I've studied mid-life issues for over a decade, now. I've read so many great books, I have lost count. If it is true that the status of "master" or "expert" is achieved after 10,000 hours of devoted practice and study...then, it is time for me to own the title of reluctant expert. Not a medical expert, mind you - just a reluctant expert on things middling.
One thing I know for certain is that our end is designed and defined by how well we navigate our middle. And the middle is the quitting-place. All manner of quitting disguised as mid-life course correction happens between the ages of 45 to 55. The middle is precisely the point where many women (and men) choose change for the sake of change. The middle is when we are all tempted to reverse or change course on a journey that should be seen through to completion by faith. The goal is not to alter the destination or abandon the path.
Everything in the middle is more difficult. And to stay in integrity, to be strong and courageous, to resist idolatry, and refuse selling your soul for security or money or personal peace and affluence feels far harder than it did when you were young and all your prospects in front of you. In the middle, it is easier to see the doctor, to see the obstacles, to change things up instead of clean things out, to buy new cars and expensive remedies and better clothes instead of investing in friends and faith and contentment. It is easier to make excuses than it is to create beauty in the life and relationships we already have.
Before you decide to commit to your fear, or pledge yourself to pain so that change for the sake of change seems justified - here are three steps, three principles governing mid-life self-care that I've never heard anyone talk about, but I challenge you to live into:
1. Rest. Rest from your own efforts to feel more secure. Free-fall into everlasting arms, and make the grace of God the great passion of your middle soul. Read Galatians as if your life depended on it.
2. Resonate. To borrow a worn-out, kind of new-agey term, I have to tell you: heaven has a resonance. That resonance is faith. Begin to believe God again, dear one. Change for the sake of change is not healthy. But to step out and do something you couldn't do before, for reasons far bigger than your own personal peace, is the healthiest thing you could imagine doing. Pray in the Spirit. Sing in the Spirit. Soak your soul in worship. Devote yourself to the community of your local church. Come under healthy leadership and government. These things will raise your resonance, both instantly and over time, to match heaven's vibration. You will begin to walk super-naturally as a rule, and chasing natural remedy won't be as necessary.
3. Respond. Respond - not to your fears. Stop designing a life around prevention and fear. Rather, respond to your creative longings. Nine times out of ten, those creative longings were placed there by the Masterpiece Maker. The designer of your unique soul has infused your being with a message that needs proclaiming. He's made it so that your gifts are the mechanism of proclamation. He has surrounded you with people who need convincing. Respond to all these sign-posts, and your midlife journey will take on beautiful texture and significance.