Copyright © 2010 David O. Aspenson All rights reserved
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The Midlife Disaster
A crisis at midlife can be a door to greater satisfaction in all areas of life - if navigated successfully. Lately I have been thinking that when the midlife crisis is being referenced in our popular lexicon, what we are really discussing is a midlife disaster. A crisis is simply a critical juncture or turning point in life. Any crisis is stressful, but not by definition a negative event. But it is a time for paying attention. What are the distinguishing features of the midlife disaster? There are the more dramatic ones that could include the demise of a significant relationship; the loss of one's job, career, or livelihood; depression and even suicide. But there are also quieter forms of the midlife disaster. In this disaster, everything on the surface may look perfectly fine, with no major external disruptions. However in the internal world something is clearly amiss. I was talking with someone recently who knew that many years ago, without realizing it, she had abandoned something vital in her. She saw this part of her as someone wild and sensual, who many in her early world felt threatened by. As a girl she remembers just wanting to go outside and walk in the grass in her bare feet, but even that was somehow against the rules. Without any one to recognize, help, and 'bless' this energy it led her into misadventures that then locked this energy up further in guilt and regret. These conditions are ripe for creating those dramatic disasters, if the 'wild and sensual' side jumps over the fence and begins to act (or act out) without anyone looking after her. But it will be equally disastrous, in my opinion, for that force of life to remain caged within her. The bills will still get paid, the roof will remain over her head, her family's and clients needs will be tended to, but she will not feel passionate and alive.