If you or someone you know is having a midlife crisis, then you may want to know how to properly deal with it. This period in a person's life is extremely dangerous. They can become depressed, disillusioned with life, and even quit things or relationships they should not.
Primarily, a midlife crisis is caused by two realizations:
1. The realization that they haven't accomplished much or anything that is truly worthwhile.
2. The realization that they probably have fewer years ahead of them then they do behind them. And that they are no longer as capable as they once were as a younger person.
In many cases, the realizations are true. Many, many people waste their youth in frivolity, carelessness, and wastefulness. But being stuck on your past mistakes is even a worse mistake.
DON'T LET THE PAST DOMINATE YOUR PRESENT OR YOUR FUTURE
In ancient Roman times, the Romans developed a rather disgusting form of torture and execution. They would tie the condemned torso to torso, mouth to mouth, hands to hands, and feet to feet with someone already dead. As the corpse began to decay, it killed the living in a truly foul way. This will serve to give you a picture of what it is like to be tied to your past.
Learn from the past; plan for the future; but live in the now. It's a great model to live your life by.
Being tied down by your past is a mistake that is bound to poison your present and future. At some point, you need to realize that there is nothing you can do about it, and let it go. Oh, don't forget to learn all the lessons you can from your past, but don't tie yourself to it.
FIND A REASON TO LOOK FORWARD
Growing old does not have to be an unpleasant experience. We make it so, by not finding something to look forward to. If your best years are behind you-and that is what our society teaches-then you'll not look forward to the years you have left.
I'm looking forward to growing old with my wife, spoiling grandchildren I don't have yet, serving my God, and one day seeing my Saviour face to face. These are a very few things that I'm looking forward to.
Looking forward means you don't have time to waste on regrets and what you should or should not have done when younger. There was a point, when you were a child that you couldn't wait to grow up and be an adult. We look back on that with regret because time went by so quickly and so fast. But at the time, you looked forward to something, and looking forward gave you great motivation and energy.
There are many things in life that you can look forward to as you grow older. I am making plans now, as a younger man, as to what I will or can do when I am older. I am actually looking forward to many of them.
LIVE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES
There is nothing more annoying than a fifty-five year old man or woman trying to be a teenager. It is not only ridiculous, but sad too. More than likely you won't have the strength, stamina, or the agility you once did. That is not a reason to panic or fall into a depression. That is life.
But it does open up other avenues for you. Knowledge, wisdom, and experience are incredibly important tools at your disposal. Use them. There is a man in our Church who is in his eighties. He can't see like he once did, he can't move like he once did, and he can't do the things he once did. But he has found a unique place in our Church. He is highly sought after for his experience, wisdom, and knowledge. He has the ability to put people at ease, has a great sense of humor, and is a highly valued member of our Church.
You, like he has, need to find a place in life that fits your circumstance. Another dear man in our Church has reached the seventy mark a few years back. He has a real passion for the Lord and Church work, but he just can't do everything he once did. He has developed a unique ministry in our Church that no one else can perform. His ministry is me, his pastor. There is no one else in our church that does what he does for me. I've come to rely upon the greatness of his experience, wisdom, and friendship. And through that ministry, he has affected many, many people in a positive way.
And there is a place for you too. You don't have to relive your past, or redo you past, or live like you did twenty or thirty years ago. Where you are in life is where you are. Use it. Find your place.
Life will be much more enjoyable, and you'll beat that midlife crisis.
Greg S. Baker is a Pastor, Counselor, and Author specializing in building and strengthening relationships.
Please visit our website at: http://www.fitlyspoken.org
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