Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Tremendous Tension of Midlife: How Do You Cope?

"Would you say that in many respects you have put together a pretty good life? Would you also acknowledge that in the midst of that life you are now living - you have a deep and inescapable sense that there is something vital for you to live- that you are not yet living? Can you relate to the well known statement of Dante: "In the middle of the journey of my life, I came to myself within a dark wood where the straightway was utterly lost." If you can, you may be experiencing what I call the tremendous tension of midlife. I am using ‘tremendous’ in both meanings of the word - tremendous as in a very large amount and tremendous as in really, really great. I would like to offer you some unique perspective on what a truly tremendous benefit the tension of mid life holds. At stake at this crossroads are the most important and significant matters that one can engage over the course of their life. How you navigate this tremendous tension has the potential to leave you dashed on the rocks. Or it can help you open a way to the deep satisfaction and joy that emerge as you begin to walk on the path that is only yours to walk. Whether you consider yourself a candidate for the crisis of midlife or someone close to you is in its grip, I’d like to offer you a positive and practical understanding of the experience."

To learn more about coping with midlife crisis, be sure to read the entire article.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Surviving the Midlife Crisis

"Rise in Suicides of Middle-Aged Is Continuing - NYTimes.com: "Rise in Suicides of Middle-Aged Is Continuing
By PATRICIA COHEN
Published: June 4, 2010
...
For the second year in a row, middle-aged adults have registered the highest suicide rate in the country, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "

I saw this article recently in a Psychology Today Blog called the "New Mid-Life Crisis" and found it alarming.

I don't think I am being over dramatic when I say there are very high stakes at play in the crisis of mid-life. We don't ever really know why someone takes their own life, even if they leave a note. To say they are depressed is not really saying much at all. There are some real hazards of not finding a way to successfully navigate the crisis of midlife. And suicide may well be one. There are others less dramatic, but no less far reaching or painful for everyone involved. Living requires some hope and positive expectation for the future. If, as we get on in years, we imagine and project the life we are currently living out into our future - and it does not feel good...that is a crisis. If it feels so bad we can not imagine even going on, or we feel trapped in a life from which can neither stand or escape, it it is time to seek help. The crisis of midlife does have tremendous potential for helping us find our own path, but to get there - we do need to survive.

Welcome to Midlife Crisis Help

Welcome to Midlife Crisis Help. This blog is for anyone grappling with the unique and important challenges of Midlife. "Midlife" is not meant literally as who knows if they are in the middle of their life or how much time clock time we have left to keep breathing here. Midlife is more of a metaphor that describes an important juncture on our way to figuring out how to welcome the full expression of the life we are meant to live. We might also encounter more than one such critical junctures. I have been reflecting deeply on the nature of this crisis for a number of years. My interest is driven by attempting to understand my own experience as well as the experience of those who I have worked with as a professional psychologist.

I believe there are a number of vital and far reaching matters that are at stake in what is commonly referred to as a 'midlife crisis'. There are hazards to be avoided if we are going to survive our crisis with a sense of integrity and sanity. And there are tremendous benefits to successfully navigating our way when confronted with an inescapable crisis. My intention for this blog is that be a help and resource to those on the midlife journey.