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Help Me Get Untangled!! Don’t underestimate the impact of a Life Coach

Midlife hit me like a bad dream.

Waking up to face the day with hundreds of unpredictable insecurities pounding at the door, raging to take me out. Gnawing at my insides. One of the benefits of hitting 50 was shouting with confidence, “Be ye gone!!” to all those stupid measurements we cared about when we were young. Clothes, cars, skin, weight, and the long list of people who were privileged to be on our friend list. How disturbing it is to recall such vainglory. As I sit here, waiting for Covid to work its way out of my system, I look like I washed up on the shores of “the washed-up ones.” Help me. My dog, laying beside me has the cutest face of everyone and she doesn’t even know being cute is a thing. We ride these messy waves of living in our authentic selves.

The key is, don’t shove it down into the hole of all the other things we’ve ignored.

Counseling is one thing. At some point, we all need to dig deep and look back at the experiences and losses which have twisted our lives out of shape. Too often we ignore our suffering, and in time, it leaks out.

Coaching is a little different. You may not be in a season of intense struggle, but rather feeling stuck. It’s not depression, it’s forgetting your purpose. Insecure and unsure. It can appear more complicated than it actually is. Sometimes we just need a voice to help clear out the fog.

Maybe one of these is you:

  1. You forget who you are: You have raised your kids. In the process, you have forgotten what you love. You feel aimless and lost.

  2. Stuck in the wrong career: You have been in the same job forever and it feels like a dead end. You no longer have passion for it, and you have no idea how to make a change.

  3. Renewed vision: As a result of circumstances and changes in your life, you are learning more about yourself and what you are wired for. When you were young, you thought the path would open up naturally, but now you wonder what is next.

  4. Spiritually numb: You have walked with Jesus, been invested in His church, and now you feel empty. You have hit a wall and it is scaring you.

  5. A weary parent: You have no energy to be creative with your kids, to pursue them and relate with them. You have guilt that you are not a good mom, and you don’t know how to reengage your heart.

  6. Addicted to being busy: It’s obvious that it’s impacting you and your relationships. You know it isn’t healthy, but you have no idea how to be still.

  7. Bondage to the approval of others: You can’t release the control others have over you. The lies you believe are so natural you are unable to detect what is true or not.

  8. Trapped in fear: As a young adult in college, you are terrified of your future. Every grade, every internship, and every connection carries so much weight. The lie you live by is, “It’s all up to me.” As a result, anxiety steals your hope and peace.

Sometimes, the best gift we can give ourselves is another voice in the mix. Someone to listen and gather evidence of what is going on. Like moving around puzzle pieces scattered on the table, someone objective can help make sense of it all. I have had people do this for me so many times in my life. Oh, the clarity! When we talk it out, when we move it from the chaos of the mind into a conversation, things begin to take order.

It’s simple but profound. The busyness of our lives, the lack of quiet and stillness to reflect, and our lack of self-awareness makes it almost impossible to identify our need for help. I will be the first to admit it: when I need help that requires me to move out of my comfort zone or fork out money I feel bad about spending, I find every reason to tell myself “no.” However, the cost of ignoring what I need has been greater than any money I have spent

So what gets in the way for you?

  1. Money: It’s tough to justify spending money on something so elusive. But remember, this is not a long-term commitment. It may only take 3 sessions for you to begin to feel free.

  2. Time: We already feel like we can’t accomplish what we need to. The truth is, your time will multiply as you learn to incorporate new boundaries, accept limitations, and end the exhaustion of living on the treadmill of crazy-town.

  3. Shame: You believe you shouldn’t need help. You have a ”good life,” are competent in many ways, and should be able to pull it together. And then you recall Paul’s words: it’s in “WEAKNESS” that Christ is strong.

  4. Bandwidth: You have no energy left. Weary and overwhelmed, with too much to do, what you believe you need is less to feel responsible for. The irony is, once you start caring for your emotional health, you will find you have renewed energy. As you enter into the process, you will realize just how much you needed someone to simply engage you!

  5. I’m bad at follow-through: Oh, wow, I GET IT! Here is one thing I am learning. When I stay on the sidelines, I get used to the sidelines. When I participate and move into the scenarios I avoid, I find strength and confidence come. It’s pretty amazing, but I don’t experience it until I try.

  6. I've ignored things for too long: It's scary to lift the lid on that stuff! The reality is, once you begin paying attention to these things, in time, you will feel a lift you didn't know was possible.

We live in a self-obsessed culture. However, what we lack, is healthy self-knowing. God designed us to be in touch with ourselves. To name and understand what is going on with us, and why. Our hiding leads to disconnect with ourselves, others, and most importantly, God. When we hit walls like those listed above, it is time to stop and pay attention. These walls don’t just “go away.” They require attention. Recently, a line in a book by Peter Scazzero has gotten my attention, “It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” We can participate in Bible studies, lead women’s ministries, work with kids in Young Life, read Scripture every day, and if we fail to take care of our emotional health, we will crash and burn. It’s not “strong” to plow through, it’s not “faithful” to keep serving when you are spent…it’s dangerous. He goes on to say, “The possibility of self-deception is so great that without mature companions we can easily fall into the trap of living in illusions” (Scazzero).

As we move from summer into fall, be reminded that growth happens when we die to our false selves. We heal when we bring our brokenness to Jesus and invite him to raise us up from the graves we have been living in.

Invite others into the process; it’s worth it.

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