Saturday, September 21, 2019

Published 1:56 PM by with 0 comment

Afraid of Aging? Don't Be.

Remember to speak with either your general medical physician or with a qualified psychiatrist if you are experiencing severe depression, anxiety or inability to cope with the realities of growing old and dying. This fear has its place in humankind, but only for a very short period of time. Your doctor will be able to help you with this and this blog article will help you between doctor visits.

The Fear:

The fear of aging is the fear of change and the fear of time moving forward. Because there is no way to stop time moving forward (which we should be thankful for), fear of aging and fear of time is widespread but actually the most ridiculous thing to be afraid of in the known universe.

Fear of aging is a product of several things either going on exclusively to each other or in combination with the following:

* Fear of death.
* Fear of change.
* Fear of loss.
* Fear of decay.
* Over-attachment to the qualities and timespans of youth.
* Unfamiliarity with the realities of temporal existence and mortality.

Additionally, this fear could actually be a product of a mental illness like depression or something similar like I've got. You will need to speak with a medical professional about this.

People with this fear routinely see a human lifespan in terms of compartments and stages. The reason for this is fair, humans have several stages in their span that are shared by almost every single other human that has ever been born. It is overwhelmingly predictable, but most have a tendency to use only this model for what they could expect life to actually feel like once they get there and thus greet the passive into new ages and stages with dread or worse.

The Relief:

Here is what I say to you to relieve any negative feelings you have about getting older.

1. Being afraid of getting old is the same as being afraid of what tomorrow will bring. How many tomorrows have you woken up to? Some were good, some were bad, others were just ok. The future has a dynamic to it where you simultaneously know what you can expect, but don't actually know what will happen. You focus too much on the former aspect of it and not enough on the latter. Think of how many other things you dreaded up to now that weren't quite as bad as you expected or that you got through it. Aging is literally the same thing as that. If you live to be 80 or 90 years old, you're going to be ok. 

2. The stereotypes of the negativity of being old have been studied and proven to be overblown. Almost everything you are afraid of has a chance of happening, but isn't really guaranteed. You don't know what the future will bring, you can only do your best to prevent bad things from happening. This isn't something that is exclusive to being old, you've actually been doing it your whole life. Take care of yourself but don't let preparation make you unhappy.

3. Why do you worry what you'll like when you're old? Not everyone gets fat, not everyone gets ugly, not everyone gets jowls and hanging skin and even gray hair isn't fully guaranteed. Some people even manage to look better older than when they were younger - George Clooney, Roseanne Barr, Leslie Nielsen are just a few names to come to mind. And even if you do get gray hair and jowls and wrinkles, so what? It's just change. You're really not rotting away. You knew from middle school on that your "peak beauty" or whatever would not last throughout your lifespan and, seriously, you really wouldn't want it to either. See below.

4. Almost everything that you're dreading in old age could've already happened to you at a young age. Wrinkles, gray hair, hip replacement, cardiac arrest, ballooning figure and weight and death. The only difference is the longer you live makes it more likely that these things will happen to you, which means it was inevitable. And if it's inevitable, there's no point in worrying about it.

5. If you really need to get some cosmetic work done on yourself, it will be available. There is no shame in having cosmetic work done if it will make you happy, but do it within a level of moderation. If you are too dependent on cosmetics to make you look young for happiness, it will eventually fail and won't solve what truly makes you unhappy - that you have not given up your attachment to your youthful look.

6. Consider how many old people are out and about right now. Go to a festival and see how many old people are there - even in wheelchairs and breathing masks. See how many people past the age of 65 are still running businesses, performing in theaters, creating technology, acting as doctors and medical staff and more. These people know they will die sooner than later, but they live on anyway. If old age really was something so horrifying to the overall human condition, there wouldn't be a lot of elders out and about. They got through their fears and you can as well. Granted, there are many elders who are not able to be out and about and their age and mortality does scare them, but even the worst that can happen will only be temporary and it is not worth giving up hope for.

7. Finally, you've already been young, middle-aged and old many times before in many past lives before. This is because, one way or another, you have already reincarnated and will again in the future. You've already been old, sometimes it was bad, sometimes it wasn't. You will have youth again in a perfectly natural manner. Nothing ever stays forever, but nothing ever leaves forever either. 

Consider This:

Think deeply about the alternative to aging - there aren't many:

* Death
* Permanent Youth
* Stagnation of Existence

Death is the only one that even exists currently, thankfully, but even then, it's not a fitting alternative to aging in almost all cases. Death is inevitable, so why rush towards it just out of some basic insecurity? You will have your death naturally.

The other ones are far more terrifying because they are far less tangible and knowable to the human experience. Imagine if there was a fountain of youth that people could recharge themselves with every 50 years. That would wreck havoc on the planet due to overpopulation, obliterate resources, and change practically every way of life we know now. People would become overly dependent on such a thing and abuse it, creating even more problems that we can and can't conceive of.

Stagnation of existence is even more frightening. No changes, at all, ever. You might enjoy it for a short period, if its even possible, but eventually you would crumble to it. More likely, you'd just be frozen in time with it, and then you either wouldn't know it was happening or you would. How long would it go for? Who knows, time isn't moving, so how would anyone know when it was supposed to come back on? No person can even conceive such a horror.

The reason the other two are so frightening is because we simply don't have it in our natural code to have youth for longer than nature gives us. If human beings were computers, we have it as part of our factory installed operating systems to, on some subconscious level, operate with the knowledge that all things change and die. That's why we actually build things and create value in existence - because we know all things are temporary.

The fact of the matter is that impermanence is something we should be thankful for. If there is an intelligent force in the universe such as God that created everything, then God specifically chose this model of impermanence because it was the best model for having balance and longevity.

Additional Info: 

"Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form." - Rumi.

"My sun sets to rise again." - Robert Browning

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." - Maya Angelou

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer." = Zora Neale Hurston

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love..." - Marcus Aurelius

"I am no longer in my 20s and 30s, I am 46 and I love being in my 40s. I think there is this incredible freedom that comes with a woman in her 40s and understanding that this is who I am and I’ve stopped worrying so much about what people think of me.”
- Gwyneth Paltrow

“I’m excited about getting old. I feel like there’s much more freedom in aging and just going with the flow.” - Pamela Anderson

“We need to revise how we think of aging. The old paradigm was: You’re born, you peak at midlife, and then you decline into decrepitude. Looking at aging as ascending a staircase, you gain well-being, spirit, soul, wisdom, the ability to be truly intimate and a life with intention.” - Jane Fonda

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