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Author Topic: MLC Monster Resources: About MLC

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MLC Monster Re: Resources: About MLC
#50: February 16, 2011, 07:39:32 AM

Helping Partners in Change

This article is written and dedicated to help those working with others in change and crisis.

Firstly, it must be stressed that if you have a partner experiencing a mid life crisis, then be aware there isn't a single simple answer to make it all resolve quickly. This is a process that requires: patience, acceptance and time to accomplish.

Secondly, the more you restrain the process, bound it by expectations and limitations, the less likely it will turn out to become a positive experience - they need space and lots of time

Understanding Crisis as Change

Your partner is changing. Don't take this change personally. We all change, over time everyone needs to be able to shift with life. What makes this process difficult for partners is that mid life crisis will often force you to deal with change outside your own natural timing of change.

The process of joint change is far more complicated. Since in crisis, all checks and balances are tested in a relationship. Every aspect of the relationship: workloads, expectations, family support structures and other aspects will teeter about and shift.

So a basic part of the issue is: in reflection of your partner changing, it will force some change in you. The questions can quickly shift to become: Are you ready to change? How much are you willing to change to balance out the situation? In changing to help you partner, are you actually hurting yourself? Just because your partner is transforming doesn't mean you have to change. Yet, chances are no matter how you handle this situation; you also will discover yourself in a new light.

This is a very delicate dance!

An Insight:

Don't take your partner's change personally

Because the process forces you to change also, as partners we often take mid life crisis personally. This means often times we impose our own judgment, fears and desires upon our partner. In doing this you can actually accelerate the process, often to accelerate your partner away from you. After all, in trying to define their change in your own terms you can easily force them further away from their own change.

You can work on your own change within this process, but be sensitive to how you impose / share your own fears and judgments upon your partner. They are in a delicate state of mind. It takes very little effort to step on a mine in a minefield, likewise, it doesn't take too much effort to step on deeper issues within your partners hidden internal spirit, issues that are coming to the surface now that the midlife crisis is stirring up the spirit.

This process takes patience, awareness and kindness/sometimes tough love ? You need to not let them lie or put your emotional wellbeing at risk

What is Crisis?

If you partner is truly in the middle of Mid Life Crisis, then it has the potential to become a time when you are literally living in a falling house of cards.

Think about an earthquake for a second, when the earth changes and rocks. You don't stand in the middle of the house in an earthquake, hoping the house will protect you. You run for the door to either stand outside of the house or in a doorway to protect yourself from falling debris. After the earthquake is over you can go back in and fix the house.

A person experiencing mid life crisis is literally having an earthquake of the soul. Little stable ground exists inside them to act as support at such a time of inner shift.

Some counseling tips to help you start.

   1. Help shift the crisis into transformation. Crisis is about breaking, the more you reinforce crisis, the more likely your relationship will break from the crisis. Instead approach this as a process of transformation. Transformation isn't about breaking, it's about change. If you help your partner transform, it helps smooth out the breaking aspects of change and you will have a higher likely hood of being able to repair any relationship problems as a result. Help by leaving them alone - no threats but no disrespect either.

   2. Don't hold on too tightly to your partner. The harder you hold on to them the more likely their change will break you in reflection, or cause inner turmoil for yourself to be set off. Also the harder you hold to them, the more you reinforce the crisis and inner earthquake aspects of the process. Hold on just enough as required to keeping yourself and other family members together. Hold on enough to help balance your partner as required, but not too much to take the brunt of their lashing out.

 3. Since a partner is in part a reflection of ourselves, you will have to find peace in shifting also. Otherwise you will internalize the stress and take on the pain of mid life crisis yourself. It will be equally important for you to be extra proactive in your own health practices, and look towards movement practices such as yoga or Gong to help reestablish your own equilibrium.

Who is your partner now?

All preconceived expectations quickly disappear in this state, and a person can shift moods, emotional state, and personality very quickly and unexpectedly at this time.

The person you thought you knew, is not who they are now.

In effect you are with a younger person rediscovering and reestablishing themselves.

This means not to only treat them like the person you knew, but to also begin a new relationship with the person now growing up in your life.

In effect you are having three relationships at once! One with the person you knew, one with a person experiencing crisis and one with the new personality growing out from the crisis! This is why marriages often fail in Mid Life Crisis.

Most marriages are based upon expectations and memories of the past. Mid Life Crisis re-shifts and changes all the rules, as the person is in transition. Their desires and definitions are shifting as they change in the crisis! As a result marriages can and do break. The simplest way to help to prevent this is not to base your marriage on expectation or the past. Be forward thinking and make new rules for your marriage and help discover a new partnership in exchange.

For many people this can be the chance to revitalize their partnership / marriage!

But by definition to revitalize, it will mean to drop old expectations, truly shift and jump in to something new!

Also be very aware, you may not like the new person evolving from the crisis. While we can help mold a person slightly at this time, the more you do so, the more you actually can hurt yourself and them in the long term. Trying to mold a person at this stage just introduces new problems to be dealt with later in life.

The stories of mid life crisis, are often that the person will leave the marriage or relationship. Yet it should be noted, it's as equally valid that at times the partner not in crisis might leave due to the situation evolving into something that doesn't fit your life.

Jumping in to save your partner No Take care of yourself!

Don't jump in to save your partner until you are truly ready to understand and accept your own problems.

It's like when a plane is crashing and the oxygen masks fall down. You don't place the mask on the other person first, instead, first take care of your mask which then lets you take care of others This is a similar situation.

One common pattern is after helping a person change, is to take on too much pain. To take too many emotional bruises during the act of crisis can be very terrible. Don't take on pain to a point it becomes destructive to yourself. That is why distance can help either physical or emotional if they are at home but the two acting together are the best solution - it gives the MLC er time to work it out on his/her own!!

Be kind to yourself, take care of yourself in this process of crisis, because if you can't take care of yourself, how can you expect to help heal another person?

How can people help others in crisis unless they are ready to handle the crisis themselves, the crisis can literally derail the savior's life by the force of revelatory repercussions that will also come with the process.

Understanding Karma

In working with crisis at times the process is made more complicated, since, the issues being worked upon can go deep and be a result of multi-generational problems.

At times, it's hard for anyone acting as a healer not to use their own perspective to overlay upon another person. When we see a person going down a path that will hurt more, we want to help. Empathy is part of being a healer or being with someone you love. Ironically, the emotional pain can actually form the baseline for the healing they need.

It's important not to push your partner too hard and cause them more hurt which they wouldn't be able to recover from!

The bigger issue is that at times pain runs deeper than you might realise. This is when Karma is part of the issue. Karma not in terms of your actions, but rather Karmic results coming from choices made from people in your family tree, this is organisational Karma. When Generational Karma is involved then it's never a simply straightforward business to heal. Often times we have multi generational issues happening within a Mid Life Crisis. Mid Life Crisis can be a time when a person will begin to shed off family issues and problems from previous generations. Once you get into this territory, the healing process is more twisted and often passes its way through generations to resolve.

This means when Karma or Generational Karma is involved people hurt themselves more for larger reasons that go beyond just them. Healing in these cases can span the spirits of several generations This means focusing help or healing upon the one person won't directly work since it's missing the larger picture of balance. This is something modern healing practices often miss in their healing methods.

So be aware of Karma and multi-generational issues when helping your partner.

