“All you care about is yourself.”
“This must be your midlife crisis.”
These two statements couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you’re 47 and you’ve had a drastic mind-shift, people don’t know how to take it.
Some call it a midlife crisis. Others may think you’re just being selfish. Or that you’re “losing it.” Or ungrateful for your life. All of these may be insinuated.
I don’t see this as a crisis, but rather a clarification of values.
When I was younger, I was open and accepting of people as they are. Different dress, hairstyle, or lifestyle didn’t phase me much. Being a somewhat extroverted introvert, I would chat with most anyone who took the time to connect with me but I didn’t go out of my way to meet people. I’ve always taken them as they come to me instead of the other way around. But I was always open to people.
As an adult, I “found Jesus” and along with him, I found a whole new way of viewing the world. It was sinful and evil. People were deceptive and flawed. People who didn’t live and look like me and my family were especially suspect. We were either to try to convince them to become like us or go visit them (in another country, of course) in the name of Jesus, in order to convince them to become like us.
That was the rub—in order to freely associate with those outside of our safe, Christian bubble, they had to become like us.
There was no living IN the world AND being part of it. We were to be in the world but not of it. Not like it. Not accepting of it or the people who lived there.
It was around 2011 and my 40th birthday that some clarity began to emerge. First, in the realization that I really didn’t care what other people thought about me anymore. This was huge, because I tend to be rather co-dependent and I want people to like me. The swing to the other direction took me a bit by surprise but I also saw it as freedom to be myself. Step one.
Or I should say a giant leap for this woman.