I was listening to a radio programme the other day in which a group of women were discussing what midlife meant to them and how they were dealing with all the major changes that we as women have to face at this stage in our lives – coping with the changes that are taking place in our bodies, the inevitable breakdown of our family unit as we know it as our children fly the nest and how having more time on our hands leads us to question who we are – which can lead to an existential crisis that leaves us questioning everything from our relationship, to our job, to our very identity.
With all these thoughts and questions swirling around in our heads, it can be so easy to get consumed and paralysed by fear. Fear of the unscripted future that lies ahead. Fear that time is somehow running out, when we realise we are wham-bam in the middle of that dreaded midlife marker.
From personal experience of facing and dealing with my own fears after my divorce, I believe that if you can step beyond these gloom and doom and crisis riddled labels associated with midlife and embrace and welcome all these changes and see them as a great opportunity to reinvent and live out your dreams by having the courage to be true to yourself – these very fears can end up being the fuel to propel you into a fabulous new era, where anything is possible.
The feeling of fear is not too different from a feeling of excitement and anticipation – the only difference being that when associated with the major life changing marker that midlife is – the great unknown can be totally overwhelming to some women, particularly if they have up to this point, dedicated their lives to putting the needs of others first.
The message I would like to give to those of you who are finding yourself in a stranglehold of fear of the future – is have no fear!
This fear is merely an alarm bell heralding that it’s time to make some changes and put yourself first for a change. You may have lost sight of who you are but if you can look at whatever fear you may be feeling and face what is truly behind this feeling of fear – you might well discover that underneath all the negative chatter that is going on in your head and all the worse-case scenarios your “spaghetti brain” is inventing – fear is actually that inner you crying out to be released.
Be gentle with yourself. You don’t have to leap off a mountain. Face the changes that need to be faced one day at a time; one step at a time.
And when you do – you will find that on the other side of fear – is a fabulous sense of freedom.