Thursday, August 12, 2021

August 12--The Fears Are There

For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down the fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.  --Alice Walker

    I am getting older, along with many of my friends and family. Duh! We are all getting older each and every minute. What I mean is--we are now in the "senior citizen" category. There are both good and difficult aspects to this. 
    On the bright side, at least I've lived this long. I love my life. I am happy and content most of the time. I am healthy. Physically I can do the things I want to do. I continue to learn and do things that engage me mentally. I have a good spiritual practice. My relationships are supportive and satisfying. I love and I am loved. It is a necessary practice for me to stay focused on all this goodness to keep fears at bay. 
    I've come to learn what a huge component of fear lies within aging. Dealing with the fears is personal and it can feel like a very lonely job. The "fears of today," given mental energy, can become overwhelming. What is this new ache or pain? Do I have enough energy to accomplish what must be done? Why can't I remember _______? Are my loved ones OK? On top of all this, the fears of tomorrow arise. What if I get a horrid diagnosis? Will my money last as long as I do? What if something happens to my significant other? And the biggest terror of all--what if I would be put in a nursing home? 
    I can certainly see the value of being able to direct my thinking in a more nourishing and less fearful manner. That is a "personal and lonely battle," as only I can control my thinking. That is freedom. 

P.S. A "mantra" I love: Spirit within me does not age. 

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