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My birthday is this month. I will be 52 and saying that feels weird. When I was young and older people would say you don’t feel your age. I thought that was crazy, but now I understand what they mean. Being over 50 is seen as ancient when we are in your 20’s, but the closer we get to it our view changes toward age. Getting older is a part of life and I think we have let our society tell us it is bad or wrong. The reality of age is none of us can escape it. As each day goes by, we will be older.
Too many people are running from their age today. They will lie about their age or deny their age or get mad at us if we mention their true age. Why is this? How come so many people fight the reality of their age? Why have so many allowed the youth worship of our society to overcome them? Many have decided to not own their age for a few key reasons.
Everyone’s age is based on a calendar date. They were born on a specific day and their age follows. However, everyone’s attitude is based on their choices. Attitude flows out of the choices that we have made throughout our lives. Our character is based on those choices and our character is the main part of who we are. Everyone’s attitude flows from the many daily decisions they have made, some good and some bad.
Everyone chooses their attitude, but as we get older the danger we face is allowing circumstances to control our attitude over our own choice. We experience more of life the older we get and those experiences can be great or they can be terrible; however, our attitude during those experiences still comes down to our choice. Too many people walk around with bad attitudes and when we ask them about why they blame their circumstances. Circumstances may be hard, no one is denying that, but every person’s attitude is based on their choice. As we get older we have to be even more diligent to own our attitude or we will free fall into the empty pit of cynicism where too many older people reside.
Getting older carries the memories of the many things we have done or been a part of in our life. Those memories also have the partners of the many things we wish we would have done. Regret lives in every person’s life. We all have regrets of things we wish we had done differently, however the danger is when we allow regret to be a lifestyle. The lifestyle of regret can build into the inability to enjoy the moment.
When we walk in regret we begin to fear making decisions today. This fear begins to slowly paralyze our ability to grow and learn. Many people as they age, stunt their own growth and begin to live lives of lowered expectations. They lower their own expectations because of the bad choices they made in the past. Instead of doing something today, they spend their time wishing they had done something in the past. We even see this in parents who live vicariously through their children. Pushing their children to live the life they did not choose to live. The problem is they never take the time to learn their child to see if this is a life they even want to live. We have to deal with our own regrets or we will bring a lifestyle of regret to those we influence.
Built up Bitterness
One of the biggest dangers as we age is the weight of bitterness and unforgiveness we carry. We have all seen older people who are eaten up with bitterness and often that bitterness spills on everyone around them. The reality of life is we will all have hurts and trials as we go through life, but if we carry the bitterness of those hurts with us and never forgive, we will be the worse for it as we get older.
Bitterness is a weight that gets heavier as we get older. The thoughts and hurts are brought up again and again in our mind and we play the hurts over and over. This process skews our thinking and we start seeing everything in life through that bitterness. We lose the ability to trust or even have meaningful relationships because of our own bitterness. Too often we think by not forgiving someone we are hurting them. However, our unforgivess will grow bitterness and we will only hurt ourselves and those we love. We must unplug from the source of our bitterness or it will control us and destroy us. Plus, we will become those grumpy angry old people no one wants to be around!
Own your age! Do not be afraid to be your own age. Our society needs to see emotionally healthy people who are older and have great attitudes. Young people want to see that getting older is not something to fear but an adventure to be lived!
Who control’s your attitude?
What regrets have you held onto?
Who do you need to forgive?