Morning! A man walks up to a Zen Buddhist hot dog vendor and says “Make me one with everything”. Yes, I know you groaned.
The man hands over a ten pound note. The Buddhist replies “Do you have anything smaller? I’m afraid I can’t offer you any change!” Ok. I’m stopping now.
Maybe it’s because I’m British, or maybe it’s simply human, but I’ve never much liked the sound of my own voice, or the sight of myself in most pictures (I am genuinely very un-photogenic though!) Over the years I’ve learned to stop caring. I realised that for the most part, no-one else cares, or notices! I mean you’d have to drop at least three stones in weight before anyone says to you “Er…have you lost some weight?” It makes you wonder then why we bother to get so stressed out about our current status?
The idea that anyone (other than maybe a judgmental partner) will think any less of you because you gained ten pounds is actually ridiculous. Still, much as it would be a Zen-like miracle or wonder to experience ourselves, like our hot dog, as being one with everything, we don’t. We are self-centric. You’re the first person your eyes go to in a photograph, you stick out like a sore thumb, and when you hear yourself on tape with others, everyone else’s voice sounds fine, but yours is weird! When life hands you lemons....
We need to recognise this phenomenon for what it is. You are not the funny looking person, and your voice is not weird. It’s to do with your brain having a negative bias. The human brain is hardwired to look for what might be wrong. You think you look bad in that photo? Have a look back at it twenty years from now! You'll think you were Adonis or Venus herself.
We need to make sure that we enjoy being ourselves, as we are, and noticing what we DO have. I was at the doctors recently and I enquired about having a mole removed from just above my lip. The main reason is that I sometimes catch it with the razor when shaving, but I also quite liked the idea of a smoother complexion as a bonus. My doctor is a wise man. The first thing he said to me was "It's part of you". He wasn't being glib. I "got" where he was coming from.
Youth may be wasted on the young, but that’s no reason not to enjoy every part of our lives. Youth, I say, is over-rated anyway. If you think about it, you spend the first sixteen years of your life trying to be older. Then, you have a period of about ten years where you’re the boss, and then it all goes downhill from there right? I mean it’s ridiculous. If those ten years are the only times you can feel good about your looks, and most youngsters don’t, even then, then surely we’re missing something? Remember. You are lovely. Your brain is doing a number on you.
Then we have the idea that once we're forty we're "past it". WTF? You're kidding me aren't you? If I could have known twenty years ago what I know today I would have my fingers in so many pies I'd run out of fingers. My Dad's the same. At seventy something he's more passionate and engaged in life than I've ever known him to be. No, life deepens and matures with age every bit as well as a fine wine or a delicious Comté!
If you're feeling gutted that you're getting older you are definitely barking up the wrong rosebush. Savour it. Enjoy it. Youth is a flash in the pan, and beauty is way more than skin deep!
Some thoughts for you to ponder on…..Have a lovely day. John x