"The old woman I shall become will be quite different from the woman I am now. Another I is beginning."
I'm always fascinated by quiet, unobtrusive, yet powerful statements made by strong women from various times and backgrounds. This one is the most recent.
Our culture teaches us that women disappear as they age. Their sole outstanding feature is the remains of their youthful appearance. This is what creates the incredible market for botox and a variety of plastic surgeries; hair color products that promise to cover the gray; the latest make-up and facial care products that 'defy aging' and keep our visible face, neck, eyes looking young and supple.
We forget the beauty of aging. We forget that we have earned every wrinkle with our laughter and our tears. We forget to be proud of the experiences that have shaped us into the beauties that we have become.
I'm not saying that women should not take care of themselves. Or should not color their hair. Or should not use the latest 'age defying' creams and lotions. What I'm saying is that we women should not be slave to them. We should make the choice of using these products out of our own desire to explore the variety of aspects of who we are rather than to pretend that we are not growing older.
We can believe in our strength, our determination, our beauty without giving in to the culture that worships youth. I don't want to be afraid of growing old, of fading from existence and becoming invisible. I want my aging to be graceful and grace-filled. I want to exult in the different I that is becoming.
How do you feel about the aging process? What scares you about aging? How can you keep yourself from fading from existence? What first step ~ or small step ~ can you make toward embracing the different I that is beginning?