Do you ever wonder why so much importance is placed on the way we look rather than who we are? Why is everyone trying to look young again? What are we truly seeking?

Recently I was listening to a television talk show and the guest shared how she was in therapy because she wanted to have wisdom with her wrinkles. I thought that was wonderful.

We live in a culture that bombards us with how important our looks are and gives us every possible opportunity to maintain/gain a youthful presence. Women especially have a plethora of remedies, which promises to give us back that youthful appearance though face-lifts, injections, makeup, diet and excess exercising, tummy tucks and so on! All this promotion to make us believe that if we looked young we would have a better life! How brilliant is that!

My question is, “What is so important about looking young? What are we so afraid of? Why have we allowed our culture to dictate how we relate to our own bodies as reflected in the media? Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not suggesting we don’t take care of our selves through diet and exercise and what ever else feeds our body, mind and spirit! I am speaking to the desperate clinging to our youth as if aging is unacceptable. Why have we accepted that dogma?

Our children grow up with this message and are trying so hard to fit in by looking/being like someone else. Children grow up not knowing how to love and accept themselves for who they are. Like earlier generations, they have learned to look outside of themselves for quick fixes, easy solutions, and temporary cures to eradicate their uneasiness—so much that there is an epidemic of young adults altering their bodies through plastic surgery and their minds through drugs and alcohol to cope with their fear of not being seen.

Children who feel seen rarely resort to such measures.

Our society teaches us to look outside ourselves for the solution, for the ‘right’ answer. Don’t we know the answers are always within!

Aren’t we made in the image of God? Isn’t that enough!

My question to you is “What is so bad about having wrinkles?” In Native American, as in many indigenous cultures, wrinkles and aging are a symbol of wisdom and strength. Why does our culture make aging so disagreeable?

Aging can be a beautiful thing. So many do not have the opportunity to live long and healthy lives. Children and adults die everyday from disease and trauma. What keeps us from living in joy because we’re alive and well? Why do we seek gimmicks and false bravado?

And maybe, just maybe, this is my own challenge due to my personal history and what I had to endure physically! I’ve never wanted to alter “me” because I am grateful to be alive and aging!! I never thought I would be alive past forty.

What I learned in my healing journey was that any alterations must be done on the inside not the outside. In fact that was my healing!! After 18 surgical procedures, and feeling like the bionic woman, I’m the last person on earth with a desire to alter anything externally!!

By traveling within and gaining wisdom, I feel younger than I ever have. I personally believe that staying gorgeous and attractive is more about letting go of unnecessary baggage and lightening up the load rather than a tummy tuck or face-lift!

I also recognize that having a soul-lift is more involved and takes a lot more courage, commitment and desire. It is not the easy fix for sure. What it is though is the restoration of body, mind and spirit so you can feel like a youthful, joyful child, maybe for the first time in your life. Who needs external alterations when you feel like that? That’s when you fit perfectly inside you!!

I am blessed to have gained enough wisdom to honor my wrinkles!

Exercise: Look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the sparkle in your eyes reflecting your soul’s knowing OR do you cringe and judge the wrinkles and age spots, which may appear, on your face? Be gentle with yourself and see the beauty that radiates from within! Spend a moment or two and honestly reflect on your answer. It is quite telling!

Share your thoughts in the comments below.