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Insights About Aging

Here is Gina Lake channeling Jesus from her book, Jesus Speaking: On Overcoming Fear and Developing Trust, with a message about how to become more comfortable with the aging process and deal with any fears around that. A transcript of this video message can be read below.

The fear of aging is another fear about the future that haunts many. Since “aging” is a concept, and relative like all concepts, what this means to you needs to be examined. What meaning do you give to the idea of aging? What beliefs do you have around it? What do you assume about it? Will it make you ugly? Weak? Unlovable? Does it mean you’ll be unhappy? Have a miserable existence? Unable to do things? Cast aside? Worthless? These ideas are all unreal, untrue concepts. There is no such thing as “ugly,” “weak,” “unlovable,” and so on. These are stories you tell yourself about yourself, which make you suffer, when you don’t have to.

These are only some of the ideas you might have about aging. It’s important to identify and examine your mistaken ideas so that you can become free of them. Why let your life be shaped by such lies? None of them is true or needs to be, but if you believe any of them strongly enough, they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. At the very least, they’ll keep you from being happy.

For example, if you believe aging makes you ugly, you’ll feel you are becoming ugly as you age. You’ll believe the story “I’m ugly.” That story feels terrible, and when you feel bad, love and kindness don’t easily flow from you to others (and consequently to you), which also feels terrible. This becomes a vicious cycle: You become what you fear: You feel ugly inside, and your story, “I’m ugly” becomes true, at least in terms of your internal experience.

Such beliefs about aging get passed down from generation to generation You didn’t come up with them on your own, and they don’t have to be your beliefs. Your society as a whole, collectively, presents you with images of the later years that aren’t very flattering or appealing. And yet, is that the actual experience of those who are older?

For many, their later years are the best years of their lives, because they are far wiser, more knowledgeable, more experienced, more talented, more emotionally mature, and more spiritually developed than they have ever been. This is the truth about aging: You get better as you age, or at least that’s possible. If you can learn to focus on the benefits of having lived as long as you have, on what you’ve gained instead of on the youth you’ve lost and your aging body, your later years can be happy ones.

Much too much importance is placed on appearances in your culture, making aging more of a concern than it needs to be. Appearances are not that important (unless you think they are)! It seems that if your body is slipping according to beauty standards, then your life is over or there’s no longer a chance to be happy or you’ll no longer be powerful or respected or.... You fill in the blank. What importance do you put on physical appearance? What do you imagine a youthful or beautiful body gives you?

People assume that getting older means a loss of much more than youth. They assume it also means a loss of fun, happiness, love, power, respect, sex, growth, and adventure. That would be sad indeed. But thankfully, this isn’t true. While you may lose physical strength and some abilities as you age, who’s to say you’ve lost anything else? It’s even debatable that you lose beauty with age. What is beauty? If we are talking about inner beauty, that usually increases with age, as the soul begins to shine more brightly through the vehicle that is the body.

What’s more important to you, attaining or maintaining an artificial standard of beauty (which is a hopeless cause) or cultivating your inner beauty? This doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition, but it often is. An emphasis on outer beauty often detracts from the cultivation of inner qualities such as love, peace, acceptance, and compassion.

Although people naturally want both inner and outer beauty, the two rarely coincide. In your youth, you’re gifted with a young body and outer beauty, and in your later years, you’re gifted with wisdom and inner beauty. As youth fades, wisdom and inner beauty continue to blossom. This is the natural order of things. And this is the benevolence of life. You are rewarded in your later years with wisdom. Enjoy it as it is. Appreciate each phase of life for what it offers. Love what is.

If people don’t get stuck in their stories and conditioned beliefs, life has a way of bringing out their inner beauty. Life is very kind this way: It offers the possibility of greater peace, love, acceptance, and wisdom as the body wanes in its capacities. If you don’t develop these inner qualities, you’re likely to suffer as the body declines. In this way, Life prods you to grow in ways that are ultimately good for you.

At any age, you must ask yourself what is more important to you: attaining or maintaining an artificial standard of beauty or overcoming all artificial and false beliefs and conditioning that keep you locked in unhappiness. If you are one to choose beauty over such growth, then I doubt you’re reading or listening to this. And if you want growth but you’re still suffering over beauty, then now is your chance to become freer.

Get serious about this. See the benefit in becoming a better person over looking better, if looking better is even possible. Stop pretending that you could or should look better than you do. This is more of a fantasy than a reality. You’ll never be young enough or good-looking enough for your ego to relax and be happy. For happiness, you have to go beyond the ego’s goals to the “goals,” if you will, of your deeper self, of Life as it is living through you.

Aging is a catalyst for spiritual growth. Like all challenges and changes, aging forces people to find a way to be happy despite such changes, since the alternative is to be unhappy. If you don’t like what’s happening to your body as it ages, examine the thoughts that are making you unhappy and find a way to accept the aging process. It is natural, normal, and inevitable. There is little you can do about it. The ego assumes it has more power than it does over aging, but that belief, itself, is a source of suffering.

