I’ve been reading Richard Rohr’s book, “Falling Upward, A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.” He takes Carl Jung’s concept of having two halves of life and applies it to spirituality. It’s fabulous. I also re-watched Wayne Dyer’s movie, The Shift, which beautifully demonstrates what this might look like in real life.
In my mind, Rapid Transformational Therapy is a bridge between the halves. We grow up learning what the world is like. Developing our ego as Jung says. Wayne Dyer calls it E.G.O, edging God out. When we’re in this first half, we have rules and constructs to lean on. We have right and wrong and good and evil. We don’t need to rely too much on God, because we know most of the answers. We have dogma and religious rules to keep us in line and let us know where everyone stands. This is good. As Richard Rohr shares the idea that it’s good to have this secure system, so that we have something solid to dissect in the second half of life.
In the first half we adopt ways of dealing with life when it doesn’t perform the way we think it ought to. When we can’t please everyone, or be perfect like we think we must, we need to have some ways of numbing that pain. We learn rules like:
I must be perfect
If you pray everything works out
I need to please everyone
I don’t want to make waves or hurt people
God loves those who stay in line and stay safe
If I’m a good girl, or good boy, everything will work out
If I work hard, everything will turn out the way I want
I must perform to be loved
And for a while all is well. Until it’s not.
We find ourselves anxious, depressed, drinking more than we should, addicted to porn, in the middle of an affair, or divorce, or death. The rules have let us down. At this point many people decide one of two things. God let me down. This was not how life was supposed to work out. Or I let God down, I’m not his good kid. I’m less than. I no longer deserve a good life. Maybe I never did.
I gave up for a few years. After everything I built for 5 years before that fell apart. My rules fell apart. If I love God and pray, surely this ministry will not close. I was so confused and hurt and depressed after the homeless shelter I started, closed. I had to drive the family living there to another shelter. I was completely devastated. I let everyone down. Amazing volunteers and donors and employees depended on me. I felt like I failed them all. A friend came over one day and asked, “How are you?” My kids said, “She hasn’t cried as much today.” I gained 25 pounds but the worst part was that I quit talking to God. All the times I thought I was listening, I now believed I was just being crazy. I took option two, where I believed I was no longer a “good” girl. Why would God use me again if I failed once?
For me it was a failed business. I put my entire identity into it. So, you know, it had to go so I could heal. For others this defining moment between halves is rehab, or divorce court, or a grave site, or hospital after the miracle of birth. And what’s more, this process isn’t always linear. It can repeat itself in smaller ways throughout our lives. On the whole there’s a point where we can see ‘before’ and ‘after’.
After spending some time in the ‘I’m not sure about God mode’, you come to the end of the first half of life, and the beginning of the second. After all the rules and conditions fall away, you’re left with truth. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13. I wouldn’t trade the pain of that experience for anything. I treasure it! It was the start of my healing and learning how absolutely loved I am! How God does speak to me! I don’t have to make others happy, or be perfect, or work myself to death! There’s no freedom like that! When everything fell apart, love was there. God was loving me even though I wasn’t ‘performing.’ I’m still not totally sure about all the ways God works or why. It’s a mystery in many ways. The difference is that’s no longer scary.
As I began to walk into the second half of my life, I saw how loved I was by so many people throughout the life of that organization. I couldn’t see it before. My ego was big and I thought I had to do it all myself, and it had to be perfect. This is what we see in the second half of our lives. We see our big, ugly ego. I had edged God out even in the middle of doing “good” work! I relied on myself and my belief systems of having to perform to be loved.
I realized I wasn’t a bad girl. I was just confusing ego with that still small voice. Which is really easy to do! Now I trust that voice and listen all the time. When it’s unclear, I just wait for clarity. I know this voice is peace. Even when it says hard things. Even when it says to do things that stretch my belief in myself.
This is the second half of life. You connect with God- whatever you call that. For some people the word God carries tons of painful baggage and shame. But you connect with your inner voice. The part of you that knows your purpose and where you need to go and what you need to do. That’s the priority in the second half. If we aren’t Edging God Out, then we’re including the spiritual aspect of us.
If you’re in the middle of this transition, or anywhere along the journey and need help, please set up a free consult call with me here. I needed help from other people and counselors and therapists to figure things out. There’s no shame in that. I believe you’ll be lead at just the right time, to just the right place.
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