feel I am too old to start something new.
If your attitude is that you are too old, then I guess your body will make your prophecy come true. I had lunch recently with a 90-year-old woman who runs a major company, owns a giant farm, writes books, and lectures. I guess she believes she is getting younger. Start now and you decide how old or how young you are going to be. When you don't decide, someone else decides. Any area of your life you don't empower, someone will overpower.