Your Coming of Age Crisis

87c255c475015f01ddf848b740825fbbNo one gets to opt out. For most of us, it happens somewhere in our mid-20s. But it can begin earlier, or later. Usually there’s an external trigger, possibly more than one: the death of a family member, a physical illness, a bitter break-up.* But it’s more than the trigger. “It” is the result of your bio-chemical legacy, passed on by your parents and blended in the secret laboratory of DNA.

It’s not all “nature,” there’s some “nurture” thrown in. But it’s as real as a short leg or a curved spine. And if you ignore it, you’ll be far less whole than any merely physically handicapped person.

The new warts-and-all you may have a label: OCD, ADHD, bi-polar, asperger’s, addictive personality disorder. Or it may go unnamed: subtle narcissism, a hair trigger temper, charming pre-sociopathology (a genuine inability to understand those unlike yourself).

It’s the challenge from which all other challenges stem. No, “it” is not all you are. But it shapes and colors every choice you make. Not recognizing it, is like not knowing what country you live in. Learn your pathology and turn it into a toolkit. All pathologies have a silver lining, and all people have a pathology, therefore all people have a silver lining: Michael Phelps channeled his ADHD into becoming the greatest swimmer of all time. Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill learned to temper their bi-polar mood swings into inspired insights…as have thousands of great artists, inventors, and leaders.

The second greatest challenge is to mentor others, to come alongside those whose struggles you recognize. Befriend them, model the journey to wholeness for them. But be patient, and then be still more patient–remember how you were (and are). Show them what they can be by living it out before their eyes. This is the only way you’ll ever complete your own journey.

But most important of all, seek the one “who formed you in your innermost parts, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13). The One who knew before you were born why you were uniquely—and intentionally—made this way.

Talk to the Designer.

* I’m currently writing about my own coming of age crisis in the series My Epic of Anxiety.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Your Coming of Age Crisis

  1. Mitch
    You really are an great, easy to read and enjoy writer!
    And for those of us who try writing it can be tough,
    Brad
    Brad James

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RGS says:

    Turning thirty was the hardest for me. As I accumulate more years, I become more and more comfortable with myself, and understanding of life and patient with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I remember my coming of age crisis at 32. I felt OLD. (Maybe it was sleep deprivation with three little kids in my care. Now, 32 sounds young!) I told my dad, “I still feel 18 on the inside.” He said, “Join the club.” Somehow that made me feel better. At least I wasn’t alone! And Dad’s deadpan humor always makes me laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kate Loveton says:

    I have moved into the ‘mentor others’ stage. I feel I have something to share with those who may have a need. It is a good stage to be in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m really enjoying your new series on Anxiety. Definitely something we can all identify with.Lookinging forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. brighteats says:

    And that crisis so often leads us to our purpose!! Thank you for sharing, this really resonated with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: My Epic of Anxiety | Mitch Teemley

  8. This is really powerful. It highlights a time, and a significant time in life that doesnt get very much emphasis. I feel like I’m currently in this exact time, and I’m really learning more about myself than I ever knew. Thank you for ending this with scripture, all the strength we need to get through this comes from God alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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