This also means to be careful on the timing of when you heal a person. If you heal a person before they are ready, they will often re-injure themselves or lash out at the person healing them. This is done subconsciously but on purpose to re-instate the pain driving the mid-life crisis process.
When the pain is from generations, the wounds are deep. Just making things better at the surface can cause larger issues to surface which are more difficult to resolve if approached in the wrong manner.

The Stages of Midlife Transformation

The process Midlife transformation actually occurs in stages. A person typically makes the mistake to think a completion of a stage, to be the final point to their MLC er's process of midlife transformation. So after passing through a stage, after a few months , a person may feel like they are back to the beginning of their crisis, with seemingly no resolution! This can be extremely frustrating to the point of giving upon the whole effort of transformation. So much better if they go away and heal themselves - give them the time to get well  them (away - means space)

To simplify understanding midlife crisis think about what we are as a person. Taoism teaches we are the combination of Mind / Body / Soul / Spirit.
A midlife transformation touches all four of these aspects in life. As a result a person will work thru each as a separate set of steps.

A person might begin working on their physical shape first, cycling, running the most common or their peace of mind thru meditation, yoga. Yet the actual process is a back and forth experience. So a person will get in better shape but then their mind is in a different place so then they need time to re-adjust their mental concepts. Or a person might take time to relax their mind, only to discover it's time to get in better physical shape (mediation can be hard on the body and requires a person to be in a good physical shape also) . This creates a process of going back and forth between the various aspects of life.

Within every writing and teaching exists both Truth and Falsehood.

    During the time of re-defining oneself,
    everything is open for consideration.

Final Stages

The final stage of midlife transformation is when all four aspects (Mind / Body/ Soul / Spirit ) blend together into a single harmonious being again. This is the final stage of a midlife transformation. While many names exist for this final point, I call and teach it as being acceptance.

How can a Person Determine when Midlife Crisis is Over?

The simple answer:

When the MLC er can laugh at everything about him/herself and any part of there behaviour when going through there MLC life

Or put in another way:

When feeling an overwhelming but complete acceptance of your own life, and here is the tough part: consistently from moment to moment for days after days ...
a MLC teaches a person not to focus upon this process but instead simply to let go to ones life to live it as it happens. Letting go is part of the acceptance. In a goal based society, letting go is the hardest part of the process for most people.

A Reflection of Change

If a person channels all their energy into changing the larger world it distracts a person from experiencing their own life. How a person directs and focuses their personal energy is a very key part on how a midlife transformation will unfold. Many MLC ers want to change the world they will say - instead what they really want to change is themselves

During midlife transformation, a person is refocusing the intent and purpose of their entire life. Mid life transformation is a time when a person's psyche is very malleable and new patterns are getting established for how to lead their life.

When a person channels all their energy into fixing the larger world: it leaves little space for personal development. Trying to directly fix the world can for all purposes be considered to be endless. As a result taking a path as a pure social reformer leaves little room for personal development.

Eventually a person will begin to focuses on a path of self exploration - usually spending a lot of  time alone. (withdrawal) In this time along this path a person can spend their energy and time to better understand their own nature and how it connects outward to the larger world.

Taoism doesn't discourage a person from making a difference or from changing society. Taoism teaches that such change comes from within first. To truly be oneself you need to have you rippling outward.

e.g. Others will always be drawn to completeness of self, real confidence and honest integrity. The MLC er lacks these skills duing transition he/she is trying to find their core - who they want to be.

Because of this, the process of reflection works both ways. Actively working to change the world will delay a process of personal enlightenment, while working to find self completion will help speed up the process of changing a society.

A perfect example of this is the Buddha. The Buddha spent many years trying to find solutions to human suffering. Once the Buddha turned the path inward and discovered his own personal path, it created a path others could follow, the way of Buddhism. As such then: in finding a personal path the Buddha opened a process of change with the entire world.

Looking to the Future.

Taoism teaches us not to worry about the future as: it will happen and is happening. A person still acts towards the future but without fear or concern. This means the future is part of living well and with grace now. Think to the future not in fear but in hope and grace towards building what you would like to live in tomorrow: in the now.

All cultures, even ours, contain seeds of hope, of life and of renewal. But those seeds are all within the actions of living in the now.

To be a futurist and working towards a better world for our children simply means living now in the fashion we desire of the future. It doesn't need to all happen at once, just start and in small steps work your way towards those desires.

It's so simple, that if you live as yourself, love who you are try your best etc - no one can stop you from making a difference.

This is the Taoist path and it is the way and wave of the future But it will have a thousand other names, a thousand other faces since it's a wave, that is us.

We are the wav   ;De.

What are the steps of doing this?

By Living in the now.

Together, hope and grace are the key. Hope is the vision and grace is the motion of working thru a midlife crisis. The true secret of midlife transformation, is combining the hope of your vision with the grace of movement. Just hoping for change, changes nothing, since to reach a destination it takes a start of just the smallest of actions, the smallest of pauses to make a difference. A difference is what we seek, so a person must plant a seed for a difference to occur.

A Simple Taoist Approach.

Here is a Taoist outline for working through Mid life Transformation:

Stop and when feeling hectic

    Take a moment and simply smile for yourself
    Take a deep breath occasionally and enjoy the breath.

Surprisingly, in simply doing just do that This becomes enough of an action to form a seed of a new and more complete life for yourself.

We make life and solutions to be complicated: since as a person, we have the ability to see into the future. We see everything that should be happening and so… all the future sight becomes paralysis. Because it's impossible to apply all that action we can foresee happening over years to be within a single momenta

Don't look ahead.

Don't add up all the work.

Instead take a moment within a breath and smile …

This ends up adding up and up and up…

To become the future you actually desire to live now…

Don’t worry about the details and instead just take a moment to smile  and examine the possibilities not in the future you see… but rather within a moment of pause being yourself

It's within the pause…

That each step becomes visible for your larger life to improve and follow upon.

Smile, when needing to pick a possible next step. Since to smile is to open possibilities.

Breathe when needing a break. Since to breathe is to be at one with yourself.

Alternate the two and your path will become free and clear for an entire life time of wonder to explore.

A person living through Midlife Transformation will experience new ways of seeing life, make mistakes along the way and almost always will end up in a place they never even suspected exists. Midlife Transformation often leads to experiences of “Enlightenment”. If you are fortunate enough to have had such a feeling of “Enlightenment” once, then be aware this is a new starting point of living life fully.

The process of receiving insight and growing is gained by tumbling through all the edges/boundaries of the transformation providing a person perspective. It's this perspective and the changes in your perceptions that fuel the “Enlightenment” process. So don’t hesitate to change, don’t hesitate to practice and try new activities.

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« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 08:03:51 AM by OldPilot »

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Re: Resources: About MLC
#51: February 17, 2011, 01:45:08 PM

Signs of a Midlife Transformation

Finding Answers & Help
This article is an introduction and a list of signs to help identify midlife crisis for yourself or someone you love.

I professionally work with many people in Mid Life Crisis by guiding the process to become a time of transformation. The most important truth is that this event doesn’t have to become a crisis. This should be a time of life to embrace change to become something greater. Don’t let this be a fear driven event, instead follow inner inspiration to make life better.

People often look for a list of signs to validate if a midlife crisis is at hand. The experience is a combination of feelings, events and physical changes that indicate a transformation is at hand. The final proof often occurs in retrospect after a person accepts they have changed and comes to terms with new life patterns. However, it’s possible to see the signs that forewarn of crisis and over time use the symptoms to actually help guide the mid life transformation process.

