Aging is not a disorder, though for many healthy adults aging is treated as just that, a disorder. As we age what we may lose in muscle mass and flexibility, we gain in foresight and the ability to see connections between the past and the present. We may lose a bit of that skip in our step, but for healthy adults aging can be a time of increased respect from coworkers, family and most importantly from oneself. Those of us who have “been around the block” know the pitfalls as well as the shortcuts to getting a job done and when it’s time to forget the job and take time out for ourselves.
So why do so many individuals place so much emphasis on fighting aging. For men and women alike there is the ever present media hype of beauty is only for the young. That one has to be young and beautiful to be admired. Most of us know, deep in our hearts that those that we admire most, are most likely not young and their beauty comes from something deeper than appearances.
Many individuals learn that they can rekindle their sense of respect for their older selves as well as for the aging process with only a mild mental course correction. Speaking with a counselor can help turn life’s next stage in the journey into a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Many of life’s anxieties and stressors originate in our perceived ability to ignore the inevitable; the fact that we grow old being the most glaring of these inevitabilities. Erik Erikson’s research lead him to detail the options facing each of us as we journey through life and Alfred Adler said it we who define who we are by the choices we make when faced with a decision. So when Erikson says the in maturity (ages 65 to death) we can look back at life and feel a sense of integrity or a sense of despair and regret what he is offering is Adler’s notice of self-determination. We all have successes and failures in our lives, it is up to us to decide which we will focus on in our later years.
I’ll write more soon on aging with the physical and psychological effects of early stage Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Contact me if you or a loved one needs assistance in facing life’s journey.