This is coming from watching my parents age, and their parents before them. This is coming from watching my own body break down. My knees, back, shoulders, really every single one of my muscles, joints, bones are not the same as they were 10 years ago. And certainly not what they were 20 years ago. The decline seems to be accelerating. What am I to enjoy when my body is 50% of what it is now? Or when my mind starts to catch up to how my body is aging? What if my mind deteriorates even faster, and I have the mind of a 75 year old when I am only 40? This happens.
I have found that curiosity is the cure.
One does have to remain curious not just “in” life but “about” life. Enjoy new things.
Be curious about goodness. There is so many ways to experience goodness. Touch, taste, smell. Breathing in, smelling the fresh air while watching the sunset. If you go blind, the smell of a sunset is still beautiful, it is still good. You can run, and running is great for your body. Find new ways to run when your body gives up running. Be curious about what it is that is good about running, and try to find that in other areas of your life. What is it in your life that is good right now, and what’s good about it?
Be curious. One who is constantly finding new ways to discover goodness, to experience love and relationship, to experience God, that is a happy person. Love is good. Being loved is good. It gives you courage to love. It gives you hope to be loved. You can someday arrive at a situation in which you cannot love the same way you used to. I think the betrayals and wounds I have experienced have changed the way I love. I am not the same person I used to be, I cannot love the way I did when I was 18 and thought the way an 18 year old thought. I don’t trust with the same thoughts in mind, I trust with very different thoughts, those that are products of my history. And so I find new ways to trust, because trust is good. I find new ways to love, because I am compelled to love.
Sometimes I find that people don’t like to be loved the way I like to be loved. So I am curious about them, and I find ways that they will receive love. There are so many newer, even better ways to love that I am constantly discovering. Some people want to be touched, some want to be heard to the bitter end of their meandering stories, some people want their loneliness interrupted. Some people prefer a father figure, or a brother figure, or a yes-man. Love is good, when it is good love.
You might become a paraplegic. You might die. You might end up broke. How then do you love when you are physically, emotionally, relationally incapable of loving the way you did before? You cannot love in and about life without some appendages, some truths about yourself, without some feeling. When a way to love is lost, you are able to love again in another way, and this is the healing of your life. Restoring one’s ability to love after an injury to their heart and soul is true healing.
How are you healed? To be healed, I think, is when you are able to love again. Life after a loss, like a breakup or a job loss or a death, becomes life again when you are able to love in a new way. That job, person, relationship may not come back, but then you love anew. You are healed by loving again.