Yesterday I woke to a pink sky and ivy covered heart—nice surprises for a birthday girl. I don’t feel old on the inside, but cataract surgery next month confirms the aging of my body.
Aging people tend to talk freely about pain and body problems. It usually starts around age 40 and gets worse as we grow older. You don’t hear people talk much about the pain of their souls. People avoid talking about the problems of their mind and emotions.
The inability to read road signs caused me to focus on my eye problem and seek help, thus the upcoming cataract surgery. Two years ago the intense pain of a broken foot required my undivided attention and a trip to the surgery center. The three-month recovery was not pain free either. I’ll be happy to tell you more about these problems. However, I don’t talk much about the emotional pain I’ve experienced in life.
Body pain vs. soul pain
Physical pain causes us to focus on what is causing the pain and call a doctor. However, when it comes to emotional and relational health, people tend to avoid the pain by focusing on anything other than the source of the pain. I have the tendency to be a great avoider, and I don’t always read soul and spirit pain as indicators of ill health. Rather, I interpret my pain as someone else’s immaturity invading my life.
Why do we think we can handle emotional and relational pain on our own? Why work on emotional problems when a night out with friends will ease the pain? True, a night out will distract us, but our distraction won’t heal the problem.
Emotional pain is there for a reason—it indicates ill health demanding our attention. Avoiding the pain can seriously compromise the health of soul and spirit and cause us greater pain in the future. This results in an immature person walking through heaven’s gates.
Healthy aging involves your soul and spirit
The cells that make up my body will die. My soul and spirit will live on. I’m making sure my soul and spirit aren’t breaking down–they are building up—maturing and growing. I’m seeking to respond to emotional and relational pain by focusing on the problem, finding the Lord’s grace and instruction, and obeying. Input from others who are wiser helps with understanding and applying the Lord’s directions.
The soul and spirit are destined for eternity future and designed to age well—healthier, wiser, and with sparkle. I’ve seen enough maturity to know my mind and spirit are aging in ways that will carry health and wisdom over into eternity future. Not a lot, but the indications for wisdom replacing immaturity are evident.
Any thoughts, ideas, or pain prescriptions for aging?
How well are you aging?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis