There are many good things about getting older and reaching those thresholds of accumulated wisdom and maturity. Problem is, I can’t remember what they are.
An old friend once told me he went for a medical check-up when he was approaching retirement age. He had lots of plans and trips he wished to make so he thought he had better make sure he was fit enough. The doctor examined him thoroughly, paused and then sat down, smiling thoughtfully at my friend. “Well, you’ve got it all going for you Bernard!” The doctor said. “Your teeth are going; your eyes are going…”
Well, despite the advancing years I still seem to be “going” despite a few creaky joints here and there. My grown up sons do what they can to question my notions of immortality and relative youthfulness, albeit unwittingly. In conversation they utter such phrases as “you won’t remember Dad, but…” or “in the olden times when you were young…” or “did you write with chalk on a slate at school?”
One test of my equilibrium in the face of comments and actions which, however innocuous or kindly their intention, seem to emphasize the downside of advancing maturity, surfaced recently. It was during a trip on the very busy London Underground tube train from Wembley Park Station to King’s Cross.
I had been to a football match with my sons at Wembley Stadium and we were travelling in a ridiculously crowded carriage, all the seats occupied as they often are on such occasions. We were happily chatting about the game when I noticed what seemed to be a very old gentleman sitting next to where I was standing. As the train lurched and swung from side to side, racing between stations, I hung on discreetly to anything or anyone I could find to keep myself upright, trying to look cool and in control at the same time. I was concerned I might fall on the old man but I thought I was coping rather well with the train’s shaking and sudden jarring movements. “There’s life in the old dog yet!” I thought. Then the gentleman looked up at me and uttered words which were a sure sign others do not see us as we see ourselves, especially as we ripen into maturity. “Do you need to sit down? Would you like my seat?” he asked. My reply was accompanied by a somewhat manufactured macho, relaxed smile which probably resembled more a pained grimace. “No thank you. I’m really fine thanks.”
Well, it was a bit true. I was still upright. But it prompted me to think about how advancing maturity was affecting my appearance, quite apart from being a blow to my ego. The ego then stepped in and retaliated. “Me, the Peter Pan of metaphysics, looking like I was in need of a seat? And from an old guy too?” it exclaimed. “How absurd.”
And then a masterpiece of inspiration struck me. I got into the release techniques I have been using and teaching for years. I started repeating silently “May I, just in this moment, release worrying about looking and feeling older and seeming to need a seat on the tube which I turned down when offered although my joints were creaking and the old guy offering maybe had a point?” OK, maybe it wasn’t as succinct or crisp a phrase as I always teach such self-enquiry should be, but it was the best I could do in that moment! I muttered it a few times as we pulled into the next station.
The old guy suddenly got up, leaving the train and by divine intervention (I assume) that seat was now free for me to occupy. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse so I lowered myself into it gracefully. My feet purred with relief and my knees thought Christmas had arrived early. What growth and opportunity letting go brings, even on the London Underground.
I think I remember now, some of those good things that come when getting older…
Despite the bitterly cold wind and the many inches of snow I can see outside my window as I type these notes, it is the last day of February today and March will have arrived by the time this reaches you. So I hope you are keeping warm if you too are experiencing this unusually cold snap – unusual for southern England especially. If you are somewhere warmer as I know some of you are, then enjoy it and maybe send a little of it to us in Europe whose teeth chatter. The snow is quite beautiful to witness but the thought of warmer times and the renewing energy Spring brings does fill my heart with happy anticipation. Like many of you I have had a busy winter, full of changes, and I hope my “maturity” will help me to welcome, learn from and then let go of the difficult bits whilst embracing all the love and good things that continue to come my way and bless my life.
Continue to be Master of Your Fate, particularly by dissolving old patterns, forgiving others, seeking forgiveness within yourself and making amends where you possibly can. We cannot go forward effectively whilst others are unhappy with us, resent us, or we are not at peace with ourselves. Our auras and energy fields cannot shine in all their radiant glory until we are truly free, so keep on with your meditation, releasing and true healing. We cannot run away from things as some try to do, but we can experience deep renewal if we continue to practice the simple beautiful things with an ever open heart. 2018, amongst other things, offers an unequalled opportunity to gain further mastery over ourselves, to take responsibility, allowing our spirit to rule perfectly. It takes courage and persistence but such inner effort will bring increasing healing and clarity.
Remember, we are really here to love, to serve, to be generous, to give and to make amends.
Angels Looking Through
And a reminder that my latest book “Angels Looking Through” is available online in both paperback and ebook format, and from good bookshops. Do get your copy if you haven’t yet!
All good wishes to you and much love.
You are so very special and I look forward very much to seeing you during 2018.