The truest indicators are the signs that actually illustrate drastic lifestyle changes in a person’s life. Most typically it will be friends and co-workers who diagnose the Midlife Crisis before the person in crisis will even realize it. In fact: just having someone point out you are in a crisis can be enough stress to trip a person into actually having a crisis.

Symptoms of Mid Life Crisis

The following is a list of symptoms that illustrate how defining a mid life crisis is truly relative to the person experiencing the changes.

   1. Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
   2. Desiring to quit a good job.
   3. Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
   4. Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
   5. Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unab
    to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
   6. It feels good to get hurt.
   7. Wanting to run away from everything.
   8. A desire to get into physical shape.
   9. Irritability or unexpected anger.
  10. Change in allergies.
  11. Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Cycling, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
  12. Exploring new musical tastes.
  13. Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument or liking different music
  14. Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
  15. Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
  16. Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
  17. Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for      the purposes of extending life.
  18. Extreme changes to what you eat.
  19. Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good. Or being in to teenager dress
  20. Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
  21. A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
  22. Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
  23. Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
  24. Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
  25. Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
  26. Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
  27. A desire to teach others or become a healer.
  28. Desiring a simple life.
  29. Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
  30. Playing like a child - just to play!
  31. Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
  32. Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
  33. Recently experiencing something extremely stressful.

Stress can trigger a Midlife transformation. Some examples include: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close, Chemical/Toxic exposure upon the body or experiencing a major illness. Or worrying shock you might
  34. Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
  35. Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”

A Midlife crisis is actually the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart. Due to existing personal commitments, it often isn’t easy to self resolve the inner conflict a person’s feels. As a result many times a person in mid life crisis will act confused or lost while trying to sort out the contradictions they feel and now have in their life. Also many times a person is trying to improve their life while not really understanding why they are acting in the manner they are. This mixture of conscious to unconscious actions often makes a person in midlife crisis unpredictable. This is also leads to the most dangerous mid life crisis symptom of denial. To confront a person in the initial stages of midlife crisis will often invoke and reinforce strong statements of denial due to the disconnect of conscious vs unconscious actions.

Most often a Midlife Crisis is defined well into the process of change. This is because it becomes most visible after a drastic shift’s in one’s nature. However, the process often has started long before the visible symptoms appear. It’s possible to aid a person to discover how to define life to fit better to what makes them content and happy. Care does need to be taken as often times a person in midlife crisis will feel trapped and in a corner without options.

Handling the Symptoms of Mid Life Crisis

Experiencing a midlife crisis is not about curing a set of symptoms. In other words this isn’t something you go to a doctor for a treatment to cure, rather this represents a time of life when a person is looking for an education to expand their life. It’s about shifting life to better fit where the person’s spirit yearns to be. A midlife crisis is a very natural biological and psychological process of a person maturing. While some of the symptoms might indicate a process opposite of maturing: at times a person needs to step backwards in order to move forward. This can also mean learning to play again since play is indeed a form of education.

Everyone evolves within their life as they get older. The truest resolution to crisis is learning to embrace the facts of one’s change and investigate methods of transformation. To do nothing is to let crisis decide how you change, Crisis still invokes change, but it’s an external change that a person no longer can control and often breaks those around us in the bargain.

Another problem is that modern western lifestyles are based upon chasing dollars and goals rather than supporting personal truth. People are so focused looking forward to their incomes and the next pay check that they forget or feel they cannot afford to embrace living to their true internal personal needs in the now. Sadly this way of looking at the problem in terms of finance only, also means just doing nothing and that only promotes and expands the crisis into happening anyway!

    Understand: It is far cheaper to address and educate oneself in this process than it is to pay the longer term consequences of letting it become a full fledged crisis.

Midlife Crisis Symptoms

Find Help Changing Direction

One of tht most difficult symptoms to resolve is the fact that people experiencing midlife crisis often feel separated, misunderstood and alone.

A bigger truth when in midlife crisis is that you don’t have to be alone. Rather you can find solace with those that don’t limit the transformation by outside judgments. Many times people in midlife crisis seek solitude to more easily avoid judgment from others.

I know from personal experience you can find answers that gracefully work. This isn’t easy and this is always an educational process. Finding guidance can make this process more graceful by showing ways to work around the common pitfalls. Don’t look for help that tries to define you, rather look for help that helps you avoid common mistakes! The trouble is the pressing feelings of being alone and the need to make this process one’s own path often make it all the more difficult to find outside help.

Partners of Mid Life Crisis

We must also consider the partners of those experiencing mid life crisis. Some of the signs that Mid Life Crisis partners often exhibit are:

    * Becoming more judgmental
    * Ignoring there is a problem at all and thinking it will all go away with only patience
    * And usually 1/4th of the symptoms that the person in midlife crisis is experiencing

As stated earlier: becoming judgmental or patiently waiting for things to resolve actually only reinforce the problems of crisis..

Understand that the process of change is often as hard for the partner as it is for the person experiencing crisis. Partners often find themselves confused and even worse getting left behind as the person in crisis sometimes goes running off to search for freedom that eludes their capacity to define. This often forces partners to become more judgmental as they look for answers and this further drives a wedge between the partners. Know that the worse thing a person can do is to act in a judgmental manner that will actually aggravate a person in mid life transformation into running away straight into facing a full blown midlife crisis.

The most ironic fact is since partners are so close, is that they reflect each other. When one person is in midlife crisis, that midlife crisis is often psychologically contagious to partners. As a result, partners are often a few steps earlier in the process and this can allow the partner to approach their own mid life process more openly in terms of transformation. Since usually they are looking for answers to help their partner, partners often use those very same answers to help themselves unconsciously. Three times out of four it’s the partner who I first assist as they are usually the first person to contact me for help. Being earlier in their own process it is easier to help shift the process in transformation as they have made less mistakes to recover from and are all too eager to avoid the problems they see from the other person in crisis.

Finding Help to Resolve Mid Life Crisis

If this page resonants with you, then it means: it’s time to change routines and shift how you move in the world. The very nature of the signs you are witnessing are also a reflection of a process of change. Denying change is what brings about the crisis you are in or feel is looming ahead of you. Holding on to old answers gives life no space to grow into something new, the very thing a midlife transformation is all about. To preserve the aspects of what you love most often means to release and switch around quite a bit in your life to open space for the path of discovering positive transformation.

Change isn’t easy, and the prospects of change often paralyzes the strongest person. Ironically when this is the case then the solution is often to take a simple retreat to pause and to reflect on one’s life. Sometimes to take pause in awareness itself is the change people need! Often times pausing means to stop the actions which were fostering the crisis. As a result, Pause isn’t to do nothing, pause is an active process of examining potentials and considering which options would fit best in life! People often need to be taught how to pause and this is why those in midlife crisis often seek to learn meditation as a technique of pause to help them find peace in their situation.

This is a time of choice, the choice of crisis or transformation. To do nothing is to pick Crisis, To do nothing is to continue living life to the past choices that led everything to this crisis you face. In these articles I give a person some basic information to work with, enough so you have a chance to encourage the process towards transformation. If you have questions then it is a simple matter to contact me to ask a question.

The solution is often getting a new perspective to encourage actions that channel the crisis energy into constructive processes. Sometimes just asking a question is enough of an action to resolve a seemingly impossible crisis into a process of growth that truly transforms everything.

EDIT: I liked this so much I found the original URL. --SS
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« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 05:46:18 AM by StillStanding »
No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”
Strength is when you have so much to cry for but you prefer to smile instead. - Andy Murray

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. -Marilyn Monroe

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." - Mary Pickford

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Re: Resources: About MLC
#52: February 25, 2011, 12:37:30 PM
For those that are interested in Michelle Weiner Davis's divorce busting 180 degree list, here it is:

1. Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or
2. No frequent phone calls.
3. Do not point out good points in marriage.
4. Do not follow her around the house.
5. Do not encourage talk about the future.
6. Do not ask for help from family members.
7. Do not ask for reassurances.
8. Do not buy gifts.
9. Do not schedule dates together.
10. Do not spy on spouse.
11. Do not say "I Love You".
12. Act as if you are moving on with your life.
13. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive.
14. Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go to church, go out with friends, etc.
15. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words.
16. If you are in the habit of asking your spouse her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING.
17. You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.
18. Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what she will be missing
19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show her someone she would want to be around.
20. All questions about marriage should be put on
hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while).
21. Never lose your cool.
22. Don't be overly enthusiiastic.
23. Do not argue about how she feels (it only makes their feelings stronger).
24. Be patient
25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you.
26. Learn to back off, shut up and walk away when you want to speak out.
27. Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil).
28. Be strong and confident and learn to speak softly.
29. Know that if you can do 180, your smallest
CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write.
30. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are desperate and needy.
31. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse.
32. Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because she is hurting and scared.
33. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
34. Do not backslide from your hardearned changes.

[ November 11, 2004, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: T00MuchCoffeeMan ]

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H43, M44
M 22 years
T  23 years
3 Kids
Crisis began 4/08
Divorced 2/13

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Re: Resources: About MLC
#53: February 27, 2011, 03:34:15 PM
Bill Roberts was a successful minister and theology professor, husband, father of three sons, and respected member of the community. Then he "threw it all away." He gave up his career and his marriage (for 3 years he left his family) underwent great strain, because something was missing.

His book Crossing the Soul's River: A Rite of Passage for Men tells his story, as the context for laying out the insights, the wisdom, he gained by going through this process, here are some of his own thoughts about the book and the process he went through.
Crossing the Soul's River book cover

You have written this book about the psychological issues men face at midlife. Why did you write it?

Part of the reason is very personal. After many years of talking with other men about their midlife transitions, I went through my own. You can tell from my resume that I made major changes in my work – after twenty five years as a clergyman, I became unemployed; when I made my way back into the workforce, I was with KPMG Peat Marwick (one of the then Big Eight Accounting Firms). That was a very big change – from a respected minister of a local church to a rookie consultant with a gigantic international accounting firm.

But what the resume doesn't show is that I went through a similarly major – and far more traumatic – change in my personal life. For a period of several years I was separated from my wife and family, and moved something like eleven times in a two-year period as I struggled to know what was going on inside of me.

But even that is not the full story. What really happened when I left my job and I left my family, was that I left my identity. Where I was once a respected person, I was, quite suddenly, an outcast. Most of my friends thought I had gone crazy and, almost without exception, their counsel to me was just to go back to my life.

There is one guy, however, who didn’t say that. I remember seeing him on the street one day. He asked me how I was doing. I began to tell my story for the umpteenth time, and he, instead of running away from me, said, "Stay with your journey, Bill. You'll figure out what it is really about. Then you owe it to the rest of us to tell us what you learned."

Some two years after that conversation – and after I had destabilized my life..

happily still married to my first wife and reconnected with my children

successfully launched on a new career as a consultant.

I got a call from a man who wanted me to write some essays on the midlife passage. I agreed to do it and began to read the literature in the field. That's when I discovered that the craziness I had gone through had a purpose – and a certain predictable pattern.

That's when I decided to write the book. I now believe that if men can really deal with the psychological issues of midlife, they are likely to live the second half of life in a healthier way.

You refer to this midlife passage as one of the two great transitions in a man’s life?

The first is the passage from boyhood to manhood during adolescence. The second is the passage from the first half of life to the second in midlife.

We know that the first passage is important – a boy can’t stay a boy forever. But why is the second so important?

One of the thinkers who has helped me understand masculine psychology is Jung – Carl Gustave Jung, a Swiss theologian, philosopher, psychologist who died in 1961. Jung makes this statement about the midlife passage.

We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at the evening have become a lie.

That insight of Jung’s is ignored by most men – so most men try to live both halves of their lives according to the program of the morning, which is inappropriate as your strength begins to wane. When men can’t keep up with their misplaced notions of what they should be doing with their lives, they become depressed – or worse yet, to quote Thoreau, men live lives of quiet desperation.

Can you describe these programs – the one for the first half and the one for the second?

From the time we are little boys, we males are programmed – both socially conditioned and psychologically hard-wired – to prove ourselves, to make a name for ourselves. Consequently, we experience life in a superficial way, almost inevitably focusing on the surface issues of our lives.

When someone asks us who we are, we instinctively respond at the level that identifies our roles – I am a doctor; I am a Vice President of Human Resources at such and such bank; I work 80 hours a week at my law firm, and, by god, I am going to be a partner by the age of whatever.

After you have answered in that manner for a while – several years or a couple of decades – you begin to think of your self (and know yourself) only in those superficial terms – your public identities.

The image I use in the book is that of a lobster. A lobster is known by the somewhat distinctive shape of its shell. But the lobster is not the shell. There is a living being inside that shell. That’s the lobster. The fact is that, in order to live, a lobster must lose its shell – again and again. Too often we men come to think of ourselves only in terms of our shells.

At midlife, for many of us, we become aware that there is more to life – my life, my only life, the one which is about half over – than just the shell. When we make the first attempt to know that living creature inside the shell then we begin what I call the midlife passage, what society calls "the midlife crisis."

Does everyone have a midlife crisis?


Who does and who doesn’t?

I wouldn’t imagine to be able to predict this. Life is too much of a mystery for that type of certainty. But I do believe that there are two factors that contribute to the midlife crisis – they are success and sensitivity.

    * If you are successful – even reasonably successful – you will be known by your successes. You will be known by your shell. (The term I use in the book is Persona, which is the old word for Mask.)

    * If you are sensitive and especially if you are resolved to be both reflective and creative in the living of your life, you will most likely experience the restrictions of the Persona and will struggle to break out of those restrictions. When there is a Breakdown of the Persona, then you head out into the river and start your midlife journey.

If you are not successful, you can do all the changing you want and no one will notice.

If you are not sensitive – or, to say it another way, if you have been so de-sensitized by being a male, which means by being taught from the time you are a little boy to ignore your pain – then you won’t have a midlife crisis.

And the tragedy of that is that you won’t have the opportunity to CROSS THE SOUL’S RIVER and discover what is on the other side, what is the program for the second half of life.

In your book you talk about four tasks – you call them Soul-Tasks – of men at midlife. One of those tasks is the Encounter with the Soul Mate? Are you actually encouraging men to have affairs or to get divorced to resolve their midlife crises?

No, I am not. In fact the opposite is true. I am saddened that there are so many divorces. And I believe that most affairs are unwise and unhelpful. Men too often have affairs, but don’t learn anything about themselves in them.

But isn’t the Encounter with the Soul Mate just a fancy term for falling in love with your ideal woman?

Once again, the answer is no. So often in the quest to know our Soul Mate, which is really the Mate (the Feminine) that is located interiorally in our Souls, we play out the drama outside of ourselves. We become animated by the sight of some exterior flesh and blood woman, fall for her, lose our wits, have an affair – often do great damage – to her, to our families, to her family (if she has one). But so often we learn almost nothing from the experience. It turns out that we just had an affair. We didn’t have a meaningful Encounter with our Soul Mate.

