While I am not resurrecting my website to promote any of my work – because I no longer offer coaching or workshops any more, but am still working (volunteering) in Grief Support and Education – I AM resurrecting my articles, as I feel compelled to write again. Hopefully others are compelled to read. 🙂
The new midlife is where you realize that even your failures make you more beautiful and are turned spiritually into success if you became a better person because of them. You became a more humble person. You became a more merciful and compassionate person. ~ Marianne Williamson
The last few years I have experienced many transitions of lifestyle, work-time and non-work time, living space and relationships with others. It’s been a process of learning and (hopefully) mental, emotional and spiritual growth. I’ve literally and figuratively got a new view on life.
The motto throughout my life from about age 15 – 55 has been one of “I have to make things happen in my life”. “Only I have the power to do what it takes to get what I want”. I identified this ‘power’ as a formula of identifying what I wanted/needed (the goal); designing a plan to getting there; and working hard to reach that desired goal. I did not believe in good luck, just timing and opportunities. I did not believe that anyone else was responsible for taking care of me or making things happen for me. I believed in independence of mind, body, and action.
This motto has been my strength, but it also has been my weakness. It has contributed to over-functioning, resentment, burnout and a certain sense of self-righteousness.
While I feel a sense of healthy pride in knowing I have and can attend to taking care of myself, things, and others when necessary, I am now reflecting as I move towards 60 years of age, that I may have pushed too hard; didn’t learn to ask for help or receive graciously; didn’t embrace the good things and times as much as I probably should have; and allowed myself to get knotted up into a ball of frustration.
Another motto I’ve had for myself is: “let go of what is not working for you in your life and you inevitably make room for what will”. I have applied this with work, relationships, living situations and health. I still stand by this motto, but over the last few years, I probably have experienced the most pain of living it.
This could be for several reasons, one being where I am in my life right now, age-wise and lifestyle-wise. It could be because that what I ‘let go of’ was everything I had worked so hard my whole life to achieve and attain. It could be because I felt I reached my pinnacle of success – as I saw it – but did not receive the wealth and accolades and glory that I thought should have come with it. Having said this, I am not extrinsically motivated, but I guess I had hoped it would have been offered more than it was.
So in all of this, I am reminded of what it is all about to be human. I am prompted by how insidious the ego-self can be in attempting to sabotage our sense of self, happiness, well-being and peace of mind. I am humbled – once again – that for however clever we can be in what we think, believe, say and do is going to provide us with some kind of expected results in the world, we still need to connect with our spirit and heart to experience true peace and joy.
Or at least this is what I feel to be true, in my humble opinion. 🙂
Chris Newell, August 5, 2018