Accepting the change of seasons is one thing, accepting personal change is quite another. Being one to put up a fight about some changes, I’ve been awed at how others are handling themselves with courage and dignity. It’s humbling.
The topic that seems the most pressing is health and aging. There are many friends dealing with very difficult issues like debilitating illness, hip replacements, carpal tunnel surgery and chronic fatigue. Their quality of life is definitely affected, yet their attitudes show courage and dignity.
Here are some observations on what it takes to accept change with this grace.
YES, YOU’RE GETTING OLDER
Just wrap your head around this truth and move on. I’m not a poster child for this, being irked as I watch 30 somethings fill the medispas, despite being a picture of youth, while I grudgingly go as well. Yet, we can be dignified with our age. I have tremendous gratitude for my energy and health. My mother’s turning 104 in a week, she’s healthy and never complains. It can be a long game – I have work to do on my attitude.
COURAGE IS FINDING THE HERO WITHIN
Dealing with health issues and aging is not for the weak. People older than me have warned about this for decades and now I see the truth. It takes courage to address the ordeals of health care and uncertain outcomes. You will find it when you need it, is what I’m observing from the heroes I know.
DIGNITY IS NOT OLDFASHIONED
We usually reserve the word dignity for an older generation and yet here it is, showing up in friends of all ages as they grapple with tough issues. It is a gift to be able to move forward with dignity – the grace that acceptance embodies. It makes your company welcomed rather than shunned. It’s possibly the hardest thing we’ll do in our lives.
MANAGING NEGATIVE FEELINGS IS A LIFELONG TASK
While we favor the expression of feelings to say how we’re doing, this is a reminder that leaning to manage them is the real task. Maturity and acceptance of change requires learning to cope with what’s unwanted and the hard feelings that go with it. That’s where courage and dignity come in.
Let me know if you’d like to explore this.