Maybe we need to get back to basics. How do you define "Soul Mate?" Where does this concept come from?

It comes from the thinking of Carl Gustave Jung. He believed that we are made, not simply male or female, but male and female. He posited that men had an anima (the Latin word for soul, feminine form); women had an animus (Latin word for soul, masculine form).

Rather than using Jung’s technical term – anima or animus – I have chosen to use the phrase Soul Mate. By that I mean that all persons have an idealized notion of the opposite sex in ourselves. To a great extent this notion is hidden from us and, since we frequently lack the gift of introspection, we don’t know it’s there. Then we are surprised and confused when it gets activated.

When does it get activated?

Classically the Soul Mate is most active during the two great transitional stages – adolescence and midlife.

The Soul Mate becomes activated in different ways for men and women. For men, the anima comes alive when we see an actual woman who in some ways resembles that unconscious notion of the feminine that we have within ourselves. It’s the act of seeing her that causes us to become animated. So many moments in movies or songs dramatize this for us. "Some enchanted evening….you may see a stranger… may see a stranger across a crowded room." The advice, "Then fly to her side, make her your own….." That’s the anima at work. The man is animated by the sight of the woman.

For women it is different. The animus becomes activated not so much by seeing a man who resembles that interior notion of masculinity, but by entering into relationship with the man….or more narrowly, by hearing. There are certain resonances, certain cadences, that connect for the woman. You see this in adolescent girls swooning over singers – Frank Sinatra, Elvis, the Beatles – most of those crazed people in their audiences were young girls.

You see this same thing, by the way, in the so-called chick flicks, where feminine modes of falling in love are dramatized. Think of the very popular Sleepless in Seattle. Meg Ryan is in Baltimore, Maryland, listening to the radio. She hears a man – Tom Hanks – talking in Seattle. She listens more carefully, she is moved, she begins to cry. A few nights later she hears him again. Now she is really moved. She goes to the office the next day, tells her best friend – Rosie O’Donnell – that she is flying to Seattle to see this guy. And Rosie, instead of talking her out of it, encourages her. You cannot imagine a man flying all the way across the country to see a woman he only heard talking on the radio. The anima is animated by seeing. The animus, by hearing.

You said that the anima – or to use your term, the Soul Mate – is active during adolescence and midlife. Why at those times?

This is a fairly complicated idea – but very important to understanding the Encounter with the Soul Mate. Jung claimed that the anima – this interior notion of femininity – actually developed over the course of a life time. She took four different forms, which he has associated with four different women:

          o Eve – who is the Mother of all things
          o Helen – Helen of Troy, the Beauty, the face that launched a thousand ships
          o Mary – the Spiritual Companion
          o Sophia – Feminine Wisdom

When we are little boys our notion of the feminine is shaped by Eve, the Mother. Then when we become adolescents, we begin to be drawn, powerfully drawn, to a much more sexy notion of the feminine – that’s the Beauty, Helen. During adolescence as we begin to look at pin up girls and begin to imagine ourselves with a beautiful woman, we live with a terrible tension. The external form of the tension is that our mother is going to come walking into our rooms when we are looking at Playboy. The internal form of the tension is that the anima is transforming herself – our notion of the feminine is moving from the safe figure of Eve to the more risque and exciting figure of Helen.

Very often we move out of adolescence with this internal tension still in process. Very often we marry and bring that tension into the relationship with our wives. She is, of course, sexy and beautiful, which is to say she is the external reflection of our Helen. But she also carries some of our infantile notions of femininity – Eve, the Mother – and this is especially true if we actually have children and she begins functioning primarily as the Mother in the family and not the Beauty in the bed.

What happens in early adulthood in its classic form, is that the two of you – husband and wife, mother and father – raise your children and start your careers. You are so busy that you have little time left over for psychological development.

But in midlife, that changes. And one of the first signs that it is changing is that the anima becomes activated deep in the male psyche. And when she does, she often puts new energy into the old adolescent conflict – the one between Eve (Mother) and Helen (Beauty). Men start flailing about to get some resolution to this conflict, and, too often they resolve it by projecting the undesired feminine onto their wives – she is experienced as a controlling mother – and the desired feminine onto the so-called "other woman "– she is bliss itself.

I’ll interrupt simply to say….That’s the affair. Right?

Exactly. When the unconscious is so forceful but so little understood, then you will act out the drama, which should be an interior drama, in the exterior world. And, too often, that is when terrible damage gets done to relationships.

I have the sense you are not finished with this. Please go on.

That is almost all that I want to say to men. PLEASE GO ON. Please don’t stay stuck at this stage of the anima’s development – the transition from Eve to Helen. There are other stages. There is the stage when women can be friends – to Jung the figure of Mary captures this possibility for male-female friendships.

And most importantly, there is the final stage, where we men begin to know Sophia. The word is the old Greek word for Wisdom – Feminine Wisdom. And the real goal of the Encouter with the Soul Mate is not simply having an affair or getting a new wife (almost always a younger wife), the goal is to become a Philosopher……literally, a lover of Wisdom, Feminine Wisdom.

So much of the mythopoetic movement uses material from other cultures – frequently Native American, exotic places like Asia, or exotic times like the middle ages. Frankly, we don’t know anyone else who uses the scriptures. Why did you choose to do that?

At the simplest level, it is because I know those stories. I was a minister for twenty-five years.
Every week, I studied scripture to prepare my sermons.

More than that – week after week I met with groups to read and reflect on the oldest stories of our faith. One of those groups was founded by a group of ten men in 1976. We got together on a little experiment – a six week commitment to share lunch and read stories of the lives of men in the Hebrew scriptures. That group still meets every week. Those men taught me much about the richness of the biblical tradition.

Any other reasons for using the scriptures?

Yes. In Western culture – even if we never went into a church or a synagogue – we know the biblical figures. But so often we know them only at a very superficial level. We know the sweet stories, the dramatic successes, which are frequently the successes of adolescence or young adulthood. We don’t know the stories which talk about life’s trials. We don’t know about the failures and the frustrations, many of which come in the second half of life.

For example……

A perfect example is the story of David, the greatest King of Israel.

Almost everyone is familiar with the story of David and Goliath. It’s such an important paradigm that we constantly assume everyone knows it. It’s the story of a young man – really a boy – slaying a giant by the use of his wits – selecting just five smooth stones and putting them in his sling shot and killing this gigantic threat. It’s a story of victory. It’s pleasant. It’s sweet. And it’s not complicated. And it teaches us almost nothing about what life is really like.

But if we had read the rest of David’s story, we would come to other moments in his life, which aren’t so sweet, but do teach us something about what life is really like.

A few of us know about the great midlife story – David and Bathsheba – when David spies this gorgeous woman bathing on her roof, takes her, gets her pregnant, and then has to arrange for the death of her husband. The story of David and Bathsheba is much more complicated than the story of David and Goliath.

But even that story is nothing compared to the real story of David at midlife, a story almost none us know. That is the story of David and Abishag. And it dramatizes how poorly David managed his midlife passage.

Tell us the story of David and Abishag.

When David is old and his power is waning – his political power, his personal power, and, in an only slightly veiled way we are told, his sexual power. In fact, it has waned. As the bible says, "He is cold. He cannot get warm." Since I am afraid you will think I am making this up, let me simply quote the scriptures.


