Growing Old Beautifully and Looking Back with Understanding

If someone had told me when I was younger that I would feel more beautiful in my fifties than ever before, I would have scoffed derisively.

In ‘those days’ – from childhood to 40 – my relationship with my body was based entirely on how it looked and whether it met the grade of whatever aesthetic and fashion standard was set at the time. This in itself was an exhausting exercise, being ever at the mercy of the latest trends and ‘must looks.’

Looking back now I consider this one of the meanest set ups in society: the ever-changing set of rules about how we must look, that leaves most of us not ‘in.’

Looking back, I also see how unanchored I was, having little to no relationship with myself on which to build a sense of who I was and what my purpose in life could possibly be.  

Looking back, I realise that most of the people around me were just as unsure and at the mercy of social pressures and the norms dictated by statistical commonality.

Looking back, I understand how this striving for some external perfection keeps us in competition, comparison and separation from one another, sizing each other up to see how close to the mark any one of us has got. 

Looking back, this is another cruel set up that keeps us at arm’s length from the very thing that breaks these beliefs and strangleholds… honesty, openness, connection, communication and relationship.

So, for much of my life I felt out of sorts and at times really desolate, knowing that this way of living made no sense.

In 2006 I met Serge Benhayon at an informal evening event in London, heard him speak, spoke to him a lot over the next months and years and in the safe hands of a building community that was opening up and practising honesty, came to hear what I had always known… we are beautifully, inextricably in relationship with one another and that there are no mysteries to life, only the veils we have laid over simplicity and truth.

I did not learn anything new working with Serge, but I got to unearth and began to access everything I had always innately known. What Serge and Universal Medicine have done is to offer a foundation upon which we can build ourselves back to our innate potential.

If this sounds off track from where I started, the point is that the way I was living (in absence from myself), meant that my behaviour and choices were governed by external rules, expectations and ‘shoulds.’ I am now developing a relationship with life from the inside out: I am me, in the world, understanding my purpose and responsibility – the part I play in a much bigger picture in which we are all so beautifully connected.

There is a sureness in this that means I enjoy being me, which has the gorgeous side effect of my enjoying the way I look, expressing myself with clothes, make up, in my house, at work…

I take really good care of myself these days, ensuring the basics of responsible self-care are sustained:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Resting well
  • Going to the toilet when my body asks to
  • Eating in conversation with my body, listening to its signals
  • Bringing awareness to my posture and how I am holding myself

and then adding some finer details:

  • Being super respectful in my relationships
  • Letting myself love and be loved
  • Exploring humility and the learning opportunities on offer when I make mistakes.

It is amazing and remarkable for me to say I feel beautiful at fifty and that I am looking forward to whatever lies ahead; growing old gracefully alongside a lot of very inspiring men and women in my life.

By Matilda Bathurst, Primary School Teacher, Nurse and Midwife, UK­

Related Reading:
‘The Joy of Ageing, Esoterically’
On the Shelf or Embracing Life?
Sexiness in the Older Woman – not Related to Age, Sex or Good Looks!

586 thoughts on “Growing Old Beautifully and Looking Back with Understanding

  1. Thank you, Matilda, I can feel that by committing to the basics of self-care, you are building a consistent foundation of love that is lived and shared in everyday life.

  2. I recently read another blog about beliefs v/s truths, and this one about ageing as we know has many beliefs attached to it…It feels great to look at the ones we may be carrying that simply aren’t true.

  3. There is such Grace in what you describe here Matilda… ‘Growing old Beautifully and Looking back with Understanding’ … a way of living that honours our very being – absolutely gorgeous.

  4. We can be beautiful at any age and even wise, even when we are young, but it is easier to be both as we get older – at least it has been for me as I had more time to understand and express beauty and understanding.

  5. Looking forward I am filled with the knowing that living more from the fullness of who I truly am will be a joyfilled way of living.

  6. ‘…I understand how this striving for some external perfection keeps us in competition, comparison and separation from one another, sizing each other up to see how close to the mark any one of us has got.’ and in our judgment of our self and of others therein lies this ideal of perfection or of right and wrong which is harmful to us all.

  7. I love what you say here, Matilda, about ‘eating in conversation with my body’. This would have been an alien concept in the past for me, as I used to eat with such urgency to numb what I was feeling, but now that I honour my body and listen to what it tells me, I eat with much more awareness of what supports me.

  8. It’s absolutely mad how we can live a large portion of our lives not doing the things you list in taking good or loving care of ourselves.What would life look like if we all took that loving care of ourselves all our lives from day one, each and every one of us?

  9. Understanding brings so much grace to any situation… it allows an openness and willingness to open our eyes and our hearts to truth.

    1. What I also love about the quality of understanding is that it invites me to dispense with judgement, critique, comparison, competition and lack of acceptance. It is a quality, that I can apply to myself and others, of an all encompassing, beholding teacher caring for and nurturing a child.

  10. Bringing awareness to our posture is transformational… we can change our negative thoughts by changing our posture – so very simple… how awesome would it be to be taught this from very young!

  11. We start life and are imprinted for the first 20 years of life by how we have lived and observed. The next 20 years we are cast adrift on the world and are like salmon going to the sea. From 40 onwards we are in the grove that becomes a blur for the next 20. At 60 we wonder where our life has disappeared to. What if in that first 20 years, we lived who We are and what we bring?

  12. Growing old gracefully and looking back with understanding – I feel it is in the understanding of all that has gone before that there is the love to know that I am as beautiful in my fifties as I have ever been, and there is a knowing within that love of what beauty really is, and a tenderness with myself.

  13. Yes Matilda, and I am looking forward to what will evolve in my 60’s and beyond… who’d have thought! Thank you Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for showing how we never stop growing,

  14. Learning from our life experiences is key to not judging ourselves for how we have lived. Life is constantly communicating with us to support our evolution if we are open to receiving this support.

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