As I look at this picture I see such grace and beauty. I remember a time when I would have overlooked that.
As I have gotten older, I appreciate different things. My high school friend, who I recently saw, has developed into such an elegant older woman. Her mannerisms speak of care and gentleness. I know that thought would never have popped into my 20 something brain.
Growing older has it’s own set of perks. We see so much deeper than the surface now and realize what used to eat us up with pressure and stress is really not that big of a defining issue any more. Now, I am able to overlook a slight and move on. I am able to more easily confront when I don’t like something and verbalize to try to resolve it. These are skills that come with age.
My daughter shares at times how she compares herself to me. I explain to her that she only knows this version of me. This version has been refined through experience. When I was her age, I was a big mess and she has her act together far better that I ever did at that age.
What she doesn’t understand is that this version has been through the fire and come out the other side. Through that fire, I have learned to appreciate more deeply and to look past the surface level of people and their reactions and actions.
Often we may say and hear that growing old is hard or that it stinks. But I see it as a privilege. Something to cherish and to share our new found perspective with others. Seeing beyond the surface and looking more deeply is a gift that many of us have been given as well as aging.
So when you reflect on this picture, look deeply into the beauty that this lady has lived. The lives she has touched, the lessons she has learned and the fire she has been through and survived.