We spend the first half of our lives trying to get somewhere, grow up, become something — working harder, doing more, collecting, achieving, accomplishing.
Then suddenly, shockingly, life is half done.
And here you are. Not exactly sure what comes next.
What do you do with this second act?
Struggle with dissatisfaction, depression, or anxiety? Continue to play the roles you’ve outgrown or simply slide quietly into old age?
There must be more to this transition than that. For some, midlife can become a crisis. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The beauty of this life stage is that you now have the gifts of experience and perspective to reflect on.
You can make changes aligned with who you now know yourself to be – your authentic self. You can transform with less concern about the opinions of others.
The Second Half of Life and Self-Examination
Of course, to get the most out of moving forward, self-examination will likely be the most effective path.
Sports cars, new lovers, and plastic surgery are frequently chosen by some throughout midlife, although these are often distractions and detours from the ultimate internal work.
This period of time is meant for soul searching. A deeper look at what really matters.
Your second act is a courageous departure from the first act’s script of competition, conformity, and accumulation. You are growing into a deepened maturity, self-awareness, and self-acceptance.
??Simply put, aging is the process of finally becoming who you are meant be. Of creating a life aligned with your truest nature.
Dr. James Hollis, Jungian analyst and author, notes that the “grownup” in you is truly realized in the second half of life, not the first. He states it beautifully in his book, The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife:
“The conscious experience of the Middle Passage requires separating who we are from the sum of the experiences we have internalized. Our thinking then moves from magical to heroic to human. Our relations with others become less dependent, asking less of them and more of ourselves.”
The midlife transition is a rite of passage from your magical, heroic self to your human self?. You are freed through the knowledge of your humanity, your flaws, your? limits. Paradoxically, these aspects of you also contain profound gifts.
You’re more and more free to grow in wisdom, and to choose a more meaningful future. You’re less and less responsible for making the world’s wheels turn.
You realize there is no need to waste time with things that don’t matter to you.
Allow yourself to indulge in self-discovery and exploration like you haven’t before. Nurture and accept? the parts of you that have been unknown, hidden or pushed to the back burner. ?
You can freely accept the invitation to live the life you’ve longed to live.