Thinking and sometimes even being preoccupied with finding meaning in our lives is often a natural spinoff from chronologically progressing into the second half of our lives (euphemism for growing old!). Typically, the first half of our lives are very much about developing our egos to serve the world around us. However, in the second half of our lives we are all invited to deepen our conversations and to come into contact with ourselves in order to find what is serving our souls. Driven by our complexes yet realising that something inside ourselves is responding, we ask questions that we did not ponder as intensely in our younger years. Questions such as: Why am I here? What’s this life about? Something inside is pushing us to delve deeper into a sense of meaning, of calling, of purpose.
Midlife often brings us to a fork in the road and as Yogi Berra said: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”. But how will we know which road to take? James Hollis says it requires discernment i.e. experimentation with sorting and sifting over time. With patience and humility we need to discern which voices are coming from inside us. In order to do this, we need to have courage to risk and we need to pay attention to outcomes.
Embarking on the journey in midlife to find how we can serve our souls, is no easy quest. First we need to ask ourselves: Does this life really matter to me? Do I actually want to be here in a way that I’m meant to be here? We need to establish our own personal motivation for going on this journey that has no guaranteed destination. It is only then that we will be ready to do the work.
According to Hollis our individuation process is indeed our calling, it is that which serves the soul, not the world around us. Discernment and the courage to risk will help us find the answers to the Big Question: What is wanting to express through me? What is wanting to enter the world through me?
Hollis calls our greatest enemies in life the two gremlins standing at the foot of our beds every morning: Fear and Lethargy. This quest to find meaning in our lives, to find our call and purpose, will require that we consciously choose every morning not to fall victim to these gremlins. It is not a quest recommended you go alone, rather choose your companions wisely. Jung Platform offers such companionship by giving you access to inspiring teachers presenting soul-serving courses online. If something inside is urging you forward, make an appointment with yourself and keep it.
“The soul asks each of us that we live a larger life. Each day this summons is renewed.”
Join Jungian Analyst James Hollis in this deeply moving & insightful two-part series Live Your Own Life, where he invites us to tend to the unique story that is waiting to unfold within each one of us. Delivered with Dr.Hollis’ trademark wisdom & wit, these lectures will inspire you to create your own map into the terrain of your life’s story.
Aretha du Rand
Aretha du Rand has spent most of her professional life working as a management consultant and project manager in one of the big four global professional services firms.More Posts by Aretha du Rand