The time is now

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - Dr. Gwen Ran­dall-Young Psy­chol­ogy for Liv­ing Gwen Ran­dall-Young is an au­thor and award-win­ning psy­chother­a­pist.

Do you or does any­one you know worry about get­ting old? It can be quite nat­u­ral to lament the pass­ing of youth, How­ever if it is ag­o­niz­ing to think about ad­vanc­ing years, or de­press­ing to look in the mir­ror and see signs of ag­ing, then the prob­lem may run deeper.

My the­ory is that peo­ple who worry ex­ces­sively about get­ting older may do so be­cause they have not been liv­ing fully. On some level they know that they have not been liv­ing as the per­son they truly are, and that their life may have been, or is still, a com­pro­mise. They know that past years can never be re­cov­ered, and may fear that they will not have time, or may have lost the op­por­tu­nity to live life as they re­ally want.

And so the nag­ging lit­tle wor­ries about ag­ing may in fact be a sig­nal from deep within our be­ing that it is time to make some changes. It is true that life is short, and that none of us know how much time we will have for our jour­ney. It’s like the game shows – once the buzzer rings, what you have achieved is what you are left with. Only we are not talk­ing about ma­te­rial gain. Rather, the qual­ity of the life we have lived is de­ter­mined each time we make a choice. If our choices are pos­i­tive and heal­ing, then the qual­ity of our life is good. If they are neg­a­tive and destruc­tive, then the re­verse is true.

And the qual­ity can take years to change, or it can change in an in­stant, a de­ci­sion to mend a rift, re­lease a grudge and open our hearts to an­other hu­man be­ing cre­ates in­stant div­i­dends. It is like mak­ing a huge de­posit in our sav­ings ac­count. Re­gard­less of how low it has been for the pre­ced­ing months or years, one big de­posit changes things. It works the same way in our “qual­ity of life” sav­ings ac­count. Whereas it may take a lot of time to ac­cu­mu­late money, it need not take time to ac­cu­mu­late “qual­ity of life” div­i­dends. The de­ci­sion to re­lease old anger, bit­ter­ness or re­sent­ment takes only an in­stant. Re­sist­ing that de­ci­sion makes it seem like a lengthy process, but once you let go of the re­sis­tance, the de­ci­sion comes eas­ily.

I be­lieve it comes eas­ily be­cause deep down, at the core of our essence, I think that we all de­sire har­mo­nious re­la­tion­ships, and to be able to give and re­ceive love. And our ca­pac­ity to give love and ex­pand our abil­ity to un­der­stand oth­ers com­pas­sion­ately is in­fi­nite.

Al­though it may sound melo­dra­matic, a good way to fo­cus on the qual­ity of your own life is to ask your­self a ques­tion: “If I were to die sud­denly to­mor­row, would I be leav­ing my re­la­tion­ships in a state that I would feel good about? Are there peo­ple in my life who would for­ever won­der if I re­ally loved them? Is the state­ment that I am mak­ing with my life the one that I re­ally mean to say?”

If it’s not, the time to start chang­ing is now.

You may only need to walk into the next room, or pick up the phone. Do it.

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