“Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.” — Ramana Maharishi
Yesterday’s post spoke of escape, implying that when faced with an overwhelming obstacle, we may run from it, try to avoid it, ignore it, medicate it, deny it, etc.
We are always going to be faced with life’s challenges. And the proverbial mid life crisis is more or less a universal phenomenon for virtually all adults.
We get to a place, don’t like it, and then think we can take a short cut to move past it. Maybe. Maybe some can. I certainly couldn’t.
However, when I started to look inside for the answers instead of outside, my life began to transform.
Consider this, there is infinite joy to be had, to be discovered, to be shared. I mean, happiness is our nature.
When I dream without any limits, I dream of others having this wonderful mid life celebration, instead of the proverbial midlife crisis.
Maybe escape is the wrong word. And if it’s not the wrong word, it certainly seems like a strong or desperate word.
I’m in no position to tell anyone what to do. Duh, right?
Mid Life Celebration is the escape route I took. Rather than feel defeated and hopeless, it seemed like a good idea to rise to the occasion and be the change I wished to see in the world.
Perhaps my story will help you with yours. Perhaps not.
Can you start to see how this works?
For me, honesty is the first step.
And the fruit of honesty, eventually, is joy.
Joy is a choice I get to make every moment of every day. Same with you, even if it doesn’t seem so.
Did I mention that I have a pile of emotional baggage as big as many of you?
Did I mention that my wife and I are disabled?
Did I mention we spent our life savings to become parents?
Did I mention our son has an incurable disease?
Did I mention that I’ve overcome addiction?
The list goes on and on. So please, please don’t say, “But you’ve got it made. You are living the dream. You are so fortunate.”
This would generally be considered an insult, and completely disrespectful. And maybe the beginning of an excuse.
But forgiveness rushes in and all that’s left is joy. Almost unspeakable joy.
“If you choose a job that you like you will never have to work another day in your life.” — Confucius
Looks good on paper. Yet, I know so many mid life professionals who are stuck in a career or job that no longer (or never did) feeds their passion.
In many ways, for a variety of reasons, I’ve been there myself. It is not pleasant. But we have mortgages, bills to pay, mouths to feed, etc. So we do it. Day in, day out.
This is one of the big causes of a mid life crisis, along with others like illness, disease, divorce, empty nest syndrome, death, bankruptcy, infidelity.
This week will likely focus on career joy. And the best way to get it is to have a job where you get to do more than you have to do. Ya with me?
November was dedicated to Thankfulness, and now December is dedicated, mostly, to Joy.
There are several types of Joy.
There’s Joy in your Spirit, in knowing you have a Creator that loves you beyond measure.
Joy in daily living, perhaps the “fun factor”, sort of like happiness, and laughter.
And also Joy in being unselfish, in serving others.
Finally, I believe there is Joy in knowing you are living your best life, with a moral integrity that leaves you humbled by what you’ve overcome.
It’s a Joy, to dedicate December to the concept of Joy. You may have a different perspective on Joy. The fact that we are free to express, and think for, ourselves should bring us Joy.
One thing for sure, I’m especially thankful for Mid Life Joy! 🙂