Reading Glasses and Surrender

A few nights ago I laid in bed trying to read a book. My contacts/eyes are normally pretty dry by the end of the day so sometimes I have a hard time seeing the words clearly. Only a few feet from me sat my husband’s reading glasses. No, I thought, I am not succumbing to reading glasses; I don’t care if it’s “normal” for people my age! I always refused to believe that I had to succumb the common “old age” symptoms. So I kept struggling to read. After several more minutes of suffering and not actually comprehending anything with my pre-occupied mind, I reached over and put on the glasses. Wow, what a difference, but instead of just reading, I laid there feeling like a failure. Did age get me? Did it win?

I am a few months shy of 50. Many things have changed in the last few years. My mind likes to micro-manage the changes and convince me they aren’t a big deal, I’m still the same mostly, I say to myself. The truth is though, I’m not. I’m not. I’m a firm believer that we have power over our bodies but middle-age is requiring me to re-evaluate and it is throwing me for a tail-spin.

In a world of frozen, injected, and filtered faces, I feel fucking old. It’s a belief. It’s cultural programming. It’s bullshit, but it doesn’t always make it easier. I am not less-than. I am a powerful woman. I know what I want. I am adventurous, funny, playful, and wise. I honestly feel like I’m just getting started, finding my rhythm, finding me now that I’ve raised the kids. That being said, I also don’t need to justify myself or my age. Yet, putting on a pair of reading glasses dropped me to my knees. I took off those wicked things and I refused to surrender. I refused to just make life a little easier in that moment.

How do we know what is “controllable” (asks the recovering control freak)? Everything and nothing. That feels like the answer but how does that make sense? What we do control is how we perceive everything. The frequency of our thoughts creates our world. Perhaps these embedded “truths” are just that, too embedded in our cells and we are not yet high-frequency enough to over-ride it. Yes, this is where my mind goes. These are the things I want to know and understand.

I remind myself that I am not this body. It doesn’t define me, but it does carry me for life and so I have to take the best care possible of it if I want to live a feel-good healthy life. I have always taken pretty good physical care (food and exercise) of my body, but not my mind. Ah, our thoughts! This part of the equation only entered my awareness about 14 years ago and it was not consistent. This used to be the part that felt uncontrollable; I am my thoughts, my thoughts are true. These were my beliefs, until I realized that they were just that, beliefs.

So where can I surrender here? Is it about surrendering to old age? It is about surrendering to change? I believe it’s about surrendering to what is in any given moment and not creating a story around it. That night, I created a story. The next day upon reflection, I realized it was about so much more than reading glasses. It was about fear, fear of being out of control. I have many beautiful, exciting changes happening in my life (so a lot of unknowns) and instead of focusing on creating amazing potential outcomes through my thoughts, I’ve been “bracing for impact” with my mind – to feel safe, to feel in control. It was also about surrendering to my body and to stop judging it. If I do my part, I have to hold faith that my body will do it’s part.

Moments like these are the gems to understanding what’s really going on and the feelings that are wanting to be felt. My body was flashing me a big STOP sign. I could have stayed with the aging sucks and being a victim, but I know better. Maybe it takes me some time, but that’s ok. I am a human practitioner.

PS Two nights later, I laid in bed and read my book just fine…

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