5 Empowering Ways to Reframe Aging - or: I didn’t WANT to age from that experience!
Do you ever look in the mirror and say, “What?? When did I start looking like an older woman? Shit!”
It happens to me periodically. More and more.
I recognize less and less the person I see reflected. What to do about those new gray hairs?
Have you noticed new ones appear suddenly and then seem to fade away, until the next wave?
I attach meaning to every influx of silver streaks. I see them as evidence of recent struggle or of triumph. Two sides of the same coin.
The Price and the Gift of Time
I feel I earn each gray hair. I treasure them as trophies, little gifts and reminders from Time. That yes, life is passing, and while my time on earth is shortening, I am learning and the tradeoff–is so worthwhile.
Several years ago I was in a relationship that tormented me.
I was giving my life away in an effort to secure my hold on “Love”, and couldn’t break myself free.
At the same time, I was horrified to witness the resurgence of these old codependent patterns and embedded and intertwined ideas about love, long term intimate relationships, and being a successful human being.
How do these messages get in and take hold, even when we don’t believe them, intellectually?
But there I was. Again.
Meanwhile, I was losing weight, disappearing into nothing.
My doctor who knew I had been diagnosed with Hashitmotos suggested I get my thyroid antibodies tested again. Normally a laid back practitioner, her concern alarmed me.
When the results showed my numbers had increased, she was worried. If she was worried, it must be really grave, I thought. I panicked. I thought I must be dying.
My food sensitivities suddenly increased and I could hardly eat anything.
I felt I was being painted into a corned.
I was certain my adrenals were shot.
I could barely sleep and I was obsessed with memories of my ex boyfriend.
I was in trouble.
My doctor, not knowing how to help me, suggested I speak with a well-known Functional Medicine doctor. He suggested something called, “DNRS”. The Dynamic Neural Retraining System, designed by Annie Hopper, used a drug-free neuroplasticity based program to address a multitude of illnesses and symptoms. The idea was to calm, redirect and retrain the brain’s limbic system, whose emergency response to some initial trauma – whether emotional or physical – eventually led to the body’s disease.
Having been dealt a large helping of early trauma which affected me physically, emotionally and mentally, and which I believed was the source of my problems, I knew this was what I wanted and the only thing that would work. The one hour a day for a minimum six-month commitment didn’t daunt me a bit.
I had already designed my life to have time for what was important, and this was critical.
I practiced DNRS for a year and a half and my life changed.
I still had some physical symptoms, but the mental and emotional patterns that were ruling and ruining my life, subsided to a great extent. The unexpected miraculous benefit of my dedication to the program was that my perception of my early life shifted 180 degrees. I no longer saw my childhood and family life as horrible, bad, and lacking. My new, true story was, “I had a greatchildhood!”
My life was better than it had ever been.
After two years, I calmed down about the relationship and all the ways I had abandoned myself, despite decades of inner work. I moved forward with joy. I finished writing my memoir. I coached and helped clients around themes related to “self-care” with wisdom and compassion.
Through a modality called, NAET, (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Techniques) I healed a lifetime of severe food sensitivities that was foundational to my experience until then. I literally reinstated my entire relationship with food and life.
I never felt better.
So how could I look so “bad”? (Do you notice I’m equating “bad” with “old” here?)
It didn’t seem fair.
How did large pores and liver spots and the start of little wrinkles around my eyes get in?
When did holding my mouth tense create those dangerous vertical lines over my upper lip, reminiscent of my mother’s? “If I don’t want them to develop, I’ll have to always smile and never hold a serious expression”, I determined. “Well, that’s not such a bad lesson”, I concluded.
“But does life have to teach me in this way?” I complained.
What to do?
Remember that commercial, “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better?”
That’s how I feel inside. But the truth is, I am getting older. And I am getting better.
Every day. All the time.
How to Reframe Aging
So then, what would be healthy reframes for all of us midlife women?
We are daring to topple the patriarchal lie about feminine submissiveness and
After all, who is there to be afraid of now?
Not by convincing, that’s the masculine way. But by standing rooted in all that you are, all that you have become. All the wrinkles and spots and silver hairs you have earned. Because it’s good, valid and important.
And for the world to evolve and transform healthily and sustainably, it needs more real right now.
8/25/2020 10:06:56 am
I love this post!! I chuckle to myself as I recall the first time i looked in the mirror and wondered who the hell are you? When did you arrive without my knowing. Then I thought back to the poster I had of Georgia O'Keefe, the one of her in black and white, it's a profile and it shows every wrinkle on her face. I loved it....for me it showed the life she had led on her face. And for me that was a beautiful gift. I remember looking at her that that was what I wanted for myself. I want my life to show on my face. The joys, and sorrows, the challenges and the triumphs...I want it all there. I've earned each and every line, and with them has come wisdom. Thank you Robin for all that you offer to us all.
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Robin Rainbow Gate
I help people midlife and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow, conscious living
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