It was my father’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, given that he’s been such a trooper through the shock of finding out that he had cancer and subsequent rapid surgery that happened a few weeks after the diagnosis. He’s recovering well and it looks like he will not need any further treatment (yay!). Through all of this, I’m reminded of how much of an inspiration he’s become to me.
His attitude has been amazing. The support and love that has poured in from all his friends and family has been deeply moving for him. He was truly surprised by it all, and quite frankly, I was surprised that he was surprised.
When he told me this, I said, “but Dad, people just love you – you have so many friends!” He acknowledged this and shook his head saying that he didn’t really understand why, since he just plays sports with guys and “gives them a hard time.” What he doesn’t recognize in himself is that he is a very playful person, a guy’s guy, a bit of a charmer. The Leo in him attracts everyone, including children and pets! He also doesn’t see how much he’s changed over the years and how he’s transformed into a being who exudes an abundance of love and hospitality. This, from a man who used to be a kind of Archie Bunker.
Partly as a result of witnessing my father’s changes, I’ve developed a theory about getting older. I believe that people get bitter or better. This seems to become clearest in one’s sixties and seventies, as in the case with my ‘better’ father.
My observations are that some people grow resentful, angry and unhappy with how their lives have played out. These types are attached to the plans they may have had for how things should have been, what they did not accomplish, money they didn’t make, happiness they did not find along the way. It comes in varying degrees: from the person who becomes more and more house-bound and fearful of the outside world to the one who is just plain ol’ ornery.
I call the ones who become ‘better’ those who soften with age. They get a little mushier in the best of ways. These are the people who can allow themselves to finally cry. People who start to really appreciate the little things and moments in life. The ones who say “I love you” more and more, and mean it. The people who still have fun, meet new people and have rich social lives.
Have you observed both kinds of people? A friend of mine had one ‘bitter’ and one ‘better’ grandmother. I had the good fortune of meeting both and was astounded at the difference. While they were the same age, the ‘better’ one seemed 30 years younger than the other. She is still full of life, gets out of the house, and you have to book time to see her since she’s so busy!
I don’t know about you, but I sure want to be on the better side of getting older! Creating a habit of clearing resentments, regrets and attachment to ‘shoulds’ is a great start. Do you use any methods to do this? I’m including links to a couple of tapping videos that you can follow as a basic beginning point. Regular tapping on these issues will help you to clear away old muck that may end up dragging you down later. Letting these things build up over time may be a recipe for becoming bitter, something I’m guessing everyone would like to avoid.
Here’s to growing better and better.
If you would like a written script of these videos, please contact me through my website: http://meridiantherapy.ca.