The Beauty In Pain

Aging isn’t all sweetness and laughter. As we move from 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 and on, the changes in our body become more noticeable, and in some cases, more defining of who we are or how we live our days.

Some days, we stand in front of the mirror and pull back our skin from the corners of our eyes, our mouth,, our cheekbones and wonder… Dare I? Do I need to? Is it worth it? Am I ok the way I am?

And everyday, we see a new tiny fragment of a line. Feel a new tiny little pain. Will it grow bigger we wonder?

I remember, probably around my middle 50s, waking up one morning and realizing that the pillow crease embedded on the side of my right eye (the side I sleep on) was not going to vanish as the day moved on.

It was humbling. Scary. Unnerving.

It was also a relief.

If it’s not going away, I’d best learn to accept it. Maybe even fall in love with it. Because, to love ALL of me, I must love everything about me. Including those crinkles at the edges of my eyes that don’t disappear in the morning.

Life (which fundamentally is the aging process) is a process full of joy, laughter, love and pain as well. Exploring for and uncovering the beauty in pain, letting the essential nature of its presence be revealed in the exquisiteness of all we are becoming, is an act of courage, hope and strength mixed up with a bit of defiance too!

Ultimately, aging is about expanding into loving all of yourself. ALL of yourself. The parts you celebrate. The strong parts. The falling apart parts. The parts you’d rather not see. The parts that make you want to undress in the dark before crawling into bed. The parts you’d rather your lover didn’t touch.

Expanding into all of yourself is a journey best taken with a whole bunch of laughter and LOVE.

And perhaps, that is the greatest gift of aging. Expanding into all of ourselves, doesn’t leave much room for fixating on the pain of what we’ve experienced to get here, or the how of how we look because how we look loses its luster against the brilliance of loving all of ourselves, however we look, whatever path we took to get to this moment right now.

This week, I hope you join me in exploring the expansiveness of aging and falling in LOVE with ALL of YOURSELF.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. I am so grateful for the stories, wisdom, hope, laughter, you share. I am so grateful to have your company on this path. As I said to a friend yesterday when she asked if I was afraid of aging, “So much of this exploration is about trying to figure out how I FEEL about this thing called aging. I’m not sure what I FEEL. I know I don’t feel scared. Or unhappy. But how do I FEEL? Excited. Curious. Sometimes confused. Sometimes just tired of the whole conversation.”

Which made me laugh.

I’m the one who started this conversation here. And I’m loving it! Wanting to “know the ending first’ is how I read books! 🙂

Life doesn’t work like that. The story’s written one day at a time. And each page turned leads to a new adventure – no matter your age and woven into every page are the joy, laughter, sorrow and pain we’ve experienced along the way.

As long as I’m turning each page and living each day in its joyful fullness, it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been on this journey of my lifetime. What matters most is that I’m on it, loving all of me as I go.

I am so grateful for this day.


Day 11 – Week 3 — DAre Boldly: No Matter Your Age

12 thoughts on “The Beauty In Pain

  1. Aging and falling in in love with myself, accepting the lines, the shapes, colour of my hair, the bumps and lumps that give one cause for concern – yup I can handle that. Why – because I LIKE me, the person I have evolved into being, the me that loves to read, debate, continuously learning as I accept those bits and pieces, traits such as impatience, don’t-suffer-fools-well approach that are not my best. I have a theory that to love is an utopian approach to all that is good, lovely, perceived to be perfect. Whereas to LIKE is to accept someone or something warts and all!

    Loving is so easy.
    It’s the liking that complicates life.
    Love is a bed of roses with carefully hidden thorns
    Which become exposed as one delves deeper
    Into the heart and soul of one’s lover.
    To like is to enjoy the highs of loving
    Yet accepting the lows for what they are.
    Loving may come first yet when liking takes hold
    The understanding and admiration of the lover for the loved one
    Surpasses the pain inflicted by the thorns.

    I would also throw into the mix of aging with grace, loving and accepting all of oneself the need to have self-respect and understanding one’s self-worth. If I cannot respect me, my decisions, my actions, then do I expect others to do so?

    Namaste! I think the heat and humidity in the Middle Kingdom has definitely influenced my thought processes today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such an intriguing comment Iwona — and your poem is beautiful.

      For me, I remember chatting with C.C. one day about how, I will always love you — but I won’t always like the things you do and say.

      There are moments when I don’t particularly like what I do or say – those moments where I slip into defensive or offensive mode, trying to defend against someone else’s opinion or idea of what I am saying or doing, or trying to make my opinion the one that’s heard ludest in a discussion.

      It is in those moments of not liking what I’ve done or said, I must practice self-love the most — recognizing I am human and in my human journey, I slip.

      With my daughters, I used to remind them always that who they are is fundamentally loving, and loveable. What they do sometimes, may not be — but that their ‘goodness’ is inextricably connected to their humanness. Their behaviour — is learned and therefore can be changed and unlearned and relearned and…. 🙂

      And… my friend! these two lines, “The understanding and admiration of the lover for the loved one
      Surpasses the pain inflicted by the thorns.”
      YES. YES. YES.!


  2. „Life (which fundamentally is the aging process)…“, I love this line. We tend to think that ageing as something that only concerns the elderly when in fact we all age. It‘s just not as noticeable in the middle decades. I had my first wrinkles-not-disappearing moment a few years ago. My cleavage… I have to admit I was pretty shocked the realise a whole day was enough for it to straighten up again. I can’t say I really love it yet but I‘ve gotten more used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! – that is what I feel too. And then I wonder — so…. what is that magical age where suddenly, I’m getting older, becomes an everyday occurence?

      Falling in love with those lines is challenging! I struggle with it every day! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not exactly.
        Kind of getting in touch with love. Kind of thinking of someone that I love unconditionally, like my daughters, and then me allowing that kind of love to abound in my heart and mind for my child heart, my broken heart, my regrets, the world of hurt. Feeling of giving it all to God kind of thing…the good and bad, all of it.
        I have sometimes thought of love God, and love others as yourself. And yet not love yourself as you love others.

        My idea is that we miss much of what love is or what love has, or it’s power in our lives. I’m not saying that I should not be aware of things as they are. I am saying that I want to see things as they are.
        And be aware of the living essence or presence of love.
        It is not easy to put into words. But it is a little bit like being in love, but different. More of a companionship with love. It is hard for me to find the words for such a thing.


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