It’s that period in your life. You are in your mid thirty something, perhaps into your forties too. Suddenly the weight of the world appears to sit on your shoulders. You’ve had a string of relationships, perhaps even a marriage and then a divorce, your career seems stuck and going nowhere. You know you’ve to change your path, but somehow cannot muster the courage to do so. The childhood you knew and loved has faded away and suddenly your loved parents are frail and need your attention and love. If you have kids, then a lifelong project of demand and giving attention and care has begun. You see death around you. Your grandmothers, grandfathers, grand uncles, uncles and aunts – all those colorful characters who were a part of your growing up are sick or have faded away into the absolute void. You realize that the joy of your childhood was born in blissful ignorance and the passion of youth was born out of your carnal chemistry. Now suddenly, a space is created where things seem dismal, hopeless and absolutely banal.
Undoubtedly, the mid-life crisis has set in. Its hard – really hard. To be able to see the absolute meaninglessness of everything around us and yet have to push yourself to go to work and do your stuff daily. What most of us do is to ignore it or distract ourselves with cell phones, gadgets and the whole host of modern day distractions that appear to bring us closer but in fact pushes us further into our burrows of dark and cold loneliness. Oh, believe me. We want to get better, we want to fight it out. But somewhere the fight itself is arduous and saps the throbbing energy in us.
I’ve faced this too. And in these dark times, there are a few things that help me steady myself from the storms of the mind. First, I have learned not to put words to my pain. Modern man quickly rationalizes pain and puts labels on it. We try to overanalyze it, we try to solve it in our minds. This creates a chain of words in our minds and repeated words is in fact worry. So, I’ve learned to accept pain as pain. This is a part of being human. Frail. Vulnerable. Exposed. Just be who we are meant to be.
The other thing, is to stop thinking we are in control of our lives. Modern man has engineered our surroundings perfectly that it creates an illusion of eternity. We hide death, but celebrate life. We share joys, but shroud our miseries. We want people to see the best version of us and somehow learn to hate our worst versions. This wanting to tailor ourselves, tailor our situations to our needs creates tremendous stress and rips our souls at the seam. I’ve learned to be exposed to everyone. Let go of controlling situations and events. It’s easy to say live in the moment, but very difficult to imbibe its true meaning. For me, it simply means, knowing that there is something that brought you here. Something that keeps you alive and something that will take you when the time is right. This trust, we lack. We believe that we are alive because of our own making (or the doctors skill). The recognition of a greater force in our lives is a starting point of our release from bondage. Perhaps the ancient were wiser than we are. We called them pagan when they worshipped a tree or a stone or nature itself. We called them foolish when they worshipped the God, or his son. But we forget that it is the attitude of worship that we lack. They were richer and fuller. Simpler.
In such times, just keeping moving on. Realize, surrender, share and serve and simply move on. You are only human.