Disillusions all come from within…from the failure of some dear and secret hope. The world makes no promises; we only dream it does; and when we wake, we cry! Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie
All over the world, in the next few weeks, many children, likely between the ages of 5 and 9, will suddenly become seriously disillusioned as they discover that Santa Claus is not an actual person. They’ll get over it, but the struggle is real! Remember how crushed you were by the realization that your dad was the one who had been eating those cookies you so lovingly left by the fireplace?
The struggle is indeed real when some dream goes unrealized, a hope is dashed or the life you anticipated is simply not turning out as well as you believed it would. Disillusionment hits the 25-30 year old who realizes the career they launched doesn’t fit them. They careen into a quarter-life crisis. Disillusionment overtakes the 40-something as they mow their lawn wondering, “Is this all there is?” Disillusionment troubles the empty nester with all sorts of new time on their hands and little enthusiasm to fill it. Disillusionment strikes the retiree who imagined leisure and instead battles with boredom.
“Is this all there is?” “Now what?” “What does it all mean?” “What have I become?”
These are the cries of the disillusioned, those facing one of the four major crises that can either break us or launch us. For the past month I have been exploring these crises – pain, failure and transition. Disillusionment is the final and most sneaky crisis. It is a slowly emerging discontent, a frog-in-the-kettle experience that, one day, dawns on us.
I’ve known people who, facing this mid-life crisis, respond with knee-jerk life change. They divorce or suddenly move out of town or abandon their career or double down on the American dream and buy all the bigger things. All this to recreate their identity. The majority though, sadly slide into depression, nursing their low-grade fever of sadness and disappointment.
All of this is understandable but none of this is necessary.
Disillusionment, like pain, failure and transition, can be a doorway to a new life of meaning and purpose. With some nurturing and coaching, a disillusioned person can be guided from a life of acquisition into a life of contribution. From going through the motions to living with a sense of destiny.
A quarter-life or mid-life or retirement crisis of disillusionment provides the opportunity to step back and carefully examine the big picture of who you are and who you have become. A clear-eyed examination of your life story coupled with an understanding of your personality, skills, gifts and passions paves the way to new meaning. Connect those dots of your life with the needs of humanity and the world around you and suddenly you are poised for a life re-invention!
From disillusioned to re-envisioned. From cynical to hopeful. From pessimistic to expectant. This can be you.
We at Destinyworks will help you get there. Reach out to us. We’d love to show you how to get out of bed in the morning with anticipation and how to fall asleep with satisfaction. How to live with a sense of destiny and begin to leave a legacy.