Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Victim or Witness

...a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim.
                                                              Maya Angelou*

Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.
                                                       Amit Ray**

Internalized ageism continues to gnaw at me. Self-rejecting language tells me “I'm old, invisible and irrelevant.” The culture supports this belief as evidenced by a media that rarely reflects images of naturally aging olders – unless in ads for medication or adult diapers. All this contributes to rampant ageism as well as feeds our own internalized ageism.

Internalized ageism is a culprit that shrouds the recognition of our true being beyond age. It came to me that I am experiencing myself as a victim – a victim of the culture's ageism (and sexism). My victimhood plays out with abusive ageist self-talk. Added to this, the internalized voice of sexism shouting: “Because you're old, you're unattractive and undesirable.”

Labeling myself as a victim and blaming (victims always blame) the culture for this was a rude awakening.  Each of us know within that we are more than the appearance we present to the world. A victim becomes powerful when s/he reconnects with that deeper place within, beyond the image we present to the world, that is the essence of each of us – and thus something shifted.   I experienced myself as a witness. A witness to the culture's ageism and sexism.

Language is powerful.  Being a witness shifted my attitude.  It is healing. And, yes, I  flip back and forth. I find in Life's journey – nothing is permanent – we are each a work in progress. But this shift in language has softened the aging journey for me – at least for today.



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