Transparency & Mid-Life Crisis
At first glance these two things would appear to have very little in common, even prompting you to question where I am going with this. Rightfully so, by the end of this post you will see just how connected these two are and how they relate to one another.
There is a gap in which we all live with, a gap between who we really are and how we appear to the world around us. This is referred to as duality, you know- the two worlds!
The great duality for humans is how we appear to the world around us by the masks we wear and persona we project and then there is what we secretly hide about ourselves and keep inside aka who we really are.
Now at some point in our lives we start to create this gap (it’s different for everyone I am sure), this happens from our experiences and the emotions we associate with them, so things like guilt, fear, shame, remorse, etc bubble out of traumatic experiences and memories, peoples constant labeling and grouping of others and its implications and of course our own self image.
The more we let this run wild and memorize these emotional states the gap between how we want to appear and who we really are becomes greater.
Think about it, when a person doesn’t like how they feel, what is the first thing they do?
When we don’t like a feeling, we try to run from it, distract ourselves, and find a new feeling.
This is called avoidance, we do this with everything from Youtube videos, to shopping and buying new things, to indulging in sex or really any kind of substance abuse.
This avoidance is at the root of consumerism, just think hundreds of millions of people around the world all avoiding feelings, looking for the quick emotional payoff.
This overtime retrains you as an individual to use external stimulus in order to create internal feeling. This sadly is unsustainable, it will keep requiring more and more consumption in order to deal with the dulled out numb receptors around pleasure and payoff.
Each memorized emotion becomes a state of being and that payoff becomes an addictive loop where the individual is searching endlessly to fill it.
Now by the time one hits their 30’s or 40’s and that gap that has been out there building everyday, in every situation starts to weigh too greatly. The gap starts to crack the veneer or mask we all wear to the world around us.
This usually leads people to make BIGGER more dramatic purchases and external changes to get that internal payoff and where the midlife crisis usually comes in at.
We all have seen the older guy going out buying the sports car, or the new boat, taking big extravagant trips around the world, divorcing the older women and nabbing up a younger woman who is fresh and full of life!
Or how about that woman who tries to fill the growing gap by dating a younger guy, buying a new house after that divorce, getting plastic surgery….
This constant repetition of habit, while expecting a different outcome is what Einstein defined as insanity.
Now another thing happening here too is our brain is quite developed by the age of 30 and we know how most things will “feel” or at least we think we do, so we anticipate how things will turn out before even going through them based on our memories. People often call this a nuance in life, or “going through the motions”.
Since we can “predict” the likely emotions before hand we determine whether we want to experience that or not in advance which affects our decision making- all of this is happening at a subconscious level to help protect us.
When you wake up too many days in a row to the same day, it’s time to make a change- Steve Jobs said something like that once.
So back to the midlife crisis….
Eventually you come to the realization at some point that your internal happiness cannot come from outer things, people and stuff.
You stop running from the feeling and finally you face it head on because you’re flat out sick of running.
You recognize the enormous amounts of energy and effort you are investing on these masks and facet you have presented to the world and you’re unwilling to do it anymore.
So what is the solution here?
Self actualization or the process of becoming more aware of yourself is at the root of the solution for overcoming not only this gap but avoiding the mid-life crisis all together.
Some questions you can ask, to help crack yourself open…
- Am I happy?
- Do I like myself?
- If I were to die today, would I feel fulfilled?
- How would people remember me?
- If I had to do it all over again, would I?
Super simple self actualizing questions like that are meant to ignite something in you, to start looking inside of yourself instead of out there.
This is where Transparency comes in…
When the inner and outer match and are in sync together that is called transparency. In the world of marketing which is known for being full of shit, transparency is a hype word floating around, along with authenticity and integrity.
Understand that being 1% more truthful today and in alignment with your true self is in fact being more transparent and with it will come new feelings that you probably haven’t felt in a long time.
Think back to anytime you “came clean” on something you were holding in for a long time, call it a secret or just something you were embarrassed about. When you finally cleared your conscious, how did that feel?
It’s the same thing here, now keep in mind that doesn’t mean to air all your dirty laundry online for the world to see, but maybe it does for YOU- that is up to you to decide.
The faster you can get to a deeper level of truth with yourself the better you will feel, happier you will be and lighter life will feel.
I believe that a combination of transparency and self actualization are the “magical” solution to not only understanding oneself more but increasing overall happiness.
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