I added the “No Matter What” this morning. Here’s how I came up with that:
I despise aging! Now, that may come as a shock, which wouldn’t surprise me, as my life is dedicated to creating getting older as a glorious adventure. I’ve written books, given speeches, appeared on TV and the media to inspire others to love and honor themselves through the passage of Time, using my positive outlook as inspiration.
I’ve never lied about my resistance to the aging process. I often share how my fear and hatred of aging began very early in life. Observing my unattractive immigrant mother and her friends, I recall thinking, “If this is what ladies look like, I’ll NEVER be a lady!”
Good luck with that vow! Of course, I became a lady, and the very characteristics I disdained in others began to show up in myself– varicose veins, wrinkles, dry skin, brown spots, flaccid muscles, bulging belly, pessimism, exhaustion, illness, stooping over, halting gait… OY!
I realized that if I continued to hate aging, I would morph into a sour, ungrateful, unappealing bitch. So I made the decision to find innovative ways to keep my spirit alive, and to be as healthy as I possibly could. That vow motivated me to eat Organic food, exercise, meditate, work with therapists and coaches. In short, do whatever I could to reverse what I imagined would be a disgusting destiny.
Then… BIG SURPRISE! As I concentrated on being healthy, loving and joyous, I began to look and feel beautiful. All of a sudden, people were stopping me on the street asking to take my picture. Even my grandson, Aden, remarked, “”Grandma, why is everyone taking your picture?” The only answer I could give him was, “I guess they think I’m pretty!”
Much to my delight, I actually was getting prettier and prettier. I analyzed how this miracle could have happened (in my 70s) The answer? Even in the face of my terror of becoming old and unappealing, I was spreading joy all about me. “Perhaps I can’t stop the aging process from taking me over, but I sure as Hell can smile and make others around me feel great about themselves.”
When I decided to be a grateful, life-affirming role model, my life transformed. Suddenly, things that paralyzed and frightened me in the past became manageable… and, in a strange way, even welcome. I became valiant, compassionate and loving in a way that I had never been before.
Yes, it’s undeniable that life can deliver traumas and threats to us all, yet, in the face of that, we can generate courage, gratitude and JOY… no matter what.
That, my dears, is the secret of true youth and beauty… at every age!