How was your childhood?
If you can say that your childhood and younger adult years were largely stress-free, and happy and healthy, congratulations!
You started young and as long as you appreciate and honor your biological growth processes, and you have used your Life Experiences to help yourself and others, your Heart and Soul will remain young.
Being young does not mean only being young biologically or physically, but it means having a fresh and curious and positive outlook on Life, unrestrained by collective norms and expectations.
Mentally and spiritually we really never age, but rather we grow in awareness of how to live.
Our Souls are furnished with thought forms, emotions and feelings and biological vehicles; through which we make sense of things and manipulate and enjoy and share the material world around us.
Mental and spiritual “age” is in the being of the holder
Consider the 70-year-old who is as fit and healthy as a 20-year-old. They have achieved this through a healthy supported lifestyle, including nurturing relationships, and good nutrition and exercise, and through good genes.
Their mental and spiritual growth process (which can be referred to, for convenience, as an ageing process) has matched the events or experiences in their lives in measured and timely supportive steps.
However, if you have been through trauma when you were a child or a young person or a young adult, you have probably at some times closed off your feelings to the outside and inner worlds, as a subconscious security measure to keep yourself safe.
The problem is that this counter-intuitive action will have zapped your energy because it takes a lot of energy to block out the scary/threatening or demanding voices of others; and your own voice of reason that is trying to steer you on the straight and narrow.
Of course “the straight and narrow” is the arrow of time through which each one of us seems to have been designed to grow or develop from birth until death, with stages along the way, as clearly defined by society: childhood, puberty, adolescence, and young, middle and older adult years, followed by “old age” before one “shuffles of this mortal coil.”
What you resist, grows
So if you resist free spontaneous living, or if you resist being the real you, unabridged and unapologetic, learning through trial and error, feeling loved and loving others; the caged bird will stay cooped.
This in turn “can seem to age you spiritually.” By this I mean, that in some ways you grow up faster mentally and spiritually than you would have if you had trodden the measured and timely enjoyable steps that your alter ego did.
While you may look your age more or less, you will feel uncertainty about a lot of things, especially about your worth.
The fact that your Life has thrown you curved balls would have required several “re-boots” or diving into the realms of confusion, loneliness, anger, frustration, sadness and despair; and teasing out some strands that helped you survive on your own terms.
This survival mechanism is a facet of spiritual growth because we are spiritual beings in human form; and the stones that you have had to upturn in your own life are not just challenges or node points of grave choices for you, but are opportunities for learning how to be a happy and good human.
I could have titled this Story “How I survived racism, sexism, adoption, sexual abuse, and neglect,” but the gist of the takeaway from this sharing is that when you “lose” a large chunk of your childhood and early formative adult years to strife or stressful circumstances, you feel “older” than what you are, and YOU ARE.
Your trauma has fast-tracked your spiritual “maturation” process, albeit with stressful twists and challenging turns.
You have been forced to deal with adult concepts and with unsafe situations, and while you put up barriers in order not to get hurt more; your Soul has sought out nooks and crannies in which the rose of your eternal Self can grow.
There has been no time for taking it easy.
There has been little time or energy for putting your feet up.
It’s hammer time.
You are a survivor.
Your Essence was poured into making things fit into a misfit jigsaw puzzle; the greatest puzzle of your life is: the puzzle of who am I?
Not, why me?
Not why not he or she, but what the hell is going on here and now, with me?
The Soul was not designed to be confused. The Self was not designed to be unloved.
The mental and emotional bodies have to catch up with the “wisen–ing” Spirit or Soul.
Your Soul struggled to partner with the drag of the thoughts and emotions which unwittingly denied the largess of the Soul.
Soul purpose wrapped itself around the challenges in your life, as body and mind faced life or death choices.
“Can I trust this person?”
“What does he/she really want?”
What if I can’t give them what they want?”
“What shall I do?”
“I’m bad, it’s my fault isn’t it?”
And it often ends with: “I can’t do much right.”
While I aged physiologically, from age fifteen you could say that I was a curious mix of “startled rabbit under the car headlights” and “defiant, solemn, serious adult person.”
If someone had looked closely, they would have seen the vulnerability and the fright and hurt beneath the veneer of the tough “I’m a normal competent person” that I exhibited, mask-like.
So, in a way “I grew up before my time.”
I had to reflect, research, strategize, read, plan, try out, up-turn, review, think, meditate, reach out, cogitate, be brave, learn to trust, connect, join up, cry, pray, shout, throw things around, speak out, face serious health issues, forgive myself, write, teach; and even consider ending my own life, in order to survive.
The Takeaway: Stay Young by Looking After Yourself and Honoring Yourself
Surviving is growing if you learn that from your unique pathway that you have become of age spiritually.
You have made it. Give yourself a pat on the back.
In extraordinary ways, your Soul has tethered your body and mind to your essence, through a fast-track maturation of Spirit or Soul.
You have in a way aged, and now are free to become younger.
Use your wisdom from your experiences to understand that you dealt the best you could with the forces of external circumstances upon you, in tandem with being subjected to the strictures of society, and having challenges on your road to growth compounded by the fears and doubts and wants of individuals.
You did nothing wrong. You are timeless, and herein real peace lies.
Focus your high beams on your Renaissance.
The time will come, if it hasn’t already when your body intelligence will give you a God-almighty shove, inciting you to take care of yourself, body, lock, stock, and Soul.
The time will come when you will feel as though you have lived an age, and it is time then for you to turn your thoughts and living toward being youthful.
At 55 years of age I have entered my new world, a new healthy eating lifestyle and a planned exercise regime, having finally shed the last vestige of guilt over nothing that I had done to cause abuse of myself and other children in my adoptive family.
It took 44 years of resisting me.
Now I am growing younger, for age, is in the being of the holder.
I have learned that true worth comes from loving yourself as well as from caring about and understanding and supporting others and the worlds we live in.
Yes, biologically, I am ageing, but my Spirit or Soul is now free.
With my body, mind and Soul no longer fettered by the chains of remorse or doubt or fear, as my Soul learned its lessons in lurches and steps, that we are all of one energy, and that my mission is to empathize with others (due to my personal experiences), as well as to care for and grow myself, and water my own happiness and comfort, I am now refreshed.
When you are free to be yourself, you know and reach for what you really want and need, and you feel a Lightness of Being.
Your mind becomes clear, your outlook positive, and your Soul no longer burdened.
If life has dealt you a rough blow, get as much quality help as you can, and refine your coping strategies and your safe, healthy living in your own supportive inimitable or unique ways.
Even if you are shy and reserved and frightened, break out now and tell your loved ones that you need proper and trusted help, or find someone or some source that can truly or honestly help you.
The effects are cumulative, meaning seek and take positive growth opportunities as they arise along your timeline, and “interest” will be added or over time the positive or supportive results will magnify.
The wounds to your spiritual self may not be undone in a week or a day, or even in a month. However, you must recognize that there are stepping stones along your pathway.
They will be there.
Cultivate gratitude for your blessings and keep the spark of your divinity going.
Take the steps to dissolve any thoughts, physical tensions, and feelings of lack of self-worth or of having done wrong.
Look after your body, mind, and Soul.
You will surely and steadily return to the “youth” of joy at simple things, appreciation for the whole, and having a fresh and curious and positive outlook on Life, unrestrained by collective norms and expectations.
This is the real You, forever young. Stay free.
For inspirational messages and music, please visit my website “Our Lovely World.”
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