Change your attitude toward your body. Relate to it kindly, gently, and with gratitude and love. It is a gift that allows you to live this life. Be grateful for the beauty you do have and what your body is still able to do. Examine your thoughts and beliefs about your aging body, and move beyond them or replace them with positive beliefs and a deeper understanding of the truth, which is what I am offering here.

As with all challenges, the key to overcoming the challenge of aging is acceptance: You accept what is. You accept that human beings age, and you accept what is true here and now about your own body. It is what it is, and there’s only so much you can do about that. Your body doesn’t have to be any different than it is, and it’s likely that it can’t be very different than it is.

People often fantasize that they can change their looks more than is actually possible, although some do go to great lengths to approximate their fantasies, but only at a great cost to themselves and their pocketbooks. Trying to hang on to youth or battle the aging process is a place of suffering, because life will have its way with you. The body will age, and you will die.

But what is it that does not die? What wisdom, love, compassion, and acceptance will you bring to your soul and into your next life from this life? The later years, if not sooner, are a time for cultivating your inner beauty.

Strip away the idea of aging, and what you have is a body that is changing, and naturally so. Can you accept that your body is changing naturally? This has always been the case: Your body has always been changing. It has been aging your entire life. Can you be curious about this process instead of afraid of it or upset about it or resistant to it? It is happening to everyone.

Why bother to feel afraid or upset or resistant, when feelings don’t change a thing? These feelings only make you unhappy. They are a waste of your precious energy, of your precious life. Don’t give these feelings an ounce of your attention. They aren’t real. Your feelings are caused by unreal thoughts—thoughts that exist only in your own mind. There is something else here—your true self—that relishes the unfolding of life just as it is. Life can be no other way.

Right now, in this moment, you are as young as you will ever be. That’s the truth. But let’s move beyond such concepts as young and old, and simply pay attention to what’s true about here and now. Only you can notice that. What are you grateful for? What do you have? What can you do? This is what is true about here and now.

If you remain focused on these things in every moment, you can’t possibly be unhappy, no matter what the state of your body is. And isn’t happiness what it’s all about? Isn’t the fear or the belief that you can’t be happy with an older body the problem, not your body? Well, be happy now.

Be happy by noticing what makes you happy right here and now. How could you ever be unhappy if, in each moment, you chose to notice what makes you happy? People make themselves unhappy by focusing on their fears, their desires, and what isn’t here right now. They focus on what they perceive as missing and on what they want or what they believe should or could be here right now. That is the recipe for unhappiness, in case you wanted to know. It’s important to understand how you create unhappiness so that you can stop doing that if you choose.

Not everyone sees that happiness is in their control. And even when they hear this, not everyone will choose to make themselves happy. They are choosing, instead, although largely unconsciously, the drama, fears, desires, and negative emotions created by the voice in their head. That is the default, after all, the path of least resistance. It is the easy path, because no choice is required.

Happiness is a choice against what is easiest. Letting yourself follow the mind and letting yourself be tossed to and fro by it is the easiest choice, because it requires no consciousness, no awareness, and no choice. For this to change, a tiny bit of will must be developed and exercised to make that choice. That will is often only developed as a result of a great deal of suffering, once it’s realized that it is one’s own mind that is causing the suffering. Such is the human condition.

Your default is fear. Happiness, on the other hand, has to be learned. This may seem like a cruel setup. Why can’t everyone just be happy easily? There’s no simple answer to this. It has to be enough to see that this is just the way it is—and then accept it. To be angry or upset about the way life is, is just more wallowing in the ego’s emotions, and that gets you nowhere. Accepting the way things are in general in life and the way things are in your life is the way to happiness and the way out of the morass of fear and other negative emotions.

Aging is nothing to be afraid of, just as there is nothing else to be afraid of. Being afraid of something is a dysfunctional state of mind, which accomplishes nothing except to keep you entrapped in egoic thinking and unhappiness. If you can see the truth about this fear and all others, you can be happy regardless of your age. In fact, you’ll probably be happier than ever, because you’ll be freer than ever, and that’s what this game of life is all about. Those who win are those who are free to love and experience life just as it is, without all the lies and fears piled onto it.

If you give your attention to the truth and stop believing your egoic mind’s lies, you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been. That is often the work of one’s later years, but it doesn’t have to begin then. Begin wherever you are. However old you are, that’s the perfect time to begin to see through your fears and be happy. Being happy is rejuvenating, and you’ll have all the benefits of the wisdom, experience, and talents you’ve gained along the way. Make being happy your goal, and it won’t matter to you how old you are, because you’ll be in love with life. Lose the ego’s self-involvement, its narcissism, and fall in love with life!

So, let’s talk about appearances. Many don’t like how they look as they age, and yet on the inside, everyone feels the same throughout life. The being that you are doesn’t change. It’s looking in the mirror that becomes challenging, because you expect to see somebody else. You expect to see a younger you, but that you is gone; that body is gone.

This expectation or tendency to compare what you look like now to what you looked like at some other point is the source of suffering. This is all going on inside your head. You are creating this suffering. You hold a picture in your mind of what you think you should or could look like or what you did look like, and you suffer over not looking that way. No matter what your age is, this is why people suffer over their appearance. They suffer over ideas in their own mind.

