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Embracing Ourselves As We Age

by Tomaca Govan

My conversations with women from all over the world has revealed something astonishing to me – they are all fighting the wrinkles and are afraid of looking older.  The story is the same from most of them.  Drastic measures are being taken to avoid or eradicate wrinkles and smile lines.  Companies who create chemicals that profess elongated youth are making a fortune.  They continue to perpetuate the myth that as we age, we grow ugly and undesirable and absolutely something – anything – must be done to reverse this process.

Tomaca and her daughter
Tomaca and her daughter

I refuse to embrace the idea that I am ugly because I am aging. I refuse to cake on the war paint and hide myself from public without it.  I refuse to support the lies of the companies that make beauty products and profess the importance of maintaining a youthful appearance.  I refuse to buy into the euro-centric, hollywood idol bullshit of what an attractive woman looks like.

I am beautiful just as I am at any given moment.  I have personally learned not to look at the outside of a human being, but to focus on their heart, their energy, their being, their soul.  The sound of a voice has light.  The shine of the eyes is light.  Beneath the surface is where we find the essence and the beauty of all human beings, male and female.

Youth is on the inside of us.  Inside of the body of every woman, no matter how old, is the five-year-old little girl who’s eyes are still full of wonder, life and excitement.  When we look in the mirror and into the windows of our souls, we must seek her, find her and embrace her.

Our bodies and our appearance are temporary and transient.  We are here for such a short time and in that time we can choose to embrace our own light and our divine right to celebrate the glory of ourselves, or we can choose to shun who we are because we’ve been programmed to focus on what the outside looks like.

“Excuse me ma’am.”  As we age, we begin to be greeted in such a manner from people who are younger than us, who look at us and say to themselves, this is an older woman and I need to call her ma’am.  Calling me “ma’am” is like calling me “Queen.”  I embrace it.  I look at the youngster with love knowing that one day they too might be worthy of the title of “ma’am” or Queen.  It is a sign of respect that we deserve.  We are not just Mothers, we are Grand Mothers – and yes oh yes -, Queens.

Too much focus on the outside takes away the focus from the inside, where there is everything that matters – our hearts, our souls – us.  We are all endowed with gifts of varying sorts and if we are fraught with worry about the outside, we cannot tend to the magic that is inside.  An amazing artist will not be amazing because she worries too much about what she looks like.  An amazing book writer will only write mediocre books and an amazing singer who has much to give the world will not, all because they are concerned about the wrapping of the package and thus lose sight of the gift that is inside the package.

Why do we live this illusion generation after generation after generation?  We are conditioned to believe that in our teens we are – and are required to be – young and sexy.  We carry that feeling and illusion into our early thirties when we slowly start to shift our thoughts and our focus to feeling that we are unattractive and unworthy.  How foolish of us older women to teach the younger women this way.  We are only perpetuating the lies that we were told and chose to believe.  Shed the lies, change the paradigm and wear your purple hat, your red hat, braid your hair, put flowers in it; put on  your overalls, dress, jeans – dress in whatever way it defines who you are on the inside and wear it proudly cherished woman, cherished child of a loving Creator.

Live your life and embrace every moment, every opportunity, every obstacle.  Love it all and proudly wear the face that is rich with the enjoyment of a life well-lived and well-loved.  When you choose to embrace yourself, you are also embracing every other woman – those your age, older and younger!  You are showing us all a different way to be – a better way – healthier way.  Embrace yourself!