[ From DailyOM ]
In our youth-oriented culture, the process of aging is not honored as it once was. There have been societies that looked to those who were older for leadership, understanding that their life experiences must have brought some wisdom with them. Our society tends to put more value on looking youthful, so when the time comes that we don’t look, move, or feel the way we once did, this causes a sudden jolt to our perception of ourselves. We can look at this shift as a crisis and fight against change, or we can take the opportunity to transition smoothly to a new phase of life.
We spend our youth learning who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing. As we set and reach our goals, it is easy to identify ourselves by our roles. At some point we may feel very comfortable in the idea that we have a complete understanding of ourselves. This is, inevitably, when things change and we get to see ourselves from a new perspective. Those who have reached their goals may wonder where to go from there, feeling uncomfortable with the new choice of parts to play. Others may have to let go of an identity that was built around a goal that was not reached and decide from what foundation to rebuild. Although it can be challenging to shift into a new expression of self, we may find that we’re better suited for this fresh path of self-discovery and the new perspective it brings.
Whether we find ourselves facing a midlife crisis or any life transition, we can take the time to get in touch with our inner selves. From the unchanging spirit within us, we can accept and embrace the changes that come with the human experience. Examining where we’ve been and what we’ve learned can point in the direction of all that we would like to do now and in the future. When we anchor our identity in our spiritual nature, we understand that physical change does not change who we are, but only offers another perspective from which to experience, understand, and celebrate life.