People use the phrase “you are perfect just as you are” to express appreciation for others. While it is kind to show others how much you care for them, it is wrong to think anyone is perfect. Perfection is an illusion, it has no definition, it is not an image fixed in time. The fact is we are always growing. Telling someone they are perfect just as they are detracts from the self-reflection they need to continue seeking their most authentic self.

Some believe there is some plateau people reach at a certain age where we no longer have to continue on this evolutionary road to our highest selves. This is not true. Explaining what is more likely is why I write so much about aging.

Perhaps you are convinced I am projecting my hang-ups and insecurities as I continue to travel through the years. That could be the case, but it upsets me to see anyone giving in because of their age and stop following their natural physical/spiritual evolutionary path.

Right before my state government mandated the pandemic’s social distance requirements, I attended a gathering where most guests were quinquagenarians and sexagenarians. I became uncomfortable when the principal topics of conversation centered on the typical retirement themes; diminishing 401(k)s, availability of quality health care, upcoming cruises and, of course, favorite watering holes in the area.

Accustomed to hearing these kinds of topics from crowds this age, these did not surprise me. But there was one that captured my attention. It came from a retired couple who were focusing on the perceived need to buy ranch-style homes before they grew too old to climb steps.

This idea of eliminating the physical things that may cause difficulties when we are older makes no sense. Following this logic, we should already buy wheelchairs and walkers (especially when there is a sale) because we may need them someday. Maybe instead of stock piling toilet paper, people over sixty should hoard adult diapers.

Whatever it is you fear you create 

When one lives believing their future home should be without stairs because they fear someday they may be incapable of climbing them, is to set in motion their future inability to walk and go up the stairs. It is far better to buy the home you want convinced you will enjoy it for as long as you want. If you are fit and healthy today, why not trust you can remain that way until your last breath? Thinking in this way may not assert your ability to walk in the future, but if you keep imagining yourself becoming decrepit, you will assuredly create that outcome.

It makes me sad to see smart, vibrant and capable people give in to the belief their best years are behind them when they retire. They are focusing on dying, not on living. What a waste!

Every moment is a gift that allows us to become more authentic

Every person was born with the capacity to develop higher powers and possibilities. Experience and knowledge imply that we can become grander than we were before. As we age, we can transform into a more beautiful expression of life.

When we deny the existence of this God-given ability using our age as the excuse, we might as well be a cadaver, except that we haven’t taken our last breath. It is discouraging to see many who have bought into this cultural idea of having to ride into the sunset when they reach a certain age.

This is contrary to our nature’s desire to grow and further its knowledge. To repudiate your soul like this prematurely imprisons your spirit and hurries your death. The same words I have heard from personal fitness trainers about not using our muscles can apply to our soul,

“If you stop using it, you will lose it.”

Death is just another step in our evolution

How living things develop and transition into fresh forms has become more obvious to me over the years. We should not assume the human spirit ages just because our body does. In fact, as long as you continue to learn and grow, you will maintain your spirit in a state of eternal youth. This is true whether you are ten years old or a hundred.

Anyone who has lived beyond their teens understands human life is a series of endings and beginnings. Living within your spirit allows you to understand how, as you transition into ending phases of your life, a new phase is born. This cycle is so prevalent in the Universe that I am convinced that, as our old life snuffs out, our spirit transforms into a new life. Whether that is a spiritual or physical life is for others to debate, but I am confident death is not our spirit’s end.

Meanwhile, while you are still living, choose to live fully. You may not end up doing the things you expected to do as you got older, but recognize that you still possess a lot of life to contribute to a larger purpose.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash