I am going to be 46 years-old on April 26, 1998. I have a gorgeous husband and 3 year-old son, not to mention a successful career as an actress, stuntwoman, nutritional author, and producer. I train six days a week in the gym and I enjoy wearing spandex pants and tank tops. I was kickboxing and lifting weights the day my water broke, and my life is filled with positive energy. I am a food-combining vegan and I jump at the chance to run seven miles at a time, snow ski, water ski, horseback ride, precision drive a car, play the piano, and oil paint. I can either look at my life as being half over or just beginning. I cringe when I hear people say “act your age.”
Who, exactly, sets the rules for the proper behavior of particular age groups? If you ask me, people should spend a little less time on what other people are doing and spend a little more time working on themselves. When I go out for acting roles, casting directors always tell me that I look too young to play the part of a 45 year-old woman or that I don’t look like anybody’s mom. How ridiculous! I am 45 and I am a mom. Wake up people!
Throughout my life, no matter what I have undertaken, I have always tried to follow in the footsteps of those that had already walked the lonely path to success within that particular field. I have always respected the masters of a craft, those that have gone the extra mile, weathered the weather, coming out victorious in their efforts. Then why, when it comes to the hiring in today’s times, is society so convinced that only the youth of the world has all the creative syrup just dripping off of them? Doesn’t wine taste better with age?
And, you know what? Who are we, really? If you ask me, with the exception of a selected few, people, in general, are nothing more than a plethora of learned behavior, and they are not who or what they think they are. It is so clear to me now, that from the time of birth, humankind becomes a conditioned species. It is conditioned by family, friends, enemies, peers, the media, you name it. I believe, however, that in actuality, we are all incredible glowing lights of energy, full of love and kindness, with the ability to connect in a positive manner with everybody and everything around us. But we seem to have forgotten who and what we really are, and by doing so, we have become an egoistic bi-ped that seems to thrive on fear, pride, frustration, anger, anxiety, hate, etc.
I know, myself, that I was born into a highly dysfunctional family that had no idea just how dysfunctional they really were. In fact, during the 50’s and 60’s the average person would have thought that we were living the American dream. We lived in a beautiful, upper-middle class house and we had everything we needed on a practical level, even more. My father was a brilliant man, the first bioanalyst in the State of California, who had all the respect from his friends and colleagues that he could possibly ask for, yet he drank like a leprechaun to escape the pain and struggle of the very life that he had created for himself. He ultimately committed suicide in order to relieve himself of the unbearable pain that he experienced from complications due to an incurable disease.
My mother, now 85, grew up in an unloving environment, and when she couldn’t take her father’s alcoholic binges any longer, she left her home town at a young age to tackle life on her own. The problem was, she had to take the already conditioned “her” with her. You can take an Iowan out of Iowa, but you can’t take the Iowa out of an Iowan. My mother has ended up enjoying great financial success, but I wouldn’t say she is really a happy person. She is well-intended, but is extremely close-minded. We are talking about a woman who thinks that any man whose hair touches his ears is a good-for-nothing bum, regardless of how he lives his life or how much talent he has. Like most of us, she is very quick to judge others by her own standards. How limiting, how unfortunate.
The bottom line is, we need to begin to peel away the false layers of conditioned behavior that cover the real us. Society has really done a number to our heads along the way, which brings to mind how the word hag once meant the wise old woman or mid-wife of the village. The male ego eventually felt threatened by the hag’s place in society, and it got to the point where the politicians of the village were unable to make any real changes in their community without the hag’s permission. The lawmakers could not take it any longer, so they eventually launched an aggressive campaign to discredit the hag. From that point on, the powers that be portrayed the hag in folklore and drawings as an ugly old witch with a big hook nose who had the power to disguise herself as a young, beautiful wench. This, of course, gave man his power back and the leeway to examine, accuse, and ultimately torture and punish women who wouldn’t do what they wanted them to do. If necessary, they would even burn them at the stake to make their point, the hag and all of her wisdom eventually fading into the ether.
I find it interesting that ancient Chinese scriptures referred to God as a Goddess, a life-giving deity full of beauty, gentleness, tenderness, and kindness. Hence, the seed-bearing metaphor of Mother Earth. And even today, Quan Yin (the Goddess of Mercy) has a huge following called the Quan Yin Method. I am not trying to male bash here, but I do believe it is quite evident that the male ego over the course of history has competed with itself as to whose club or stick was bigger. This, in turn, has resulted in a number of atrocities, including world wars. If it was up to most of the moms of the world, I would be willing to bet that they would sooner give their sons a “time out” then to send them into battle, risking the possibility of visiting their kid in some V.A. cemetery somewhere. Over the millenniums, men have controlled the writings, rules and regulations of society, and what was once referred to as the word “she” in the doctrine of mankind has slowly become the word “he.” But the truth of the matter is that the real us, the soul, has no gender whatsoever.
I also find it curious that modern man has set sort of a life curve for women, whether they like it or not. As a young woman, it seems we are allowed to soar, but when we hit a certain age we are supposed to slow down. We are suddenly forced to fit into a mold that is somewhat useless. But what happens when we hit the big 50 and we still feel 18? What then? What if we want to go to the gym, wear a sexy bathing suit, wear short skirts, or maybe even have a baby? Is it right for society to judge us, to tell us to act our age? I mean, what if it has taken us a half-century to come out, to bloom, to come into our own? Should we be discarded like rotting meat?
The ego thrives off of negative energy, the soul off of unconditional love and acceptance. It’s that simple, and we need to return to our God-like essence, taking our spiritual power back as we learn to live life inspired for eternity.