I now live a life where I am inspired by friends of many ages – but it wasn’t always this way. I held the common belief that the older I get the more I should know. Those younger generally know less, and those older know more. Pretty straight forward and if I were to evaluate this based on life experience I could not be faulted. The younger a person was, the less ‘life experience’ they generally had.
This picture I had about life gave me my place in the scheme of things so to speak. However it was not a true place, rather one pegged in comparison or competition with others.
Firstly I always felt slightly superior to people who were younger than me. I could always pull the ‘age card’ and infer that I somehow had a greater authority because of the years on the planet spent. From this I would seek to be right and show my ‘knowledge’. This could be described as an asserted arrogance.
Secondly, I looked up to those around me who were older as they ‘knew more than me’. This often involved me giving my power over to them as they would be more likely to be right than me, as ‘what would I know’. From this I would seek attention and approval from people older than me. This could be described as an active subjugation.
Thirdly, I was constantly in comparison with those my own age to see if I was ‘cutting the mustard’ and being where I ‘should’ be in life. From this I would seek to be doing better than others, or at least appearing to be doing better. This could be described as chronic comparison.
As I re-connected to my inner-heart and lived from the wisdom I felt there, all of the above constructs and beliefs around age and where I was placed fell away. They simply did not make sense in the face of what I was feeling. Information, knowledge and experience are an important part of life of course. However wisdom is something deeper than facts and what we have done in life - it is founded on connection. So no matter what age a person is, if they are connected to their inner-heart, they have wisdom.
Our very natural state of feeling, sensing and knowing doesn’t all of a sudden appear at a certain age – it is there from the start.
Rather than being slightly dismissive of people younger than I am, seeking the approval of those older, or competing with those my own age, I now embrace the wisdom that is present within each person no matter their age. It could be the wisdom of a young child who says exactly how they feel, or that of a person going through the dying process who doesn’t have time for past hurts or hang ups. It is from this understanding that I can now learn from people who are younger than me, without the prejudice of ‘what would they know’ and I should ‘know better’. I can now share my own wisdom with people older than me without the self-doubt or need for approval that I once had. I can now be more supportive of my peers around me rather than be in competition with them.
This is a huge source of joy for me in my life, that my relationships have become more diverse through me being open to the wisdom in everyone no matter their age. This has led to a richness and depth of relationships with people from 8 to 80!
The inner-heart truly does unite us all through the wisdom it holds, a universal quality that goes deeper than time and years.
How glorious that we can connect to this at any time in our lives.
Sarah B., NSW Australia