Men age hot. Women do not. (seriously?)

8 May

Older men (think Sean Connery) look ‘hot’ as they age, women tend to hide (think many female movie stars in general, Ava Gardner in particular.)

Never really thought about this before, just accepted it as fact- along with the biological explanation that goes something like this: women have a birth-window shelf-life, after which they become less attractive, while men remain virile, all their lives, which is attractive. Hmmmm.  Ok.

Last night, I had a really odd thought about this.

Before I mention it, however, some background on my input prior to this odd little thought:

In a gathering of women, we discussed the need for women to care for themselves. We talked about how we look after everyone and everything else, allowing little or no opportunities for self-nourishing. We felt that as women, we are often told, parentally or culturally, that we are here to care for others first- including grown adult males and adult children and to not do so is considered selfish and self-indulgent. We talked about being taught to think that ‘caring for’ someone is the same as ‘taking care of’ someone.

Caring for someone is about valuing the other person, being supportive of their well being and empathizing with them. Caring comes from a self-empowered, loving, and full filled state of being. Since we are full, naturally, we can give. It is energy-increasing, feels good and is often spontaneous in its expression. It is delight-full.

Taking care of someone means taking responsibility – away from them. In certain instances, this is appropriate- obviously infants and small children need someone to take care of them. We appropriately take care of those who are  sick, or  when someone  is temporarily less capable of taking responsibility, we can step in to help. Ideally, when they are back to their capable selves, we give them back the reins.

More often than not, however, taking care of someone is really about our needs. We do it in order to feel loved. Or in order to feel worthy or adequate, powerful, safe; in control. We do not use these words to describe ourselves. Instead of working on creating a powerful, centered and graceful self, we rely on others to provide this for us. We become dependent and subservient instead of beautiful, strong, and independent. We dis-empower ourselves and discourage the other from finding their own inner power and direction.

This siphons off our energy big time. Nothing flows. It is hard, unnatural work.

We are exhausted. We are vulnerable, depleted and weak. Resentment, anger and depression settle in for the long haul.

Seriously? So is it really all about adrenal failure, our thyroid, ~menopause~, anxiety, irritability, stress, fear of aging, depression, brain fog, weight gain, loss of sex appeal, becoming invisible and the other host of woes that we are told go with aging? Possibly. Certainly these are real issues. I have many of them.

Yet…

We are exhausted. We are vulnerable, depleted and weak. Resentment, anger and depression settle in for the long haul.

What if we could move beyond this exhaustion? What if we chose to re-claim our feminine power? What if we just stopped taking care of those who do not really need our help? What if we focused that time and energy on helping ourselves? What would happen if we became strong, powerful and self-loving? What would happen if women like us grew in number? What if aging was seen as an increase in our awareness of our own inner power? A power that is beginning to show itself more clearly for the first time in our lives – or for the first time in millennia?

What if we put ourselves first and made the filling of our own deep dry wells our first priority? I wonder – would many of our symptoms diminish or even disappear? I don’t know for sure. I’ve never tried it. I’m guessing that filling myself with love, security and a powerful sense of my own worth and value won’t hurt me. And passing this energy on to others also strikes me as beneficial.

If you are still on the fence, with the old voices whining out to you about your selfishness and worthlessness, just remember that stereotypically, women are nurturing, caring and giving. There. See? That implies that once we have taken good care of ourselves, we will do what we do best- give it all back. Hurrah! A win-win.

We can only give what we have. This holds true for every man, woman and child. We as women are no different. (Except when we are expected by ourselves and our culture to give continuously, even when we have been on empty for years.)

So let’s do this ladies.  Let’s reclaim our power. Let’s stop putting everyone else first. Let’s stop binding our own feet- enslaving ourselves to an outdated, outworn belief system that is at worst killing our spirit and at best aging us prematurely.

That reminds me of the really odd thought I had last night. What if women age poorly because we are not cared for? We can take care of ourselves just fine – but can we care for ourselves? Can we love ourselves into the creative, amazing life-giving vessels that we are?

Let’s try.

One Response to “Men age hot. Women do not. (seriously?)”

  1. Bruce May 29, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    Thoughtful musing. Yes, by all means, care for yourself. Yoga and meditation come immediately to mind. And it is good not to forget one of the most basic laws of the universe;
    Like beget Like, or Give and You Shall Receive. Give love and you shall receive love.
    Give joy and receive joy. Give indifference and you shall receive indifference. Care for yourself, yes, but not to the extent that you neglect others. Everyone is beautiful.

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