How do you deal with your (Mid)life’s struggles? Yes Plural ;-)
Last week I read a post about “the struggle of being you” from Nicoline Huizinga, and it made me think how we sometimes forget that we play a role in our own play “my life” and how we are wearing a mask instead of being our true self in some situations.
When I reflect on this in daily life and in my classes or therapy room, I see many people experiencing this struggle.
What I see and experience more and more, is that when we are around the age of 45-55, we start wondering: ‘Is this what I really want in life? Does my job/life-parter still match with who I have become? What about the dreams I had when I was young?’
We can start good when we are in our late teens or early twenties and we have dreams and ambitions, then somewhere life brings some issues that can get in the way and suddenly we feel that we do not control our life but that our life takes over.
We find a job, a partner, buy a house, get kids etc., I think we know the story, and it is in our thirties when we work hard to get a promotion, raise the kids...and sometimes we think that this is everything, being too busy to change, or sometimes with too much on stake to change. And still, we wonder “is this it?”
In our forties we consider that we have somehow experienced everything we can from our life, and a wish starts bubbling up. We could feel an itch to "start living again", to have new wishes and chase dreams. Usually we decide to do other type of holidays, buy another car or motorbike, change the way we look, and for the rest we actually remain the same. It is like putting a bandage on the itching spot.
Current fifties are the thirties of the past, we are having more health and energy and maybe the kids flew out and now we have the burning desire to rip off the bandage we put on, we want to live life again in a different way, an urge to reinvent ourselves, and we start wondering: ‘What is it that I really want in life? What are my dreams?’
And still, it could happen again that we find ourselves stuck, stuck in old patterns, belief systems etc that prevents us to change. The habit of living life as it is really ingrained, a nice comfort zone.
Perhaps you recognise yourself in this situation. In the past, you might have been expected to finish a certain study, to provide a solid income from a job you are good at, take care of the kids... but you don’t really like it anymore you like to 'find yourself" again.
Then you could come aware or feel that you created a beautiful and sometimes happy role play over the years. You played a role in your own play, a role that hided the real you, that hided your emotions, that covered your true desires, and pushed away your dreams.
Just imagine that you would like to develop yourself, not throwing everything away but wanting to "find yourself" again. As Nicoline said in her post, "We could say it takes a truly strong (wo)man with the courage to make changes in his or her life", and I add ... "re-finding our true self and make choices".
In order to do that, I would advice just to take a step back before jumping into action, time to reflect, take distance, observe what is good and what could be changed, and even more important what are external beliefs, values, expectations and social conventions that we made ours instead of finding our own? And if we observe those, are we really willing to change them? and, if so, what could or should be the alternative? Or do you dare to go on a journey to find out what they are?
Probably if you like to go on that journey you will come aware that there are internal built up believes that prevent us from taking action and that we will have to consider: what kind of resources do we need to make that step? Be assured we don't have to make huge changes to become more ourselves again or take the first step on that self discovery journey.
You do not need a lot of honey to sweeten up the tea and yes, sometimes we like something else than a tea and we would love to look at possibilities that are the less obvious ones. But before you burn your bridges think if this is the path you like to take, sometimes it is true that the only way to get out of our comfort zone is to burn your bridges, just like they did in the Trojan war when after a couple of years of fighting the Greeks wanted to go home and by burning the ships they had no other option that to conquer Troy.
If you like to know more about what holds you back, what neuroscience and other therapies say about this, and/or if you are willing and dare to look at yourself and start maybe even the journey, shine again and become the real you instead of continuing to playing a role in the play that you created….
at ... "Re-master yourself" program www.castorpollux.com.au/self-development.
Wishing you all the best in your personal journey,
BTW this was me 6.5 years ago a lot has changed since then ;-)