The Messy Middle

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The Messy Middle

By: Theresa Lode,  Life Coach, public speaker and humorist at

That place between “this is not working” and “this is what I dream of” is what I think of as “The Messy Middle.”

We humans are connoisseurs of comfort.  We relish the illusion of control through predictability and cling to certitude like a frightened toddler does to a parent when he doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap.

Control and certitude is not how the world works though.  And ironically, control and certitude are also the very things that make us miserable because at our core, we are explorers.  (Just watch a two-year-old discover the wonder of new things to help you understand how we are born naturally inquisitive.)

Change requires getting out of that comfort zone and this is where it gets messy.  So messy in fact, that most chose to stay in the “this is not working” place. It’s an unhappy, dark place.  And this is when health issues – both physical and emotional – begin to arise.

I think age related health issues are really God’s way of turning the volume up in order to get our attention. No longer can we eat Doritos with impunity and milk may no longer be your friend, if you know what I mean.  “Clean up on aisle seven!” God might say, referring to the 25-year-old grudge you’ve been hanging on to.  “Kick fear in the teeth and try that new career!” he might cheer if he is feeling karate-ish that particular day.

The really scary part of this is that you have the choice to not change.  To coast into your second half of life and become the crotchety, inflexible grouch who waves his fists at “those darn kids!” when they step foot on his lawn.

The flip side are those older, wiser people that we aspire to grow up and be like one day.  These are the aged ones that have become more compassionate and patient as they’ve allowed the bumps and bruises of life to tenderize their souls. Folks like these are irresistible to be around.  They’ve learned to love and accept themselves and as a result they can love and accept others – even if their lawn gets trampled.

If you find yourself in a messy middle – be of good cheer.  You are right on time!  The question you must ask yourself – how do you want to get through it?

Theresa Lode is “The Zany Sage.”  She’s a Certified Life Coach, public speaker and humorist.  She loves helping people create a new life – without having to go into witness protection.   You may out more about her at:


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