365 Days of Courage #3: "People may call what happens at midlife a "crisis", but it's not ..."
I absolutely adore this quote from Brene Brown. I love the freedom that comes from the thought of midlife being a time to unravel - a time when you both feel and - I hope - respond to the desperate pull to live the life you want to live. To let go of any layers of artifice or personas or habits that simply are NOT YOU. To unravel them and to let them go. So that you can uncover and embrace who you really are.
You can read the full blog post called "The Midlife Unraveling" by clicking here.
In the blog post, Brene writes:
" Midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen."
I love this perspective on midlife. This sense that "it's time to show up and be seen."
As a culture, we talk about what happens at midlife as a crisis. Which sets us up, I think, for resignation and regret. It can seem like it's too late to fulfill some of our bigger dreams.
To me, it feels more like an opportunity than a crisis. You can see the "big" birthdays as an opportunity for reflection, for re-imagining what is possible and for reinvention.
I created The Midlife Courage Project because I believe - wholeheartedly - that, at midlife, it's too late NOT to pursue some of our bigger and bolder dreams. The dreams and goals that we have kept putting off until later. Until our kids are in college, until we have a certain amount of money in the bank, until we get that promotion, until we lose those last few pounds, until we take a few more writing classes, etc etc etc.
All of those "untils" rob us of living fully in the here and now.
So, if there are things that you've always wanted to do, later is here. It's time.
How are you feeling about midlife?
Does it feel like a crisis to you or does it feel like an opportunity? It does take courage to unravel and you can't unravel overnight. But day by day, week by week, you can become more of who you really are. What one thing could you do today to let go of who you think you're supposed to be and to embrace who you are? It might be as simple as cooking a meal that you want instead of what your partner or family want? It could be carving out some time to read or to play the piano or to phone a friend you haven't talked to in for ages.
I'd love to hear what one thing comes to mind for you and I would REALLY love to hear that you did it!