Growing older is about much more than outward appearance for me. As I try to come to terms with the realities of aging physically, I realize that I have also aged emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. My self-awareness has expanded tremendously over the years. When I stopped to consider how far I’ve come in my life, and in my healing journey, I became filled with a sense of great accomplishment.
I still view the world as an unsafe place – given my PTSD I doubt that level of fear will ever truly go away. But I choose to see humanity as basically good, albeit considerably flawed. I no longer expect everyone to have an ulterior motive or bad intentions. I am less cynical than I used to be. Now I choose to trust people until they prove they can’t be trusted – most of the time. There are instances when I get such a negative vibe from a person that I know to keep my distance.
I’ve learned that while I might still view the world with fear and uncertainty, I do have a constant resource of inner strength and courage. I have found my voice and have learned to express how I think and feel, and that I have a right to my opinions, especially if they differ from other people. I now advocate for myself and others with confidence.
I’ve learned that kindness and patience is a much more satisfying way to live. I have developed an “attitude of gratitude” and give thanks daily for all the blessings in my life. I’ve learned that self-doubt and self-recrimination are merely a state of mind and that I can change my thoughts and how I regard myself every moment.
I’ve learned the importance of serenity and have removed all drama, chaos, and toxic people from my life. I surround myself only with people who are supportive, honest, caring, and nurturing.
While I still have a way to go in areas such as replacing self-loathing with self-love, I recognize that I am a person of worth and have much to offer this world. There are moments when doubt seeps in, but I am getting much better at quieting that voice.
When I acknowledge all that I have accomplished, it makes growing older easier to accept. I even view it as a bit exciting, for I know that my self-awareness and emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing and growth will continue to expand as I age and will continue to bring more Light and Love into my life.