King David was old and advanced in years; and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. "Therefore," his servants said to him, "Let a young maiden be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait upon the king, and be his nurse; let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may be warm." So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The maiden was very beautiful; and she became the king's nurse and ministered to him; but the king knew her not.

I Kings 1: 1-4

Now that is not a pretty story. But it is part of the story of life, especially the second half of life.

When we are young and virile and can slay Goliath, we also perform, as they say, "in boardroom and bedroom." But if we are still trying to act like adolescents when we are grown men, we in for immense frustration.

David teaches us that.

In your book you argue that men need a Rite of Passage to help them with their midlife passage. Why is this important?

To say it simply, the potential for major transformation is so great that anything less than a Rite of Passage can’t realize that potential.

That’s a mouthful. Maybe you need to break it down. First, what is the midlife passage?

The midlife passage, when it is understood in its fullness, is a change in consciousness which reorients you to the tasks that are appropriate for the second half of life.

    * In the first half we men focus on our identities, on being successful, on making a name for ourselves. And, inevitably, we end up knowing ourselves only in superficial ways.

    * In the second half, if we have made a successful transition, we balance that external orientation with a greater consciousness of our selves, our deepest and truest selves.

That shift is so great that we need help to accomplish it. And the best type of help is a Rite of Passage.

What is a Rite of Passage?

All primitive cultures, which is to say, all cultures that are still in touch with deep human wisdom, have Rites of Passage to assist in moving from one stage of life to another – birth, marriage, death – plus the passage from childhood to adulthood.

Some cultures also have a Rite of Passage, generally just for men, to assist them to become elders – the wise, accomplished leaders of the tribe.

What does a Rite of Passage accomplish?

The classic purpose is "to impart entry level knowledge of the techniques and mysteries" of the next stage of life.

How does it do that?

There is a set structure. Every Rite of Passage has three moments – they begin with a Rite of Separation; then there is the long transitional time when important information and wisdom are imparted; they conclude with a dramatic Rite of Incorporation.

In addition to the structure, the content is punctuated with rituals. You can’t just talk your way through these transitions. You must do something. This is particularly important for men. Women have something that helps them with their major transitions – they have first menstruation to mark the passage to womanhood and they have menopause to mark the passage to the second half of adulthood. Women learn naturally about the seasons of life.

Men don’t have that advantage. There has to be some way for men to experience the changes of life, to embody the changes of life.

So in a Rite of Passage men do things. They act out the changes of life through these mystery rites that you have created. Can you give an example?

Probably the best example is the Rite of Separation.

The rite is adapted from a Native American tribe in the Pacific Northwest (the Kwaikutl). These people are spiritually gifted with elaborate myths and rituals. They had developed a Rite of Passage for those men who were selected to make the passage to become elders – the wise old men of the tribe. These men were different from ordinary men. Therefore, they were taught to sing different songs, to learn different myths, to experience deeper notions of themselves. The Kwaikutl began this transition with a very dramatic ritual.

The ritual is a midlife variation of the Masking Ritual they used as part of their Initiation to Adulthood. During the adolescent rite the Initiates were guided in creating masks for themselves, images of themselves which used the animals and birds and fish and other life from the natural world. When the Initiates had carved their masks, they put them on and began to talk through them, to relate to their society through them.

For men in passage to the eldership, the Kawaikutl took this act of making masks, which was familiar to all of the men, and made it appropriate to midlife. Now the men carved not simple masks, but Transformation Masks, which are masks within masks.

In our ritual we have modern men making Transformation Masks. After a period of preparation and reflection, we are transported back to an earlier time in life (like a second grade classroom with its little chairs and little tables). On those tables we set out all types of material for making masks.

    * We start creating our most exterior masks, the ones we put on every day to go to work and to live our lives as successful men. Generally, these masks have symbols to connect them to our work and our families – stethoscopes for doctors, paint brushes for artists, pencils for architects, drawings of children and spouses.

    * Then we create a mask which is hidden inside the superficial mask. These more interior masks are rarely as simple as the first; they are sometimes dark, often childlike or clownlike, occasionally, scary.

    * Then, for those who choose to go this far, we go all the way to the familiar contours of our own faces and create a statement of who we are and who we are going to be.

    * Once we have created our Transformation Masks, we put them on, one hidden inside the other, and we speak to the group from several different levels and invite the personal metamorphosis that the masks portray.

It is a very powerful experience. If gives you a dramatic sense that you are en passage. It empowers you to break out of the masks that have limited you. It invites you to become your fullest self.

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« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 04:38:50 AM by OldPilot »
No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”
Strength is when you have so much to cry for but you prefer to smile instead. - Andy Murray

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. -Marilyn Monroe

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." - Mary Pickford

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Re: Resources: About MLC
#54: February 27, 2011, 03:47:38 PM
Very interesting, Bewildered.  Thanks for posting.  I definitely see my husband as the "sensitive" type, so I guess the type more likely to have an MLC.
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Re: Resources: About MLC
#55: February 28, 2011, 02:06:14 AM
another one

Is Mid life Crisis a valid condition or an excuse to be selfish and make up for poor choices along the way?

Is it a human condition that we will all experience in varying degrees as we pass through their middle ages, or is it reserved for those who share certain personality traits?

Is it possible that it is related to female menopause or male Andropause?

Do hormones have anything to do with the 'stress and distress of those in the eye of this storm?

Are these people as out of control as they sometimes seem to be?


I am not a doctor and do not know the answer to these questions but I do know as a Life Coach and a woman in her middle years, that there seems to be a great many people in this age category who are seeking and searching for something that will fill a part of them that is missing.

They have a great desire for something more (happiness/vitality/success/validation/etc)in their life, but what that MORE is they don't know. It is a time of personal reflection and for some breaking out of a mold that has held them for many years.

Perhaps you know someone who has quit their executive position or walked out on their 30 year marriage. It doesn't always make sense, this behaviour, but there is common theme. CHANGE! NEW! EXCITING!

It seems that many are seeking their destiny, and the meaning of life. They want to know what their purpose is and where they fit into the Grand Scheme. They want to know what this thing called LIFE is all about, and they are seeking their soul, their soul mates and questioning long held beliefs.

Spirituality is a common theme, and many search for their connection to something larger than the known world and for answers they go to the Unknown world

A metamorphosis is taking place and I see it as our third great struggle of life.

The first is being born, the second is adolescence and now this time I will coin, The Emergence of Self.

The emergence because it is our true self we are seeking. Not the daughter, son, mother, father, doctor, cook or any other label we have put on ourselves, but OUR true SELF , our true soul, the nature of who we really are. It seems this is a time where anything can happen and does.

Sometimes those who are most surprised by what happens next are the seekers themselves.

As adolescents we go through the change together, it is expected, so resources are in place to help us deal with it. Our families and teachers are there for us, supporting the change. Now in our mid 40's- 50's, it seems we face this change alone. No longer are our buddies, families or teachers there to support us. In fact, it may be that those closest to you don't understand why you are contemplating the things you are. They may argue that you are making a big mistake and you don't know what you are doing. Even if this is true, and in many cases it is, there doesn't seem to be anything to do about it except ride it out.

Have you ever wondered at the timing of all this? Why is it so important to KNOW right now? Why upset the apple cart at this stage of your life?

Perhaps it is so that our time here is not wasted in the larger sense. Many of us as children had a dream or a goal. I think that this first memory may be the truth of who we really are and why we are here.

