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Mid Life


For most of our lives we are taught that what we have or do defines our lives and determines our level of happiness.  The media would have us believe that a new car or the next fad or product will bring us happiness.  Other organizations would have us believe that our actions bring us happiness.  While it is true that driving a nice car and doing good things are often enjoyable, they do not guarantee our happiness.  Consider the many who have acquired much or have accomplished  many good acts and are still unhappy.  The wealthy who are never satisfied or the perfectionist that lives in guilt.  A midlife crisis is that point in a person's life when they realize that their efforts to acquire or earn happiness are not working.  This usually occurs to individuals who are in their late 40s or 50s.  A change in perspective and priorities is in order.  However, change can be challenging for most people.  Each time we experience life changes it is natural to experience loss and grieve as we learn to accept these changes.  Identifying this process can help you and loved ones recognize where they are in this process of adjusting.


1. Avoidance / Denial -

The first among the stages of midlife crisis consequences is the denial stage.  It is that point in life when the sufferer is not able to accept that they are changing as they get older and that happiness is never constant. Some avoid these realities by having cosmetic surgeries, over dressing, buying more toys, lying about their age, avoiding doctors for health issues, and other similar behaviors.   ‘If I could just look younger, if I could just own more, if I could just do more - then I will be happy again!!!’

2. Anger -

Anger surfaces when our efforts to control what is out of our control fail.  Some may blame themselves creating more anger.  Often this leads to blaming others (or God) for our lack of happiness. When unmanaged these feelings can lead to offending and hurting others.  Unfortunately some begin looking for new relationships and have extra marital affairs which causes broken hearts and homes.  Counseling can be especially helpful at learning to manage such emotions and behaviors.  

3. Sadness / Withdrawal -

Sadness is actually a sign of letting go of the past and prepares the person for the process of acceptance.  However, many people have developed the unhealthy belief that sadness is a sign of weakness.  This can lead to feeling ashamed.  As a result it is common for people to isolate themselves and avoid asking for help at a time when they may need it the most.  The truth is that asking for help and accepting one’s sadness is a great sign of courage and should be accepted with love and patience.  Even if this means allowing them space to grieve in their own manner.  

4. Acceptance -

Here people begin to accept the trials and changes they have been through without regrets.  They realize that they can handle the natural flow of emotions and life changes without judging them as good or bad.  This marks a more positive change in their life.  Now, they are more broad-minded individuals who are more prepared to face life with a new and optimistic point of view.  Here they learn that having and doing do not lead to happiness.  But rather, being happy is a choice that shapes how they feel and what they do and have.

What brings us happiness?