Finding Yourself…

During a midlife crisis, it is common for a person to re-evaluate their life.  One one hand, that can be dangerous because it has led many people to make decisions that they have regretted later.  On the other hand, I feel like some self-evaluation is a good thing as long as the decisions you make from it are well thought out and responsibly made.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and who I am.  I’m in the middle of a career change–just finishing up my X-ray program in May.  I’m happy about this change.  I think I made the right decision.  But, there are other areas of my life that seem unsettled.

I feel like a very important aspect of my life is my spirituality.  Currently, that part of my life is very unsettled.  I went through a very long period of time in my life where I became very “religious”.  I’m evaluating that right now.  I didn’t like the person I had become, yet there are aspects of it that I can’t leave behind.  There are aspects of it that I do not want to leave behind.

Lately, I’ve been taking a step back from church.  I’m still attending, but I’m not involved.  It has allowed me some space to think.  I’ve been finding that my simple spirituality is returning ever so slowly.  I used to find moments with God throughout my day in simple things.  I was awake to hints and suggestions from nature and from things around me.  The world was magical and full of wonder.  Things were mysterious and exciting.  That seemed to go away when I was steeped so deeply in “religion”.  Religion seemed to pretend to have everything packed neatly into a box.  It seemed to strip away the mystery.  It was all about having all the answers–marketed so well in all of those Bible study guides.  Religion had taken all of the magic of God and commercialized it into programs and seminars.  I missed the beauty of my grassroots spirituality–just me and God and all the little evidences that were unplanned and spontaneous.

I’m so happy to see the return of God.  It’s also becoming more simple in some ways.  God is Love.  Love is God.

Along with my spirituality, I’ve been re-evaluating other things of my life.  I’ve been spending a lot more time creating relationships lately.  I think this is a great new path for me.  I’ve been such an antisocial person for the last several years.  But, not I’m conscientiously making friends and including others in my life.  This has been a big change.  In some ways, it has been difficult because it is new not only for me but also for my wife.  She is somewhat resistant to the change.  She used to have me all to herself and now there are others that she is having to share me with.  We continue to work this out.

I’ve also been spending more time being thoughtful.  I’ve started an e-mail list and a Facebook page called “Thought For The Day”.  I select an interesting quote for the day and then spend some time discussing my thoughts on that quote.  This activity has opened up some dialogue with people that I might not have had otherwise.  It has also caused me to be thinking daily about what is most important to me.  It has focused my attention on happiness, success, love, etc.  It has encouraged me to be a more mindful person and a more caring one.

There seems to be so many things I’m re-evaluating… almost everything in my life.  In some ways it’s overwhelming.  I need to stop and focus on one thing at a time.  On the other hand, it’s exciting.  So many possible changes for the better!  But, again, I need to remember to be careful about the changes I’m making.  It’s better to slow down and be sure before making certain decisions.  It’s important to be responsible.

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