Saturday, September 18, 2010

How to have Peace with a Midlife Crisis

A Crisis in the Making

What is a midlife crisis? Is it real? If so, does it mean you have to make major life changes to get through it? Read my blog to learn the truth. You may be surprised!

Do we have a crisis because that is what everyone else has? Like getting the fancier car because the neighbor just got a new car. Do we label others with a crisis like the “midlife crisis?”

I have thought about this; gone through what could be labeled as a midlife crisis; coached clients who said they were going through a midlife crisis and read many articles about the signs of midlife crisis.

The term midlife crisis is a label, and it has no solution. I see it as a negative label with the message saying, “Just get over yourself” or “Just forget about it” or “Your life will be better when all the things around you – career, relationships, health and finances – get better.”

This is the first delusion. A crisis is not happening because of anyone or anything outside of you. The crisis is just YOU. So let’s get real and learn why we have crises. When we know the why, what and how, we can shift to healing what we have labeled a crisis.

How did the crisis come to be? I believe it started in the beginning of our life journeys. As a child, we are given the answers and told what to do and when to do it. As a teenager, we are expected to know what to do and how to do it. Then, comes the spreading of our wings – we are expected to know how to fly, but our teen years were not spent on Life Flying Lessons, so we spend a few years falling down and getting up again.

We go to college or dedicate ourselves to a career, and by our mid-twenties, we are feeling good about ourselves. By thirty, we have most likely found a life partner and even started a family. We feel a sense of relief – the spotlight is not shining on us. We have arrived, and our Ego says its time to sit back and go to sleep. “You have made it. You have done what all the elders have asked you to do. You have a career and a family. Now it’s time to take a break.”

Then we arrive in our late thirties or early forties, and start to wake up from the coma – the break our Ego told us to take – and we say, “What’s going on? I am alive, but I am not living. I want more out of life than this. It must be my career, my job or my relationship that did this to me.”

Then our mind races, dances and fills itself with thoughts of the Ego, “Life would be better if I was not in this relationship, career or job.” At this moment, we have a chance to own our responsibility and clean up our life. Often that means staying in the career, job or relationship while we clean up ourselves.

Why do we have crises? I believe we have them because we are not congruent in our life. To be congruent, our thoughts, words and actions need to be in line with one another. One of the ways we are incongruent is when we divert into someone else’s life by fixing and enabling them. When we divert onto someone else’s life journey, we are not present in our own life. Our soul goes into a coma, and we live in someone else’s life. Then one day we wake up and say, “What’s going on? What am I doing in life?” We blame the person whose life we diverted into, and Ego thoughts start developing, “He/she controlled me, made me do things I don’t want to do, and held me back from my dreams.” These are thoughts of the Ego with judgment and martyr written all over them. Then we say, “There has to be more out of life than what my life is right now.”

This brings me to the “what.” What is a crisis? A crisis is when we decide we want our life to be different than it has been. Having a crisis does not mean we should end a relationship, quit a job, change a career or move to a new town or state. We hear people say it all the time, “Oh, they got a divorce because he/she was going through a midlife crisis.” What really happened is that person woke up and said, “For the last 15 years I have done everything they have wanted, and I am not living the life I want.” As a result, they think they must leave the relationship, job or career to enjoy life. But, the truth is that leaving is not the action that will make the crisis go away. And, leaving without realizing our responsibility in the crisis will only create the pattern again in another relationship, job or career.

If you think you’re having a crisis, I will be happy to coach you through it. Call me at 239-253-2884 or email me at

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