Have you found yourself more emotional in midlife than ever before? If you’re anything like me, happy stories, sad stories and even TV commercials can reduce me to a puddle of tears. I cry every time I watch The Voice (TV show). Something about watching people soar in their zone of genius triggers deep emotion in me. I have become a crier. Who knew? I also find myself less able to tolerate the news (it’s never good), or violent or depressing movies. I feel those things way more deeply than I ever have. Now before you go chalking it all up to the hormonal swings of the big M and thinking that you’re going crazy, I want to you to consider something for a second. Maybe there is a deeper reason why our emotions come to the surface at this time of life. Maybe our emotions are actually the super powers we need to navigate this next chapter. What?!? Bear with me here for a minute. Emotions are our guides. The wide range of feelings that we all have are the feedback loop that either attracts us to, or repels us from, situations, places and people. For many of us, myself included, we have spent a good chunk of our lives shut off from our emotions. I used to pride myself on being a hard ass- “Ain’t no one got time for that. I got sh*t to do”. When I became a mother, the cracks in my emotional armour began to appear. Anything related to my child could cause me to feel deeply and gasp!, even shed a tear or two. Anyone who is a mom can relate to that. The deep emotional bond we feel with our children is nature’s way of attaching us to and focusing us on nurturing and protecting. Nature is really quite brilliant. So if you think about it in those terms, the volume of emotions that come to the surface during mid-life and menopause is actually nature’s way of directing our attention once again. As we move past the duties of child rearing and serving others and begin to re-focus on ourselves, our emotions are brought to the surface as a type of navigation system to help us find our way in this new and unfamiliar territory. When we pay attention to what our emotions are telling us, we begin to understand more deeply what bring us joy, what ignites our passion, what brings us down or drains our energy. All of this emotional feedback helps inform what’s important to us; what we want in our life, and what we’re no longer willing to tolerate in this next chapter. Our emotions are the built in super powers that lead the way to a new focus and direction.
Join the conversation on this and other topics in the Old Chicks Know Sh*t Facebook group.