The adage, “youth is wasted on the young,” has been coming up a lot lately, in my thoughts, in my meditations and in some of my discussions. When you are young, you hear this and discount it. The young are strong, opinionated, immortal, invincible, and not as stuck in our ways as you oldies. The young are physically able, strong and without the aches and pains that age, weight etc puts on our joints. So to many, there is nothing wasted on the young, it is us oldies who just don’t get the youth of today. It is us oldies who focus on what we cannot do anymore, what we didn’t do when we could have, what mistakes we made, and the young think “I will not be like you, I will not have regrets. I will not be a sour old person.”
Although those feelings are all true, there is something missing in many of us we are young, that causes us to feel this way. At a younger age, we seem to lack true wisdom even if we are intelligent. We seem to lack a complete understanding of who we are, what made us and how we can change. We seem to think we are who we are, versus, who can we become. We seem to accept whatever traumas we have in our life as it is without understanding what it may have done to the stories we have created and validated about us. We don’t even understand the idea of healing issues. We seem to focus on priorities that are never really about who we are, they are about what we want. We want to go to college or not. We want to make a lot of money or get a job to get out of our parents house with all the rules. We want to get married and have children, or we are expected to do so. We want, we want, we want. Many equate happiness with all that we want in our life. Without that partner, without that job, without that house, we won’t be happy.
And so as youth, we chase happiness. We chase the next goal. We convince ourselves that we are goal oriented which means we are always focused on the next thing instead of finding gratitude in where we are, gratitude in our journey, gratitude for who we are.
As we age, we begin to better understand what created some of our beliefs, our lens that we look through and therefore our behaviors. By truly understanding them, we can begin to heal some of the wounds that we have. Wounds that have created our self-talk, our self-image, our self. We begin to understand how our behavior may have affected things throughout our lifetime. And no, we don’t regrets, we have understanding that the person today would not behave that way. The person we are today would have self-compassion as well as understanding and would have approached situations differently. We begin to understand the person we are now and become much more comfortable with who that is and who that is evolving to, as we are more focused on evolving as a person, of growing, healing and being who we want to be regardless of where we live, where we live and who we are with.
What if we took all that we have learned and enhance our life today without the regrets of yesterday? What if instead of wishing we had used this wisdom then, we just use it now? What would be different? What if we smile at those who have their entire life ahead of us, and perhaps help them to see what being evolved, being comfortable with who they are looks like so they get there far quicker than we may have. I remember a cousin of mine when she was about 30, saying to me that it took her 30 years to finally love herself. I actually laughed and said “good for you!” She looked at me like I was nuts and shared, “it took me 50 and I’m still not there all of the time.”
Perhaps, youth is wasted on the young, given the physical body and the opportunities that lie ahead. The wisdom we get with experience and age enhances us. I wouldn’t give up my journey for anything. It has made me stronger, more comfortable with who I am today and most of all I have finally found happiness within instead of searching for it in every person or opportunity I have had. I may be on the “back 9” of my life, but this will be the best part because of who I have evolved into, who I want to be and that none of it is dependent on another person.
Don’t let youth be wasted on the young, accept we are not young but we are wise. We are comfortable with ourselves. We are where we are supposed to be.