Brene Brown is a professor at the University of Houston as well as a five times New York Times bestselling author.
She calls it midlife unraveling rather than a midlife crisis – crisis implying an intense, short-lived, defining event. Midlife unraveling is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close and whispers in your ear: “You are half way to dead. Get a move on” and then goes on to say:
“I’m not screwing around. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – have to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
Now obviously, different people react differently to this visit from the universe: denial, acceptance, numbing and no hold barred resistance, which is the path she chose. That didn’t get me very far!
Eventually, however, kicking and screaming, she discovered who she was. “I discovered me. The real me. The messy, imperfect, brave, scared, creative, loving, compassionate, wholehearted me.”
“And as far as my relationship with the universe … well, we’ve actually become very good friends. I even came to love and trust her when, in a quiet moment, I looked deeply into her eyes and realized that she, the universe, was me.”