If you’re beyond the age of 40 and feeling disillusioned–you’re not alone. Mid-life often finds us lost in more ways than one. We may have to deal with loss in a very literal way—the death of a parent, the loss of a job, or a physical constraint that keeps us from a favorite sport. Or, we may feel like we’ve altogether lost our bearings, if not our minds! However middle age unfolds, at a certain point, the worldview that once made so much sense begins to unravel, leaving us to grapple in the dark. Much of what worked so far becomes obsolete. The good news is, we get to start again, building on the foundation of knowledge we’ve accumulated thus far.
The cosmic shift of mid-life is part of a normal lifespan. We might as well face it and make the most of it. Our culture may perpetuate an uninspiring slant on aging. But that’s part of the façade that has to go. Beliefs that used to define us are revealed as false during this passage. We’re wise to the hype. As we toss out the irrelevant and tune into inner truth, we redefine what matters now. How we engage with the inevitable unfolding of life is up to each of us. What if we intentionally honor and embrace the mid-life transition as a rite of passage—away from the orientation of the ego, redirected by the wisdom of the soul?
Those of us who are even a little bit spiritual probably know deep down that much is to be gained if the quality of our consciousness ripens as we age. Yet, how do we get there from here? A little help doesn’t hurt. I stumbled upon a wonderful book recently that sheds light on the murky terrain of middle age. Hidden Blessings: Midlife Crisis As A Spiritual Awakening, by Jett Psaris, PhD, offers much in the way of support, reassurance, and guidance as things blow apart and it all comes together.
This book offers a rich and wise account of some commonly experienced sign-posts during mid-life. Even as the author promises rewards of spiritual awakening, she doesn’t diminish the difficulties experienced along the way. One’s process may be personal and non-linear, but even so, Dr. Psaris illuminates universal themes that normalize the disorienting ups and downs of mid-life. The exercises offered throughout (Self-Inquiry) are not to be missed. New insights burst forth, even when the subject has been examined before. Trust the process and get into it. Your transformation will be easier if you are on board.
Dr. Psaris likens the mid-life metamorphosis to a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. This metaphor reminds us that it’s okay to be in the disabling isolation of the chrysalis. And of course, it’s itchy and awkward to sprout those metaphorical wings. Yet with those wings, we take flight.
I encourage you to regard what happens in mid-life with curiosity, courage and reverence. So much of what no longer serves you will fall away, as the truth of who you are is revealed. Enjoy the adventure. And by all means, reach out for the support you deserve, if and when you need it.