Who doesn’t ask themselves occasionally: “Who am I beneath this story of my life?” Or, like in the myth of the Holy Grail, we may ask ourselves: “Who is it that I truly Serve?” The gods of family, finance, freedom and romance are still there, but may not need our attending to as much in the second half of life. Who is this Self that still holds a glimmer of numinosity, like a vague memory of a half-forgotten dream?
Rediscovering life direction and soul purpose may become stronger at mid-life, as many of us begin spending more time questioning what it means to “attend to the Soul.” In Greek, the word “psychotherapy” actually means attending to the Soul. In mid-journey in our life, we are perhaps more hungry for Spirit and thirsty for meaning than ever before. Our egos may be stronger now, our children grown, our career secure, non-existent, or retired from, but still the Self remains and asks questions of us.
Who are we now? The Self, rather than the ego, wants to be attended to, and yes, psychotherapy might be a way to nurture this--as might many other possibilities. In essence, it seems as if our Soul has an increased yearning to be met by another “consciousness” in a space of freedom and possibility…and in this space to see itself more clearly.
We may have many names for this “Self” I’m speaking of. Some may think of it as Atman/Brahman; the connection between the God within and the God Out There. Others may see this Self as simply the unique individual they have grown into becoming. But some of us may still be pulled by diversions and distractions and ailments that pull us away from this part of who we are. And as Christians, Jews and Muslims know, it may take some new effort “to not put any other gods before Me.”
My sense is that the call to reconnect with a guiding vision, or deep wellspring, grows more subtly intense as we age. We want to rediscover our life direction and soul purpose. Many of us look to find ways to live a deeper life more connected to Source, and reject easy answers and old solutions to this quest. Astrology and depth psychology, yoga and meditation may intrigue us. We may want to travel down and in now, rather than wide and far. Our imagination is re-ignited to new possibilities where we don’t have to go farther than our living rooms…or the library or the internet. We take up a playing the harp or reading Rumi or decide to learn Reiki. This desire to re-discover, re-connect, and replenish this wellspring always seems to rise again….how do you do it?