How a simple act of acceptance saved me from my mid-life crisis
“My perspective started to shift in view of my diminishing power, while my horizon…”

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Published December 18, 2015

I am a fighter, energetic, a survivor on a number of fronts. I often have a clear idea of what I want and how things should be done the right way and I am strong in pursuing my convictions.

Sounds quite good actually - like an achiever’s recipe, right? I thought so too, until I hit Midlife…

 Midlife is something of a challenge-marathon. It pushes and pulls us from all sides and angles, uncovering surplus baggage to be discarded in preparation for the next phase of our journey: Midlife-destination “Truly me” requests us to travel light and healthy. Every foreign attachment will start weighing us down unbearably. Even the slightest maladaptive habit in our behavior can now turn into a major energy drain. The heightened awareness of a limited life span clearly has its effect on us; we start reacting differently to same old situations…

 It all started with a misunderstanding. A good friend upset me with an insensitive remark. In my usual way I approached him courageously, sharing my hurt and disappointment.

 I always hated fight and disconnection and was ready to give anything to find a basis for new understanding. I would literally go out of my way…

 This time I found the situation extremely tiring. After failing repeated attempts to clear the air between us, I was exhausted enough to allow for a new kind of need to rise within me. It was deeper than the wish to feel connected. It was the need for peace.

 “How do I get there?”

It didn’t take me long before I could see the one path I never even considered as a solution so far:


The mere sound of the word had a soothing effect on my contracted solar plexus.

Acceptance – “It is what it is - and it’s not what it’s not. That’s OK.”

The definition emerged within me like a ray of light.

As I sat with this for a while, I felt like rocks were lifted off my shoulders; the rock of feeling responsible for other people’s happiness and the rock of feeling dependent on their approval. It’s simply not true.

 The gift of acceptance urges us to establish some healthy boundaries around conflicts, people, and most importantly, our own ambitions. If acceptance is not on our options menu, we are prone to exploiting ourselves and others, as perfect candidates for burnouts and depression.

 Acceptance is the direct path to peace. It creates the space and calm that doers don’t naturally have the patience for. It’s an opposed energy requiring more receptive qualities and most importantly: trust - something survivor-mentalities typically lack.

 I still fight my old demons at times, when they try to pull me into a futile battle that is not mine to fight. Remembering that I am not responsible for other people’s behavior is usually my way out. I have mine to change if needed, that’s more than enough.

 By consciously inviting acceptance into my life, I give myself permission not to act but to observe more often, aiming to do this with love and compassion. Of course, I am happy to help when needed and able, but committed to accept my own limitations and those of others.

 Life feels so much healthier this way – being free to embrace and communicate my boundaries is incredibly empowering.

Sometimes I catch myself regretting that it took me so long to understand… but when these “shoulds” and “musts” start flooding me, I now remember to

 Breath in – “It is what it is”,

and to

Breath  out – “it’s not what it’s not. “

Then I smile, knowing that it is OK.

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