Perhaps there are some biological changes that go on as we grow older, however my experience has taught me that those years we call mid-life are often when most of us begin to be uncomfortable with the direction our lives are taking.
Welcome to the Third Age!
We know there must be more than this! We begin to self-inquire and often are confronted by our own stuff; the stuff that isn’t working, and somehow it seems we are powerless to choose another course of action.
Fear rears its ugly head. Some of us are afraid to change. We become anxious about the future.
What ever happened to “living in the present?”
We all have decisive and critical moments from time to time. A crisis or two now and then perhaps, but a crisis that ongoingly occupies an important part of our mid-life? Certainly we have learned by now that crises take our attention off of living life to its fullest. . . moment by moment.
It may even begin to dawn on us that we might be more than a bit responsible for what is happening to us right now. It is what we do differently to move us past these times that make the difference. Some people choose to hide out from life and do nothing. They quit trying. Seemingly puzzled, they watch life pass them by and wonder why.
The wise ones make some new choices. They begin to do something different.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate to the task.
We begin to understand that this could be true.
In her book, “Return to Love,” Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure!” That is scary for most of us. We notice that going for the small stuff or staying the same doesn’t serve us or the world very well anymore. Not that it ever did.
We notice when our needs are not being met and we are often doing little to help fulfill the needs of those closest to us; the ones we say we love. We appear to be distracted and disconnected from life.
It happens to both men and women and in different ways for each. These are the unsettling years, and as they pass it is always interesting to see how long it will take us to break out of our self-imposed shell.
Perhaps a mid-life crisis is only a crisis we create, and it just happens to occur during the time we call mid-life. We are never quite sure when this is going to be and it is usually memorable. Could it be said that it is called a “mid-life crisis” because those times for many are so confusing, discouraging and relatively nonproductive.
Men often use “midlife crisis” as an excuse for any embarrassing, highly questionable activity. This might include body piercings, bad toupees, love-handle surgery, leather pants and the purchase of a sports car more expensive than their first house.
Now we know what crisis feels like. Refusing to take responsibility for our own choices, we feel relieved that we now have something on which to blame this phenomenon? Eureka! We even have a name for it!
Those who never seem to get past their fears to make new discoveries continue a so-called mid-life crisis and stay stuck in the misery they will not take responsibility for. It’s scary when we begin to understand that we are the source of our own misery. Some people never reach that understanding.
As we are liberated from our fears, we love ourselves more. We start playing big, meaning: going for more and not settling for mediocrity; putting more into life and receiving more from it. We can now recognize that there might be other options. We feel good about discovering our greatest power. . . choice. The more we experience our many choices, the more grateful we become.
Not only that, when we begin to pay attention to what we are thinking and feeling about things and do those things differently, who we are often liberates those significant others, friends and family with whom we interact.
When people can understand the feelings they are having; where they come from, what causes them, who is responsible for them, who else might have influenced how they feel or how whatever happened might have happened. . . just the facts, it becomes easier to work through their stuff and get on with creating new and exciting possibilities. Those moments of understanding are truly enlightened moments. . . welcome them.
We really are powerful beyond measure.
It’s time to demonstrate courage and love instead of fear. We all need to give ourselves permission to live our relationships powerfully. . . beyond measure.
One way is to live in the present. Live responsibly in the perfect present. Focus on now. Our true home is in the present moment. This is just one of the miracles we discover when we begin to let go of being right and all the other things that keep us living in the past. We are startled with a sense that letting go of our expectations might contribute to the cause of making the real magic of the moment appear!
Tell me what surprises you and I’ll tell you how you are thinking.
What is refreshing, healing and empowering is this present moment. What we do in it either moves us in the direction of our calling or away from it. This is it! Reach out for “right now!” Touch this moment!
When we do this, touching this moment heals and transforms our lives. The past is gone. Accept it. The future lives in the present. Accept that too. One responsible choice at a time takes us from one moment to the other. Each tiny step will take us wherever we choose to go.
Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let every activity of the moment absorb all of your interest, energy and enthusiasm.
This is our best investment in ourselves and the relationships we have with others. When we live in the present, we live longer, happier and more satisfying lives. We have longer, happier and more satisfying relationships.
This has been my experience of crises that occur during mid-life.
Get your mid-life crisis over early. First and foremost, there is no need for one when you are living the life you want to. If you do feel like your life has been a series of upsets and compromises and you want to make up for lost time, try to do it early and get it over with quickly.
I challenge you to discover what it is like to “live in the present!” Happiness, harmony and love reside there. Practice living moment by moment. Honor the opportunity you have to be a part of this very special moment. You live in it. Be present!
Knowledge is power only when we use it; for our own good and for the good of others. With it we can help others. Some have nearly lost hope and are ready to listen. They appear to be experiencing a self-created crisis somewhere during mid-life and seem to be unable to help themselves. Watch for clues that signal the opportunity to be somebody’s angel. They may only need a gentle nudge.
They too, are powerful beyond measure!
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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