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OTHER ITA SITES:
Fear Of Aging: You Still Have Choices
The fear of aging impacts all of us at some degree in our lives because ultimately it is what aging symbolizes that we are frightened of. We all acknowledge logically that we will perish or at least no longer be physically here however for most of us this fact is really difficult to wrap our minds around. Aging represents the predictable changes that will occur to the body and mind over the natural course of ones life. Most folks have a pessimistic perception of aging, and many to the degree it produces intense anxiety in their lives and undervalues the quality of their life. The specific changes that we fear from aging may include the passing of beauty, the loss of memory, the loss of limb function or the loss of bodily organs however they all really represent vitality and independence.
Our society centers heavily on our physical existance, and this is the one aspect that everyone agrees will inevitably die. Indeed, society helps to feed this anxiety toward ageing. As we age society seems to value and respect us less and less and this understandably contributes to the fear of aging. We are no longer of value in the labor pool. We are no longer able to protect ourselves and become vulnerable. We are no longer physically appealing. We are burdens on our loved ones. We loss our mental sharpness. We loss our ability to remain independent. We are hidden away by being put into homes so the rest of society does not have to be reminded that one day we will be in this very position and in fact it is inescapable.
Accordingly we feel powerless in this undesirable process. The cosmetic, fashion, skin care, hair care, and plastic surgery industries are cashing in on our anxiousness and dread of aging. In point of fact, they prey on our fears because after all it is in their economic interest to keep us in a state of fear or denial and buying their products and services in this vain believe that we will somehow ward off our impending death.There is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve our physical appearance as long as we can also accept the changes when they do occur.
All the same, there is additional than manners to look at aging. As a matter of fact, the word has many disconfirming connotations that come along with it. According to Buddha, in order to stave off suffering and pain we must detach from our physical reality and perceive it only as a temporary illusion. By doing so we liberate ourselves from fear and suffering. We choose to experience the present moment and be thankful for the good and the bad of any situation, including the deterioration of the body.
Additionally, our engrossment with the passing of our youthfulness prevents us from receiving the changes and mystery the journey before us represents. Nonetheless, one can make a radical shifts in thinking or mind set toward embracing the gifts of aging. There are many events in our lives that we can not control or change however we do have the choice of how we are going to deal with each event. We can choose to live our lives or let our lives live us. Aging is just another stage of our journey with its own mysteries and learning possibilities, we choose what to do with these opportunities.
As we age we begin the realize the importance of friends and family and having meaningful relationships. This however is a double edged sword because we are faced with the reality of death as many of our peers and friends pass away in greater numbers and with more frequency. It is therefore important we cultivate our relationships even more, for friendship and support. There are many senior focused activities in our communities, these are a great resources and should not be overlooked.
Become mindful of your spirit and develop your spirituality (spirituality is not the same as religion) whether through prayer, meditation, or Yoga. We all need to feel the inner sense of our innate divinity. It is never to late to find out who you really are, look inwards to find the answers and do not allow society to dictate your value. Another option, volunteer, it is never to late to have an impact on someone elses life. It makes no difference whether your passion is to help people, animals or the planet, help is needed everywhere. Focus on living not aging.
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