Today’s blog is fourth in a series on men and the unique way in which they experience the midlife crisis. In yesterday’s blog, we explored the ONE CAUSE and ONE CURE for the male midlife crisis. Today, we explore specific tools to help men in their journey through the midlife transition. Ironically, these tools are similar to those which are helpful for women. When the midlife crisis is navigated in the ways presented here, the outcome is the birth of the Soul – the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in your life and through which you are called to contribute to the betterment of the world.
The NUMBER ONE obstacle to successfully navigating the midlife journey is FEAR. This is true for men as well as women, but for men, this is especially problematic because of the patriarchal, hierarchical paradigm which tells them that they cannot be afraid and if they are, they had better not show it to anyone. This is especially true of the fears that arise in midlife because many of these fears are connected to men’s fear of being vulnerable. Whereas fear is shunned in the patriarchal paradigm, vulnerability is condemned. Men are NOT allowed to be vulnerable. The successful navigation of the male midlife journey includes learning how to identify, confront and transcend fear – especially the fears that are shielding your deepest, most intimate truths – and learning how to acknowledge vulnerability and then, God-forbid, ask for help.
In a culture where men are supposed to be strong, confident, in-charge, have it all together, be successful, virile, athletic, etc. etc. etc., vulnerability is a “no-no.” In this paradigm, vulnerability is either buried under a mountain of denial, or out-right rejected and demonized as something that needs to be eradicated. As such, men often develop an antagonistic relationship with vulnerability, the reaction to which is often violence and rage which then gets projected outward. The voice of the subconscious sounds something like this, “This does not feel good to me and makes me feel weak. I cannot be weak, and I cannot be vulnerable, therefore this feeling must be someone else’s fault.” Out of this silent voice then often comes raging, attempts at controlling the situation, temper tantrums, or the opposite, withdrawal and punishment by silence. None of this does anything to address the underlying vulnerability, which then begins to fester, eventually leading to another outburst. (Please note, women are equally guilty of this.)
The Only Way Out is Through
The only way out of the painful symptoms of midlife is through. In order to successfully navigate this transition and enjoy its promised gifts, you have to learn how to listen for and hear the voice of your truth, and then have the courage to be vulnerable enough to be present to these truths – many of which might be painful. Then, you have to find tools to help you heal from the buried truths of past hurts, disappointments, losses, abuse, failures, etc. Once you have begun to move through the wounds of your past, the voice of your Soul will begin to speak. Through the whispered voice of your Soul, you will discover the uniquely creative way in which you were gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in your life – and how your Soul is calling you to enjoy the next stage of your life. Then you are invited to seek tools through which you can transcend the fears that will now begin to arise in response to your Soul. Your Soul wants you to be your most magnificent and authentic self. Your ego, your false-self, however, wants you to remain in a place that is familiar and does not want you to disturb the status quo with dreams of magnificence and freedom. As such, the ego will start the battle of your lifetime by throwing up every possible fearful excuse for why you can’t possibly have the dreams of your Soul.
This is where Authentic Freedom comes in handy. Authentic Freedom is a process that I have developed to help men and women identify the fears which are serving as obstacles to the birth of their Soul. Through the process of Authentic Freedom, you are provided with effective tools for identifying and transcending these fears. Stay tuned for the next blog which will outline the philosophy and practices of Authentic Freedom, thereby setting you on the road to living the life of your Soul – meaningful, fulfilled, abundant, contented, joyful and free.
Lauri Lumby mentors men and women through the midlife transition. Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth to set up an in-person, Skype or phone session.