Recently a young woman spoke to me about her need to go for a walk to get back to herself after a big night out on the weekend, getting home at 3am. I was also planning to walk my sixty-eight year-old body, with the intention to enjoy myself on a pristine beach, feeling lovely.
Her situation reminded me of times past when, as a young woman, I went out to get drunk or escape from the stress I was feeling, or sometimes to party for the sake of it. As I age, I am made so aware of how I lived my younger life and how my body now carries all that I have lived, and how I have lived – the drive, the anxiousness, the overworked body.
As we age, there is nowhere to hide. Our faces and our bodies are the indicators of how we have lived, what we have eaten, what our thought patterns and emotional patterns have been, and how we have treated our bodies. Even having been amazingly fit and strong as a young person, you can still end up diabetic, arthritic or ill in your elder years.
I have come to realise that it’s not about how much hard exercise you are doing, or how pious you may be, or how charitable, or about any of the ideals and beliefs we may carry around being ‘good’. None of them have worked to bring true joy, vitality and harmony to our inner being.
In our elder years there is a lot of letting go – letting go of employment or a business, a home which is too big, sports that you no longer have the strength to play, children who leave home to make their way in the world. Gardening and chores have to be managed according to one’s strength; we may have to let go of hearing and good eyesight, mobility and stamina.
These are the obvious examples of letting go as we move into our elder years. Does it have to be this way? Have we been living with beliefs that are restricting us as we age?
Thanks to the presentations of Serge Benhayon and the modalities of Universal Medicine I am experiencing first hand the healing and liberation from old patterns of thought and behaviour. For example, we can choose to keep working and being of service in many capacities, as volunteers in our communities, as teachers, writers, carers and whatever ways we are able to connect with people to bring our authority, love and understanding. When we honour our experience and worthiness there is much vitality and purpose to bring to others in our lives.
There is another aspect of ageing to be considered – our psychological health. For example, I have found it challenging and rewarding to face and feel and examine my emotions, the jealousy of another, the bitterness and frustration, regrets, the anxiousness about my future – do I discard these or hang onto them? Do I blame God for my misadventures or suffering?
It is so easy and so irresponsible to look around for someone or a situation to blame for one’s stress or suffering. As a young woman I did not have a great awareness about my own responsibility for my health and wellbeing. I did not fully understand how my emotions impacted on every aspect of my health – psychological, emotional, physiological and mental. I now appreciate how taking responsibility for healing from old emotional patterns is life changing.
It seems to me that in our early years we are preparing for our elder years, and in our elder years we are preparing for death and our next life. And I have found that the best way to prepare for the future is to live each day, each moment, gently, with awareness and openness. Being able to observe life and not absorb everything around me, from the news on TV or the difficulties that others are experiencing, enables me to be compassionate and understanding, without having to have solutions. Letting go of being a problem solver, or feeling responsible for others’ choices, allows for me spaciousness and simplicity, and my body thanks me with more contentment and appreciation.
In fact, listening to my body is one of the very best things that I can do to keep me steady. When I allow my body to communicate, it has such simple wisdom, and it knows what to do in any situation. Learning to love myself has been a great lesson; it’s like enrolling in the school of the future, and the beauty is that we never stop evolving.
As I walked my light steps along the beach, I observed the playfulness of dogs – they love to play together. I felt the cool crisp air on my cheeks, and walked at the shoreline with waves and sparkling water. I appreciated this moment of joy, feeling a part of everything around me, the space and light, and activity. What I felt was that it is all about how we live with ourselves, how respectful we are of our movements and how we love and appreciate ourselves and others and everything.
Every moment is a gift from heaven. How do we choose to live it?
We can choose to stay addicted to our old patterns, holding onto the past like it is a familiar friend, or we can live our future now, returning to who we are.
Whatever choice we make, our past will catch up with us, eventually.
By Bernadette Curtin, artist, art tutor, Byron Bay, Australia