True Beauty: Honor the god or goddess in you.

Today, an elder of my church, a man in his late 70s, pretty physically battered and a bit stooped over, proved to be one of the most forward-thinking of the whole congregation. Life has beaten him up a bit, but it has not passed him by. His spirit glows radiantly. Have you ever seen an elderly person like that? One whose wisdom shows in his or her eyes, and whose love is not flamboyant, just there in a gentle query about your health, or a brief touch that calms and reassures. The spirit that shines from within them is true beauty, and it can’t be bought in a jar.

The miracle is, that each of us has the total capacity to achieve this perspective, this fullest embodiment of the highest expression of soul, even as our bodies wear out and crumble.

Here’s a visualization to help you access the god or goddess within, your inner wise person:

Picture a person of seventy or more—just the kind of elder you admire, the one you would like to become. Financially secure, in good health, surrounded by people who care, good friends and family... active with lots of interests...  Introduce yourself to this elder, and notice your names are the same.... this is you, later in life...  Make an agreement with this ideal older self that you will get advice about what decisions you need to make as life goes on, to live to a healthy and happy state of being . Continue your conversation as long as you wish, and ask what your elder’s secret is for living to such a lovely old age.

Once this contact is established, you can check out your decisions regularly by using this wise mentor within. For example, how does this inner counselor react to your life choices? At that advanced age, will you look back on what you’ve done and think it was worth it? Does your wise self approve? Does he or she think your choice will last? What is the difference between what’s important to you, and what this inner counselor regards as important? 

All the experiences of your life, especially the difficult ones, have taught you valuable skills—using what you’ve learned in life to help yourself and others can create meaning out of pain. Buddhist teachers note that poisonous plants and venoms become healing medicines with careful processing. Every trial that you face has something to teach you and can become a source of wisdom—this inner counselor will help you access what you know.

It is a very effective tool to help you look at your own life and your decisions from a different and valuable perspective. The decisions you make today affect the rest of your life, and you are ultimately  the only person to whom you are accountable and for whom you are responsible. Every new decision is truly a new life’s resolution. 
© 2004 Tina B. Tessina, from The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before 40.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.



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