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Symptoms of a Midlife Crisis What Can I Do?

by Greg Baker  
2/14/2011 / Self Help


It is important to recognize some of the main symptoms of a midlife crisis before you can do anything about them. This article will outline the top three symptoms and what you can do.

FEELINGS OF A WASTED LIFE

If you are thirteen, you probably aren't feeling like your life has been wastedafter all, too much of your life still lies before you. But if you are 50 years old you probably realize the majority of your life is over. If, upon looking back on your life, you have feelings of regret and of a wasted life you are experiencing one of the key symptoms of a midlife crisis.

It could be that you believe you have accomplished little or nothing. It could be that you feel you have spent your life in vain pursuits. These feelings can be overwhelming and disorientating.

But living in the past is unhelpful. Even if your feelings are exactly true, though I dare say they are not, focusing behind prevents you from moving forward. You can't change or undo the past, but you can focus on where you are going. The remaining years of your life can be filled with purpose, joy, and accomplishment.

Use your regret to fuel your drive to accomplish something meaningful. As a pastor of a church, I often recommend to men and women who feel this way that they step out of their comfort zone and begin teaching a Sunday School class. In providing them an outlet, they can challenge young children to not follow their example. Merely having direction and purpose often helps to levitate these feelings.

THE REALIZATION THAT YOU ARE NOT AS YOUNG AS YOU ONCE WERE

As you get older, your body begins to be capable of less. This is something we naturally struggle against. The refusal to allow yourself to get old does not change the fact that we all do. Where once, you could hold your own on the basketball court, you find more and more the young bucks burning by you, unable to stop them. Where once your skin was unwrinkled and smooth you now find wrinkles and it is embarrassing to you.

Getting older is a natural progression of life. It is just one we all hate. Once the realization that you are older, slowing down, not as strong or capable as you once were sets in, this can precipitate a midlife crisis.

Don't set out to pretend you are younger than you are. My Bible says that the glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head. As we get older, it is important that our age reflects our wisdom. Younger generations have need of older experience and wisdom; don't fall into self pity when you could be strengthening the next generations!

Getting old is no fun physically, but it brings its own unique opportunities. I remember as a young pastor what getting some gray hairs did for my image as a pastor. It is amazing how gray is associated with wisdom and even integrity. It may not be true, but it seems that my advice and counsel began to achieve a higher degree of acceptance.

FEAR OF DEATH

When young, death seems far away and beyond our current worries. But as we get older and closer to that mark we begin to realize that death is not so far off. Since time seems to go faster the older we get, hitting that 40 or 50 year mark often causes us to focus on death to a degree we avoided when younger.

As a Christian, I have no fear of death. I know I am going to Heaven. I know I have been Redeemed. This assurance is important to anyone who finds themselves getting older and closer to the grave. Death is a doorway, a beginning and not an end for me. If you don't have this assurance, I appeal to you to look into Jesus Christ and discover His grace and love for yourself.

It is important that death not become a consuming thought. Purpose always overshadows death. When you have a purpose you are willing to risk your life for, death is merely a minor consideration. I am willing to risk my life in the service of my Saviour and therefore death is merely a possibilityone that will one day claim my voice, but not my impact.

That is the power of purpose. When you have it, you no longer fear death.

Find purpose that transcends death.

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