Midlife is a Crossroads, Not a Crisis

Written by Dr. Jim Manganiello


MIDLIFE IS A CROSSROADSóNOT A CRISIS Part one © Manganielloóall rights reserved 2003

The common notion of "midlife crisis" refers torepparttar feelings of stress, chaos and disequilibrium that typically accompany this special stage in our lives.

The turmoil of midlife usually enters into our consciousness as anxiety over who we are. It is better to think of midlife as a psychological and spiritual time rather than a biological one. Some people enter this important stage at 30 others at 70.

The key to transforming midlife stress into depth and meaning is to understand that midlife is not a crisis at allóitís a crossroads ofrepparttar 126236 soul, a crossroads thatís too often misunderstood and unacknowledged.

During adolescence we go through a development change called puberty, a change thatís clearly recognized because itís physical and so visible. At midlife we go through an even more powerful developmental stage, but itís primarily an inner one. Because this stage isnít visible, it often goes unrecognized and unacknowledged for what it truly is.

At midlife our soul thrusts an important question at us: Will we come home to our deeper identity and liverepparttar 126237 second half of our lives asrepparttar 126238 real thing or as a dress rehearsal? Midlife chaos comes as a result of our soulís efforts to liberate us from a conditioned identity thatís too small for who we truly are.

During midlife we encounter a natural movement from within ourselves to leave our surface identity and journey to our innermost identityóthe Heart. This movement often meets with strong resistance from internal forces that naturally seek safety by maintainingrepparttar 126239 status quo. These forces need to be educated to seerepparttar 126240 big picture so they can become allies in helping us to grow and Craftrepparttar 126241 Good Life.

Midlife changes require us to leave known for foreign territory. They can be a changes filled with doubt and fear. They involve experiences of turmoil and inner stretching that, if negotiated properly, can yield something of enduring value. Itís as if our identity loses its solid ground while we are in movement between different possibilities within ourselves.

During midlife confusion we occupy a psychological location that is like being on a suspension bridge. Any emotional upheaval is like a strong wind that can leave us feeling out of control asrepparttar 126242 familiar images that have defined us inrepparttar 126243 past no longer seem fixed, stable and reliable.

If we resist change and rigidly hold on to our old self-image, we runrepparttar 126244 risk of livingrepparttar 126245 second half of our lives confined to an identity that has trouble taking advantage of life's deeper opportunities. We can then develop a kind of chronic dread about having to face growing old and inevitably having to die. This dread steals lifeís bright colors and makes it something that we merely endure rather than live with any vibrancy or passion.

Control, Helplessness, and Love

Written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.


The following article is offered for free use in your ezine, print publication or on your web site, so long asrepparttar author resource box atrepparttar 126235 end is included. Notification of publication would be appreciated.

Title: Control, Helplessness, and Love Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: margaret@innerbonding.com Copyright: © 2003 by Margaret Paul Web Address: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 1092 Category: Relationships, Emotional Healing

CONTROL, HELPLESSNESS, AND LOVE By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

During my 35 years of counseling individuals, couples, families and business partners, I have discovered that an important purpose of our controlling behavior in our relationships is to avoidrepparttar 126236 feeling of helplessness. One ofrepparttar 126237 hardest feelings to feel is helplessness. Most of us are unwilling to even know what we are and are not helpless over. Our controlling behavior toward others generally comes from our unwillingness to accept our helplessness over others' feelings and behavior. We do not want to know that we are helpless over whether another chooses to be loving and accepting toward us or judgmental and rejecting toward us.

If we truly accepted our helplessness over others, would we continue to get angry at them? Would we continue to blame, to judge, shame, criticize? Would we continue to comply, or to be nice instead of honest? If we truly accepted our helplessness over whether others loved us and accepted us, would we work so hard to prove our worth to others?

Sometimes - because we often manage to have control over getting approval or avoiding disapproval - we may confuse approval with love and think we can have control over getting love. But love is always a gift freely given with no strings attached. We may receive attention and approval when we try to control getting love from another, but that is generally short-lived and not fulfilling.

Moving beyond our controlling behavior, as well as our core shame (the belief that we are inherently bad, inadequate, unlovable, unworthy, not good enough), happens easily and naturally once we fully accept our helplessness over others' intention to be open or closed, loving or unloving, accepting or judgmental. Our core shame is one of our deepest, oldest false beliefs and one of our oldest protections against our feelings of helplessness. Our shame gives usrepparttar 126238 illusion of power over others: that is, we tell ourselves that if we are not being loved because we are not good enough, we can continue to strive to be good enough and then we will have control over gettingrepparttar 126239 love we want. Believing in our core shame allows us to believe that we cause others to be unloving to us, that it is our fault when others are unloving because we are not good enough. It takes us out ofrepparttar 126240 truth of our helplessness and into a sense of control - if only we change ourselves we can then change others. This illusion of control over other people's feelings about us is difficult for most people to give up.

Paradoxically, accepting our helplessness over others leads us to our personal power. Once we fully accept that we cannot have control over others loving us and taking care of us, we may then finally decide to learn how to take care of our own feelings and needs.. This major step moves us out of being victims of others' choices and into control over our own lives, which is what we do have control over. We do have control over our own intent to learn about loving ourselves and others, or protect against pain with some from of controlling behavior. You will feel incredibly empowered once you fully accept your helplessness over others. Try it! For one week, try throughoutrepparttar 126241 day reminding yourself that you are helpless over others' feelings and behavior. You will be astounded atrepparttar 126242 results!

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