Tuesday, November 11

Children are the Strongest

A lesson I started to learn at 19, has proven true still today. Today I turn 42, and I’m reminded how bad I wanted to grow up when I was 19. Not that I wanted to be treated differently by anyone, but I wanted to know more, to be less naive, to be able to carry on a conversation with anyone over anything, and since I knew so little, I longed for the day I was “grown up”.

At 19 I spent a year in Romania volunteering in a couple orphanages. I wrote about the experience at 23, and I made a realization while I was writing. That realization has proven to be true many times in my life, and that is: the older I get the weaker emotionally I become. When I went to Romania I was so young I was strong enough to handle the sadness I was seeing. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard at 19 too, but I think it would be impossible for me to experience the same now.

The not having grown up yet was what saved me. As the year came to an end I was feeling very weak, very old, very worn out. After that year of living alone, ya I was more “grown up”, I could carry on a conversation better, but it really meant I was weaker. I was wiser to what happens in the world. I’d seen things, sad things, and things that hurt my emotional and physical heart.

Children don’t know how strong they are, they don’t know what it is to be weak, so it is in their getting older that they stop being so strong. Their ignorance of strength keeps them strong. They also don’t live in an overly emotionally world because they don’t tend to over-think things. All that comes with age and experience.

I have a book, well, a few books about health problems being related to emotional problems and that fixing the emotions fix the body. This is an idea we want to resist because we can’t be responsible for our physical problems. Our emotions are too hurt by the thought they are at fault. But we are only ONE body: completely connected. One of the reasons this connection of emotional and physical health rings true to me is because I already know that I am weaker emotionally as I get older and I am more physically challenged as I get older. Age = weak, so if older equals weaker, what can I do about this?

Because I’m not ok finding everything harder in life, here’s my only plan: face everything. Insist I’m not a wimp. Work on emotional strength, Analyze what emotions I'm feeling and face them. Decide to keep moving forward, and pay attention to thoughts that sound like I’m not capable or not enough. It has to be possible to stop aging in this weak way. (at least a little) I see and feel if I'm conscious of this, I can alter the speed of my emotional age, slowing down the rate of losing strength and the depth of those emotional wrinkles.

Because it’s my birthday, I’m going to share one of the most beautiful parts of my day.
This song: Don’t Fade Away by Dead Can Dance

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