I have never been age- appropriate, and if and when I am, I will be spiritually dead. I call my conscious lack of concern Spiritual Anti- Aging, and it works.
Recently, I was sitting in a very brilliant beautician’s chair, receiving a subtly wrapped judgment on age- appropriateness and how it didn’t jive with what I wanted. I politely moved on to the next beautician. I do not accept this artificial limit, or any other. Misery is a thing of adulthood, and to a certain extent we create it ourselves. Living in the past or fearing the future is a construction of adulthood. Limiting ourselves according to whether others approve, is something that grown-ups take on, as their lives become something they no longer control or recognize. Rob Bell calls this a crisis of wonder.
A child can grow up in very dark and dangerous circumstances and still see those small shards of light and recognize them for what they are. Heaven and joy and spirit reside in the smallest of things.
Think about the last time you felt contentment, peace and joy; the last time you felt really young and free. Was it because you finally achieved every thing on your to do list? Were there a burning bush and a choir of angels or was it the rhythm of the waves hitting the shore, running or walking out in the beauty of nature, or just a really beautiful connection you shared with someone? These moments are where wonder lives.
A child is not looking for the meaning of life, she is freely living it. I forget this daily. Sometimes this amnesia lasts years.
Recently, I went through a prolonged health crisis. I have always avoided doctors like Ebola, but I found myself seeing a parade of specialists, taking a barrage of tests and not being able to summon my typical energy level to do much of anything. I could no longer run or lift weights and these things had defined me.
During this period, something supremely annoying happened: every time I got in the car, the first song on the radio was Sara Bareilles’ Brave. Every time. This happened somewhere between 70- 100 times in a row. In the song the singer is daring and begging someone to just let the plain, unvarnished truth finally bubble out~ like a kid. It’s far kinder in the long run. Sometimes kid- honesty is shocking or politically incorrect, but it is always like inhaling a burst of fresh air after spending a week locked in a cube- farm.
I realized that, in large part, what were missing from my routine were not vitamins, or hormones, but candor and courage. I am working on this. For me, courage is not adult armor that I put on; it’s stripping down to the trust and loving bluntness of a kid.
This Spiritual Exfoliation is the way to a beautiful soul.
Youthfulness is the result of living without chains.
Art, hope, candor, courage and rejoicing are ageless. When we engage in these things, so are we.