You’re unhappy with your current situation but the fear of making any changes nothing short of petrifies you – the fear is visceral, you can actually feel your stomach turning at the mere thought of making any changes. So, you work harder and harder at keeping everything under control because you just know the chaos that would ensue if you stopped for one moment and asked yourself that very important question, the one that in my work as I coach I often see people collapse internally as I ask ……….
What do YOU want?
Well my friend, what do you want? I’m asking YOU, what YOU want, notice what I’m not asking, I’m not asking…….
- what your husband/wife/partner wants
- what your children want
- what your boss wants
- what your mother wants
- what your sister or brother want
- what society says you should want
How much does that question terrify you? Do you sense an unraveling of your life? Do you imagine a playing out of the Greek myth when Pandora opened the box when everything changed and nothing was to be the same again?
On the morning of my 40th birthday I had one of those moments – I knew to my core that I was unhappy. I was so frightened with having admitted it to myself that I hastily locked the box back up, sat firmly on it silencing the voice that every now and again let out a pained and strangled scream. The pain of squashing and silencing this voice led me one day back to my GP for the anti depressants I’d taken during my post natal depression period.
Of course they helped, they masked the symptoms well enough. I was able to function again as wife, mother, etc etc etc……… a semi functioning human being in society (I’m sure I’m not the only one). They also enabled me to silence the voice again because I wasn’t ready to listen to that voice. It took a handful more years before I was ready to listen to my voice and face up to what I knew I needed to do.
I did this surrounded by friends new and old who looked on and supported me as I allowed my life to unravel and slowly, at times painfully and other times joyfully piece it back together again. I am now happier, more alive and more ME than I’ve been in a very very long time.
What is hiding in your Pandora’s box?
Isn’t midlife the time to finally lift the lid and discover what lies hidden inside?
Don’t you owe it to yourself?
Have courage, surround yourself with those who love you unconditionally and brace yourself! It may take time but you will be loved and respected more for being you and being true. A girlfriend wrote me a wonderful email a while back and within it the compliment ‘thank you for being YOU more than anything else in your life’.
Thank you to all those who have loved and supported me in the past and continue to do so now as I continue to find my way in supporting you through midlife.
(ps unless you like the idea of Greek mythology playing out in your life, change needn’t be quite so dramatic!…………….Pace yourself!)