How many of us have stayed true to who we were? I know that there have been many times in my life that duty as a daughter, a mother, and even a wife have taken precedence over who I wanted to be. So maybe this frustration, this time of wanting is really the only way to help us break the chains of 'good behaviour' and allows us the time to search for our lost selves or if you believe in the metaphysical then perhaps we are waking up to what brought us here in the first place, our contract or mission.
Have you felt that there is a master plan but you haven't been let in on the details?

The there is a great secret, albeit unknown to you, and almost like a cosmic joke, it is at your expense.

Why does this transformation take place? Is there a way of escaping it?

I think not. It seems to me a natural progression to a higher state of being if we are lucky. It seems we all go through the process, albeit at slightly different ages and degrees of angst.
I believe that this is one "Crisis" that is supposed to happen and rather than describe it as a crisis we could rename it as a transformation.

We have all have known a "Gerald", a 50 something guy who finally buys his corvette, or his Harley, leaves his wife or leaves his job- any or all of these are fairly common and classic crisis behaviour. As I said earlier, Women are not immune either. We can all envision the Cougar, a woman in her mid to late 40's who used to be Lizzie the Homemaker and is now on the prowl for a 30 something guy to make up for her boring life.

On the outside, this behaviour seems selfish and I suppose in some ways it is. But remember, this Emergence is about self and change and change never comes easily. There is always a struggle and in this instance, doing what is opposite in nature of what one has always been done may be one of the catalysts to the next step. These folks are in the midst of a chemical and physical transformation.

Alchemy is taking place. When all is said and done, they will be different.

They are reaching out for their world to make sense and hopefully when all is said and done, they will have found peace. Peace within themselves and peace with their outside world.

We know that these folks want more, but they don't know what more is - the sexy car, younger mate is not the whole answer because change on the outside does not equate with change on the inside.

I feel that this transformation may actually be harder on the MLC er than adolescence. When we are young, we have out parents to support us. We walk en mass with our friends to school and we are all going through stuff together.

But in mid life, ................................
well,  we do this one by ourselves and many times, we wreak havoc on the lives of those we love the most. This change, this metamorphosis, cannot likely be stopped, anymore that you can stop breathing, but for some, it comes with great cost.

Our bodies change- we don't - women - child bear anymore. We - men - have sexual issues , impotance etc -  We all get wrinkles and grey hairs sprouting from places they aren't supposed too. Our skin on our hands begin to thin and become translucent, showing the blue of our veins. We fear we are losing our sexuality, our vitality and our ability to be 'seen' as one of the players. We fear this invisibility and we fight to be more than we are, because we want to stay in the game. We also know that we are more than we are showing.

We wake to an unknown dream or assignment and strive to fulfill our life's mission, but the guide book is missing. The map is gone and our hands flail in the wind seeking something solid to grip onto.

It's a turbulent time until one day, you wake up and your life begins to make sense again. You start to realize what is important. Who you are and what you are passionate about. You know what you love and whom you love and you have a sense of the greater picture. You know why you are here. You understand your ties to the past and what you bring to the future.

The Emergence of Self will happen whether you plan for it or not. At some point in your life mid life, an amazing discovery of self will take place, and I hope that you complete your transformation all the way until you feel at peace within your heart and the world around you.

For those of you who are wondering what signs to look for or if you are currently experiencing your transformation, below you can find a list of common features:

Typical features of mid-life include: these are extremes when in crisis ....

Experiencing 'healthy' dissatisfaction........yearning for this it??

What worked before no longer rocks your world.

The changing body becomes your guide.

You get used to uncertainty

You want to give back - change the world

You want to become much more than you thought you were.

Your values change significantly - you don't like the person you are (but you don't know this at first)

You are getting a hefty whiff of you own mortality.

You are anyones view not your own - MLC gives you an emergence of wisdom

MLC er s need to :

o Find Passion

o Remove FEAR from the Change Process

o Learn how to acknowledge and accept others

o Learn to Communicate at an emotional - heart level

o Reconnect with your SELF

o Leave Guilt Behind

o Trusti your instincts

o Create a vision that is deliverable and learn to love unconditionally
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No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”
Strength is when you have so much to cry for but you prefer to smile instead. - Andy Murray

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. -Marilyn Monroe

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." - Mary Pickford

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Re: Resources: About MLC
#56: February 28, 2011, 04:37:59 AM
I have a question about this point in Still's post about how to deal with MLC.

6. Do not ask for help from family members.

I have been receiving a lot of help from my H's family in terms of helping me move, GAL of my own, job hunting and even having me and the kids to stay. I do not ask them to intervene on my behalf with H in any way, although I have discussed MLC with MIL and she agrees that H is in a crisis. Is this sort of help ok? Tbh, I cannot ask for this kind of support from my own family for various reasons and my IL's love their grandchildren and want to make things as smooth for them as is possible. I know they disapprove of H's R with OW, although as his parents they feel an obligation to accept him and his choices that I obviously do not have. Is this kind of help problematic? I try to keep my discussions about the separation and about H and his partner to an absolute minimum as I know that focusing on that with them could possibly put them in a sitch where they need to "choose sides" and, no matter what, H is their son. What do you think?
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Re: Resources: About MLC
#57: March 07, 2011, 03:26:50 PM

Welcome to the ongoing discussion about living your best life after 40, a view on & about the challenges and joys of midlife.

My question isn't meant to create a schism between men and women. Nor is it a question about how we look. It's about how we feel.

Do women embrace aging better than men? Are we happier with our lives and are we better equipped to handle the myriad of changes than they are? Are we better at digging deeper to our very core to pull out our inner resources for what we truly need as we get older?

According to Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a noted Yale professor of psychology and author who wrote an article for Psychology Today recently, the answer could be "yes." Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema believes women's lives get better with age, not worse. Rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide in women go down, not up, as we grow older, and she contributes that to the natural strengths women possess -- coping skills, empathy, ability to listen & hear , patience -- which help us to tackle new problems and situations that arise as we age, and also give us the courage to pursue new paths.

In the article, Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema states, "Women's full complement of strengths give them the mindset to celebrate older age as a time of joy, love, and fulfillment for all they have worked for and grown to be over their lifetimes."

Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema conducted a study recently and it seems that women over 40 are often better equipped to handle life's increasingly complicated challenges, than men:

Among the older adults, 55+ who were facing the adversities that come with aging, the men showed less inclination to use these important coping skills compared to the women. In other words, older women were more likely than older men to tap their mental, emotional, and relational strengths to deal with adversity, which in turn left them less vulnerable to depression and anxiety in the face of difficulty.

Contrary to what many articles and experts want us to believe, women over 45 tend to find their confidence and increased levels of satisfaction from within... not from without. In fact, it seems that even in the face of the media's obsession with youth and beauty, older women place a greater emphasis and pride on their own maturity, experience and wisdom. But, make no mistake: women over 45 think they're looking pretty good, too: according to Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema's study, women's body images actually become more positive as they move from their 20s, 30s and 40s, into midlife.

Finding your own inner strength, though, sometimes takes a village and therein lies the Number One reason why women probably age better and more successfully than men:

Women have a remarkable ability to connect, engage, share and create and maintain solid networks and relationships throughout our lives. This is our greatest strength.

We thrive on the building and nourishing of friendships, and look upon them as an integral part of our ongoing support system, especially when going through tough times (i.e., dealing with aging parents, illness, death, loss of job). And, as so many studies and anecdotal evidence have shown, women, once they reach midlife, are more confident in their own personal power and are willing to tap into that power to not only help themselves, but to help others, especially other women. The wonderful thing is that we don't even have to know the other women personally to make and feel a connection. My network of women friends on websites & Facebook, has grown exponentially during this past year because I've been reaching out to other women, and they've been reaching out to me. I've learned so much from all of them, and they continue to enlighten, motivate and engage me, every day.

