Some have asked if they should register for our Standing at the Threshold class which begins November 2023. They ask,
How do I know if I am in the second half of life?”
It’s not always clear cut nor does it need to be. Some helpful clues:
1st half of life is spent building our sense of identity, importance and security. This is an imperative in order to have a healthy ego structure.
The 1st half of life is approval and self focused. It tends to project authority onto others.
But inevitably, we experience failures, disillusionment or significant loss, and the identity we built is challenged. We can choose to ignore and anesthetize ourselves from the call of the deeper psyche. Some die with a 1st half identity firmly intact. I know this temptation well. Who hasn’t said, This isn’t what I expected. How could this have happened?
But life keeps going on being life and the tools we used to manage the 1st half don’t work for the call of the 2nd half. We may be dragged kicking and screaming into 2nd half, but I can tell you from experience: a load lifts when we consciously turn towards what life is putting on our plate and ask it what it wants from us.
When we choose the 2nd half of life, we move into a deeper layer of honesty.
We release blame/shame and recover personal authority: we discover we’re the one commonality in all our relationships and we have the courage to examine our role in relational dynamics.
We still have ego adaptations but our ego is increasingly aware of itself and in service of authentic Self energy whether alone or in the company of others. We face the realization much of our time is wasted on scripts that were handed down to us by family, culture and institutions that shaped us.
It’s not enough to find meaning in being successful, smart, right, liked, prominent or even addicted to the culture’s prescribed ideals about health and youth. We’ve been humbled and tumbled. Richard Rohr calls this Falling Upward.
In the 2nd half of life, we move towards a less visible source of purpose. It is less focused on earning external approval and more focused on honoring the call of the authentic Self to offer to the world what is uniquely ours to give. It requires courage and forbearance which is why so many stay and shrink into 1st half of life demands.
We orient towards depth, reconciliation and peace with paradox. 2nd half of life people tend to be both/and people because life experience has crushed our arrogant certainties.
Each generation tends to have its own distinct groupmind and in the 2nd half of life, we face it.
We drop all the pretense it takes in order to gain street cred with our peers and the parental tapes that play in our heads. We wonder who we are separate from the energetic drain of external forces in social media and in our lives pressing in with demands of who we should be.
We accept accountability for our lives and relationships.
We let go of the bondage of 1st half of life chains.
We allow a fuller range of pain and joy (and other energies our ego hasn’t allowed). We are less consumed by chasing cultural standards of happiness and more oriented towards meaning which gives us life force energy to navigate the hard things we are facing. Some people tell me they realized they made so many things hard for themselves and open more easily to ease (Some Enneagram types are less comfortable with pleasure and ease).
Gratitude, wonder, authentic connection and openness come more easily when we let go of the bondage of 1st half of life identity. We step into service of something larger.
Second half of life is less about *age* and more about *stage* because life thrusts us here and we make a conscious choice to open to what’s on our individual and collective plate:
Join Sarah Pritts and me as we step into an embodied 2nd half of life. Our hybrid class registration is now open.