I said yesterday that one of the essential survival skills for the MLC was... "the ability to keep a commitment to both your self and a commitment to those you are in relationship with - even if, or especially when, those needs seem in deep conflict with each other". One of the things that can happen at the midlife juncture is the emergence of what feels like an essential conflict. The perceived conflict is between some important need of the Self and the duties, obligations, and commitments of your life. I was talking with a man recently who had a desire to be very materially successful in his business. At the same time, he firmly believed it was not possible to do that and still honor his commitment to his family. Not surprisingly, he had not yet let himself succeed in his business as to do so would, in his mind, violate his deep commitment to his family. Of course, it would be easy for him to find data to support his belief in this unavoidable conflict. Perhaps his own father sacrificed his place in the family to 'get ahead'. But my client's mission was to discover how to bring down the wall created in his own mind between the needs of self and the needs of the important others in his life. When he holds on to both, and believes it is possible, he will find a way to honor his ambition and his family life.
© Copyright David Aspenson