As a result of our desire to stay connected and foster each other's growth as we age, an amazing crop of websites and blogs have blossomed and continue to flourish. These are places where women can "meet" safely, without judgment (for the most part), get information, and each one has its own unique voice, frequently reflecting the sensibilities of its founder. Some are energetic and sexy, urging its readers to push themselves out of their comfort zones, while others are like soft, gentle breezes, coaxing hard-working women to relax, replenish, renew. I love them all, and I love the women behind them.
      So, about that question:

      Are women better at aging than men?

      I put the question out to my friends on Facebook, and here's what a few of them had to say (reprinted with their permission):

      Barbara Briggs Ward: I think the tide has turned. Women are more in charge of their aging. They are no longer giving in to it. They run; walk; try new careers; eat well; find new loves. Age no longer means slowing down and retreating. Age does not define a woman-for better or worse. It only opens new doors for them. And I think all of this has given women an edge over the men who are used to doors always being open.

      Denise Taylor Tremaine: You don't ever hear, or rarely, of women going through a mid-life crisis... we handle everything with grace. MEN on the otehrhand whoa!!!!

      Kim Okerson: I agree that the social pressure on women is far greater, but it is up to each of us to have the grace and dignity to accept that our age is state of mind.

      Connie Katon Wingo: The emotional impact of aging is difficult for men, I'd say. In their youth, they were able to have the perception of controlling their environment. Their identities as men were so often tied to their sexual perception and themselves. Their sex drive slows down, and for a great deal of men their "manhood," is tied into their perception of their sexuality. Also, as men begin to age in the workforce, their roles begin to change and coping with the feeling of obsoleteness is frightening, possibly causing men to feel more insecure about aging.

      Melody George: I dont think one gender has it over another on aging. I think with men and women it is equally daunting or exciting depending on the person.

      Whatever your thoughts are on this... here's the fundamental truth: the more we women stick together, the happier we will be.
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No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”
Strength is when you have so much to cry for but you prefer to smile instead. - Andy Murray

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. -Marilyn Monroe

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." - Mary Pickford

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Re: Resources: About MLC
#58: March 25, 2011, 08:59:30 AM
Tsunami sent this.....

YOU SAY                                             GOD SAYS BIBLE VERSES
You say: 'It's impossible'                 God says:  All things are possible( Luke 18:27)
You say: 'I'm too tired'                      God says: I will give you rest( Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: 'Nobody really loves me'          God says: I love you( John 3:1  6 & John 3:34 )
You say: 'I can't go on'                                   God says: My grace is sufficient(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say:  'I can't figure things out'   God says: I will direct your steps(Proverbs 3:5-  6)
You say: 'I can't do it'                      God says: You can do all things( Philippians 4:13)
You say: 'I'm not able'                      God says: I am able(II Corinthians 9:8
You say: 'It's not worth it'                   God says: It will be worth it(Roman 8:28 )
You say: 'I can't forgive myself'                   God says: I Forgive you(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)
You say: 'I can't manage'                   God says: I will supply all your needs( Philippians 4:19)
You say: 'I'm afraid'                                   God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear( II Timothy 1:7)
You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated' God says: Cast all your cares on ME(I Peter 5:7)
You say: 'I'm not smart enough'                    God says: I give you wisdom(I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: 'I feel all alone'                   God says: I will never leave you or forsake you(Hebrews 13:5)
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Re: Resources: About MLC
#59: March 29, 2011, 05:21:04 AM
I thought this email from Rejoice Marriage Ministries was worth sharing:

"Charlyne Cares" is a free daily devotional from Rejoice Marriage
Ministries, Inc. sent only to subscribers.
- - - - -

Tuesday's message is from Bob who was a prodigal who returned
home and was remarried to me for 23 years. Today I have selected
a devotional where Bob shares a letter that could have been
written by your own beloved husband or wife.   - Charlyne
- - - - -

The Letter From A Prodigal Spouse -

How in the world did I wind up out here?  I just wanted to have
some innocent fun and things just got out of hand.  It took more
and more fun to keep me happy, until the guilt was more than I
could handle, so I left.  Maybe I was not as mad as you thought,
but I just knew that I did not deserve to be married to you.  I
thought once I was away from you that the guilt would go away,
but it hasn't.  I only feel more guilt about leaving.  The world
says divorce is OK and that I am on my way to becoming
a "swinging single," but so far it looks like I am on the way to
being a sad single.

Not to cry, but things are rough for me also right now.  Do you
think it is pleasant to be uprooted from your entire life and
replanted in a land where guilt and sin and shame prevail?  It is
not.  I know, it was my decision, but I had to do it.  Besides,
it was almost as if it really wasn't me doing those things.  I
wish I did not even know the word "divorce."

I do not mean those things I say, such as, "I never loved you."
We both know that is just not true, but saying a lot of stuff is
just part of this whole mess.  You are not a bad person.  In
fact, you are a pretty neat person.  That must be why I think
about you about a hundred times a day (but have never told anyone
that part before).  I am trying so hard to look happy, but am
slowly dying on the inside.

"Then why don't you come home?"  You must be wondering.  I just
can't, even though I think about that often.  What would others
think?  That I am a baby and needed my mother (or father)?
Besides, I do not know how to break it off with you-know-who, who
does not know that I am even writing you.  If I came home, I
would have a hard, hard time putting all this behind me.  Would
you be patient enough to let me heal?  I am so afraid that if I
ever came home (but I am never coming home) I would do something
and you would want me gone again.  It will (I mean it would,
sorry) take time and a lot of work from both of us.  Did I tell
you I dreamed about you and I praying together?  It was only a

The best I have ever felt in a long time is when I heard that you
were praying for me.  My prayers right now only go as high as the
ceiling, so I do not pray, but I know God is still there.  He did
not go away just because I turned my back on Him, but I was
ashamed to really seek Him after all that I did.  I know that God
would never allow me in Heaven now, so thanks for your prayers
that are keeping me alive on this earth.

What does "standing" mean?  You need to get on with your life.  I
stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago.  I am never
going to come home, but would like for us to be friends.  I will
call you to talk about our being friends-just friends.  No, I
can't because you-know-who forbids me to call.  I do not know why
there is such a strange pull on my life from that corner.

I could come over and talk to you.  That would feel good.  I need
to lie to get out, so that would make you like the other person,
so I can't do that either.  I feel like a caged animal most of
the time.  Would you want me home just as I am, confused and
all?  Probably not, after all that I have done to us.

I think this needs to be delivered in person, maybe left at your
(our) door.  I will bring my things with me, just in case I
happen to see you and you say yes to my coming home.  I can get
out of this other mess later, if you are willing.

Know what?  My heart beats fast and I feel lighter when I plan
how I could come home.  It is like the weight is off of me.  This
may be another of many false starts, but I am practicing coming
home today.  Sure hope you are ready to receive me, warts and all.

From someone who really never stopped loving you.

May God bless you for standing,
Bob Steinkamp
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
Post Office Box 10548
Pompano Beach, FL 33061 USA (Ministry web site) (Bookstore) (24/7 Radio) (Support) (Chapel Page)
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H43, M44
M 22 years
T  23 years
3 Kids
Crisis began 4/08
Divorced 2/13


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