Moving Towards Wholeness
At midlife there is a deep call for wholeness.
Midlife helps you find true meaning.
|As we grow and
develop we choose from the opposites of personality to establish our sense of self. We
develop our ego (Capital letter "I") in this manner. The task of the first half
of life is to develop personality to the best of our ability so we can live and function
in the world. However, our development inherently becomes one-sided. One of the opposites
of personality is chosen and emphasized at the expense of the other. You become the best
introvert you can but remain an under developed extrovert so social settings make you very
uncomfortable. Or, you become the best of thinkers who is out of touch with the feeling
side of life. Your intuition may be excellent but you get overwhelmed in the many details
of daily life.
At midlife, there arises a deep call for wholeness. It comes from the individuation process that is propelling growth. The "undeveloped" must be developed if we are to be fully functioning people. Without this urge towards wholeness we remain like a lopsided wheel trying to roll down hill. We are awkward and can get out of control
At midlife the meaning and purpose of the first half of life begins to fail. The agenda changes. It is no longer focussed on differentiation but integration. We must give up the identity we worked so hard to get so we can become more. There is a crisis of meaning. Life often seems to fall apart. Signs and symptoms arise to get our attention so we will make the change.
At this time we ask, "Is this all that there is?" This is a spiritual question and midlife takes us into a quest for a deeper and more powerful spirituality.
The midlife problem is that all of this change is extraordinarily difficult and can be both greatly resisted and denied. Midlife offers the opportunity to become "whole" but the journey does not have to be taken. You may retreat into the stagnation pattern of holding on to youth.
At midlife you must be willing to "die" so you can be "reborn." You must die to the old self that has become egocentric so you can reshape yourself. This entails a certain amount of suffering and confrontation from which many flee. However, to become a whole person the journey must be taken.
Steps of managing midlife.
Ultimately, midlife is taking you to a new and deeper level of meaning. What meaning will work for you? What is a truly workable meaning for life? Spiritual and psychological traditions all agree. It is to become a generative person. In the simplest language it mean to fully, "Love you neighbor as yourself." It is to follow the "Golden Rule." It is to Be of service to others. Midlife is taking you to your true Self and challenging you to the creative journey of making "That Which is Greater" manifest the world.