The Midlife Journey, Episode 58
Here’s Episode 58 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by thirdspace coaching in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living.
This week we explore together those giant transitions in life where we get remade from the outside in and from the inside out, if we’ll only let ourselves. We talk about some of the ways we resist being changed – out of fear and shame – and how life conspires in myriad ways to keep teaching us what we need to learn. And we consider the vital role of elders and community in helping one another to let go and step more fully into the lives that are calling us, and in finding the courage and making the unique contribution each of us is here to make.
Our source this week is from ‘Hidden Blessings‘ by Jett Psaris:
The Midlife Journey
Generally we cannot take the midlife journey before midlife. It takes actual life experience for our constructed self, our ego, to mature. And, paradoxically, it takes ego strength to go through ego dissolution. We have to have the strong ego built during the first half of our lives in order to make the midlife transformation because the ego must involve itself in its own metamorphosis by failing to take us into the next stage of life…
The impulse to avoid the journey is understandable… Many of us will cling to our old lives while looking for a guarantee that new lives are possible and will be better. Even as the old well is drying up we try to maintain our lives until the passage disables us altogether. Or we rearrange the furniture of our lives to try to make things better: we trade in an old spouse for a fresher model or scurry out of our own lives into someone else’s in hopes of reviving the selves we have known up until this point…
When we arrive at midlife torn, confused, desperate, burned out, unmotivated, or fearful, what we don’t yet understand is that there isn’t any more life force in our old habits and patterns because we have used it all up! A new direction is needed. It is unimaginable to us that the old system is actually not reparable. But at midlife we undergo radical change; our old way of being is not something we can tweak and rejuvenate. We need to start over from the ground up. It is not an opportunity for a fresh start; it is a mandate for one. Carl Jung wrote, “we walk in shoes too small for us.” If we resist the call to transform at midlife, all the makeup, money, and medications in the world won’t stem our grief over having aborted the possibility of living the authentic, soul-centered life that belongs uniquely to us.
from ‘Hidden Blessings‘ by Jett Psaris