Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Anxiety
The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women. In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. As is true of childbirth, birthing ourselves is no less painful. In the coming blogs, we will explore some of the physical, emotional and mental challenges that come with midlife including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, changes in libido, physical changes, etc. Today, we explore anxiety.
Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – when anxiety tries to wake us up
Anxiety is one of those perceived troublesome symptoms of midlife, perimenopause and menopause. Sometimes, anxiety is simply caused by an imbalance in hormones, an overactive or underactive thyroid, anemia or possible heart trouble. Anxiety is not something to be dismissed if its cause is medical and can be treated as such. Anxiety does not always have a verifiable medical cause, however, and is often more about our Soul – our truest self – trying to wake us up than a symptom that can be effectively treated through medication. For much of our life, leading up to midlife, we have worked really hard to ignore, forget, suppress, repress the call of our Soul. We have intentionally ignored the pleadings of our heart to heal the wounds of our past. We have silenced the voice of our inner truth which longs to find its expression. We have ignored the voice in our head which questions authority, the status quo and who longs to know our passion, our gifts and the path to fulfillment. And, we are not the only ones silencing our Soul. For most of our lifetimes, outside perceived (and often self-appointed) authorities, have been telling us to: sit down, shut up, speak only when spoken to, do what I tell you, don’t rock the boat, be content with status quo and don’t you dare tell the family secret. Somewhere in the journey of midlife, the Soul says ENOUGH and tries to wake us up out of status quo, out of the silenced and stilted lives of quiet desperation we have been leading and into a life of peace, joy, love and fulfillment. Anxiety is sometimes the mechanism used by the Soul to alert us to the silent longing of our heart, the voice of our truth and the inner authority which will lead us to the path of fulfillment. Instead of condemning our midlife anxiety as “bad” or something that has to be eradicated through SSRI’s and antidepressants, sometimes the most effective way of dealing with our anxiety is to be present to it, allow it to be and take time to listen to what it might be trying to tell us. During the journey of midlife, perimenopause and menopause, anxiety is sometimes the key to the door of our passion and the path to fulfillment.
How has anxiety been a part of your own midlife journey?
What secret, inner truths is your anxiety trying to get you to embrace?
If you are looking for support in navigating the midlife journey, Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring. Call (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your in-person, phone or Skype session.