The mistaken ideas that cause you to suffer are that you should, could, or want to look different than the way you do. Now, that is quite a fantasy! Shoulds, coulds, and desires are pretends: The ego pretends that life could or should be what it wants. The ego wants life to be other than the way it is. How useless! This is the foundational lie behind most suffering. When you really see this, you’ll stop suffering. But you have to catch it time and time again, which isn’t so easy, since this lie permeates nearly every thought.

The best approach is to move beyond all thoughts about yourself, and that will free you from these lies and misconceptions. Change your relationship to the voice in your head, the endless stream of “me,” “myself,” and “I.” If you stop believing this voice, you’ll stop being bothered by it. This is spiritual mastery, and it takes practice to achieve such mastery. This is what spiritual enlightenment and the path to enlightenment are all about. So, you might as well get started now!

You can’t look any different than you do right now. That’s the truth. Some of you will argue that you can if you work out or if you get a new face cream or in some other way seek to change your appearance. But in this moment, the truth is you can’t look any different than you do. You are free to do anything you wish to change or try to improve your appearance, and then the truth will be that you look that way.

But right now, if you can accept what is true right now, you’ll be happy. It’s possible, and even likely, that once you accept your appearance as it is, you’ll choose to use your time and energy in more meaningful ways than by trying to improve your appearance. When you move away from narcissism and self-involvement, you’ll be happier and have more time and energy for other things.

It’s important to realize that your choices matter; your attention matters. What you give your attention to is where your energy goes. If you want to spend time, energy, and money on your appearance, you’ll have less for other things that might be more meaningful. That’s just the way it works.

If you make yourself unhappy over your appearance, then you’ll probably invest your time and energy in doing something about that. If you weren’t unhappy about your appearance, what else might you do with your time, energy, and attention? Don’t let your mind make you unhappy. Make yourself happy, and see what that happy person is naturally moved to do in the world.

Let’s talk some more about beauty. It seems to matter so much. But does it? If you happen to be beautiful, you attract a lot of attention for how you look. Is that really so desirable? What is it in human beings that is attracted to superficial appearances, to those who match the standard of beauty? That is the conditioned self, the false self. Do you really want to be someone who stimulates people’s desires, jealousy, self-comparisons, and lust—their egos? When nuns cut their hair and don robes, the intent is to cultivate humility and inner beauty. But all that’s really necessary is to change your relationship to your own mind, not your hair and clothes.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be beautiful. If you are, then that is meant to be part of your experience. It is both your gift and your challenge. Each of you is as beautiful as you are meant to be. You are perfectly designed just as you are.

If you aren’t as beautiful as you would like to be, then why are you longing for greater beauty? What do you think more beauty will bring you? If you think it will bring you love and happiness, that’s no more likely than if you are not so beautiful.

Love and happiness come to those who are beautiful within. Their own love and happiness draw to them a life of love and happiness. Wanting to be beautiful on the inside, to be aligned with all that is good, is a worthy desire, and one that’s within everyone’s reach. Why reach for something that is unattainable and that will never satisfy, when everything you need to be happy is already attainable and will bring you everything you could ever want?

The truth is, what you need to be happy is not even something you have to attain, but something you discover was there all along. You uncover the inner beauty that was hidden by the false self. This inner beauty is your natural state.

Your inner beauty is uncovered by focusing on it. Put your focus on love—on being loving, on giving love, and all else will be yours. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God...” “The kingdom of God is within you.” What is this kingdom of God but love? God is love, and it is within you, because you are made of love and made to love. You were made in God’s image, and you are meant to overcome the block to love, which is the ego.

Don’t be misled by the ego’s desires. They are false. Behind every desire, lies a fear. Desire and fear go hand in hand: you desire, and then you fear you won’t get what you desire. You fear, and then you desire something to appease that fear. You can’t have one without the other.

Desire and fear are how the illusion, the false reality—the virtual reality of the mind—is kept in place. Around and around you go, being afraid and trying to fix that by getting something, or getting something and then being afraid you’ll lose it. See through this game. It is never-ending. There’s no end to desiring and fearing. The ego pretends to have the solution to the fear and desire it creates, but that solution just brings more fear and desire.

You can drop out of that game and join the game of love instead. All that’s necessary is that you be here, now and say yes to whatever is, just the way it is. The fear and desire game is a game of no: “No, I don’t want this; I want that instead.” The ego is like a cranky child who doesn’t know what he or she wants but is forever demanding something and never happy with anything.

Get to know the ego. See it for what it is, and it won’t be able to frighten you or make you discontent anymore. You already have everything you need in this moment to be happy, because all you really need is a loving Heart that says yes to life. Choose to be at peace now about your age and everything else. Your soul is ageless and priceless. You are meant to be just as you are, and you are deeply loved just as you are.

More about Jesus Speaking: On Overcoming Fear and Developing Trust and the other books in the Jesus Speaking series...

This channeled message was shared in weekly online gatherings where Christ Consciousness Transmissions (CCTs) are offered by Gina Lake and her husband, Nirmala. These transmissions of higher consciousness will assist you in your spiritual awakening, in awakening to your true nature.

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