Posted on October 27th, 2009 by Colin and is posted in Midlife
The drive in midlife is for wholeness. It’s what we yearn for. By wholeness I mean reclaiming our unlived lives, remembering our forgotten dreams, attend to our neglected qualities and finding our lost talents.
We yearn to live our unlived lives and find our deeper selves, we do not know. We want to break free from the stereotypical confines we’ve become burdened with in the first half of life and develop the “undeveloped” parts of our self. The quest for wholeness is the quest for authenticity and it’s a journey that’s unique to every individual.
To become more we have to let go of the identity we’ve work so hard to create in our first life. The midlife journey to wholeness is there to be taken but most attempt to avoid, resist or deny the opportunity.
The challenge is the change can be extraordinarily difficult. At midlife we have to ready to “die” so we can be “reborn.” The suffering we experience in midlife comes from the death of the old self that has become egocentric so we can find out who we really and what we’re meant to do with the time we have remaining. The biggest challenge is there is no path to follow as Dante expressed in the opening lines of The Divine Comedy:
Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a dark forest, for the straightforward pathway had been lost…
The maps we’ve use to guide ourselves through the first half of lives now no longer work. To find our way out of the dark forest we need to lay down of the old out of date maps and get in contact with a new guidance system, our inner compass that points the way to our true magnetic north.
In the first half of life we are taught to fit in and not to find out who we really are. Our primary task in midlife is to discover who we really are, and then create an outer world that’s aligned with our authentic self.
At midlife priority development need is two fold:
1. The journey into self – turning inward to find our true nature
2. The journey into meaning – turning outward to create a life of meaning
Attending to these two important tasks is not a linear process but one that’s happening simultaneously. Looking inward naturally transforms the outward journey. Re-discovering the real self is a journey from one circle of awareness to the next.
Our ever-increasing expansion of awareness naturally leads us back to the part of us that’s real. We need to go through an inner and outer dialogue that shifts us from the darkness into the light. To reconnect with our deeper nature we have to turn inside and go within.
Midlife is a time of inner work – a time to bring our own lives under our control. It’s a time when we shift our focus away from the priorities set in the first half of life to search for the deeper meaning of it all.
We have to start leaving behind the personas and social roles picked up in the first half of life and get in touch with the more authentic part of our nature, our real Self. Family, culture and education causes us to lose touch with this real part of ourselves.
Midlife calls us to start living life beyond what was fabricated by instrumental people in the early years. To do that we have to go within and ask ourselves one of life’s timeless questions, “Who am I…really?”
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