Botox and cosmetic fillers are all the rage these days to get rid of wrinkles. This is the inevitable outcome of our societal definition for beauty. Youth is beautiful and showing your age is not. Middle-aged people spend billions to fight back the ravages of growing old.
I shouldn’t the too critical of those who are trying to stay looking young, I too do things to fight back the ravages of time, like whiten my teeth and spend countless hours at the gym trying to stay trim. But following good dental hygiene and a fitness regimen are good efforts for our entire lives, it is not just to preserve our youthful looks. However, the obsession for removing wrinkles bothers me. This is akin to erasing your character and putting a blank face in its place.
Physical beauty is an illusion, character is not
From the day we left our mother’s womb our bodies became part of the aging cycle that makes us tourists in this life. At some point, we will cease to exist. To think you can somehow stop the signs of time on your face, or that surgery can somehow keep you looking thirty when you are sixty is nonsensical. You end up looking like someone who is trying to hide your age. Not only does having facial surgery make people seem like they have blank faces, they appear unauthentic. Everyone can figure that they paid for their beauty, it was not naturally achieved.
To be truly stunning, we must learn to transform our physical beauty into an inner quality that radiates for all to see. This is what the aging process can teach us.
Look in the mirror
I admit, I didn’t always like my wrinkles, but I love them now. My laugh lines are deeply creased and radiate from the outer corners of my eyes and on the sides of my mouth. I guess I could have prevented them by not laughing altogether, but they are proof I found joy and fun in life. My laugh lines reached new territory in the past decade, they gather along the front of my ears. It is amazing that my smile now encompasses my whole face. In fact, I know that when I smile it connects the joy to my heart.
Overexposure to the sun helped to make them more permanent by cooking the creases in place, but this is a reminder of the many hours I spent communing with nature or enjoying the outdoors. I didn’t stay cooped up indoors where it was safe; I got out there.
The bags under my eyes tell another story. I earned them when I worried when my babies had the croup or when I wondered if they would turn out ok during the madness of their teenage years. When I look closely at my wrinkles, I can see traces of the exhausting years I spent in the quagmire of depression. I can see the self-doubt that accompanied me during difficult times and the determination that helped me survive them.
Yes, I look older, but then again, at sixty-seven years of age, I have no interest in portraying myself as someone I am not. In my wrinkles I perceive my authentic self.
You can find delight in your wrinkles when looking in the mirror. Remind yourself that it is the real you looking behind those eyes. Let your authentic self tell you that you are beautiful, unique, worthy of love, awesome, talented and valuable. See your wrinkles as the beautiful traces of your life’s journey. Do this every time you see your reflection and you will fill your heart with joy for who you are.
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