Mid-Life: A Time of Healing and Transformation



“…In our mid-life journey, God helps us make spiritual progress by being with us to strengthen us and encourage us “to keep on keeping on” It’s easy to grout, it takes faith to go through…”

Healing takes time…we’ve mentioned this before…Mid-life is a time of transformation, like the seed in the soil we are growing to become a solid tree. We continue to evolve in maturity and in wisdom through the process of human interactions, in our everyday environment, in our life-calling everyday incidents - putting to the test limits and/or weaknesses - strengthening them.

“We tend to believe that if things could go our way, if we always have what we need, we would be happy...than…oops…you reach this time of mid-life struggles...

you’re captivated by what you didn’t receive…you’re tempted to see yourself as losing…you feel your life passing you by…You’re in the pit.

Than comes the mid-life regrets…like an archaeologist, picture yourself digging into your past, finding hard to face hard realities such as the disappointment of broken dreams,the scary spectre of old age, the broken relationships, our irresponsible behaviour you would give the world to repair…to name a few. You realize that these issues had an impact on your life.

Whatever the nature of your midlife struggle, not only have you been struggling for control – (perhaps you still are), because the emotional guilt is hard to acknowledge. You’ve “erected a system of self-justification - that makes what is wrong acceptable to your conscience, in order to make yourself comfortable doing something sinful - ”rather than confessing your lack of wisdom, your lack of love, your lack of openness whichever…You’ve chose to live with lies…blaming others for your errors, for your irresponsibility

Boken interpersonal relationships, poor self image… all this as set you up for the shock of regret and guilt we might now be confronted – reaching mid-life. Until you learn to own without fear those darkest thoughts, those selfish choices, those rebellious attitudes, we feel teared apart inside.

Many, during this mid-life transition, not only feel teared apart inside, but they will also find it in their heart to blame God. In this leisure-related-and-individualistic cultural society, this behaviour is common. We blame God, we blame the Church, etc...

Living in faith calls us to righteousness, to be opened to God's will and not ours, to forgiveness, to compassion. In other words to keep us in the right track, this form of "death" – comparable to the "death" the newborn journeys through when leaving the womb to enter the world - requires courage… Our lack of courage and our negativity can lead to conscious our unconscious guilt and again “we erect the same system of self-justification in order to avoid any kind acknowledgement."The spiritual mid-life journey of transformation calls us to awakening We need to:

Open the gate to the garden of our soul…

The intention of this encounter consists not of bringing guilt but is a call to be truthful, to be sincere; it’s a call to humility, (living with the truth in our life) and to forgiveness.

In faith, we journey with God in a deep relationship with Him; He teaches us to know him (not just a rational theological knowledge, a knowledge implying a relationship in which we can find inner peace and freedom.

How can we do so, if, for one thing, you can’t make peace with yourself? The truth will set you free, but you must confess your iniquities without fear of rejection, of condemnation or punishment. To whoever discovers this, it’s a wonderful freedom.

Conclusion

All humans are created spiritual. Our parents gifted us with physical life that has been developed and nourished through our senses and our intelligence; we also inherited the gift of a soul – the Spirit of God within us. Not everyone is made aware of this because our spiritual life, just like our physical, requires to be nourished…and in our post moderm society, spirituality is considered almost obsolete.

What has been my strength in my periods of crisis; my safety jacket thrown to me during my difficult challenging struggles…? My values, my faith in God, my commitment to His Word even in these hard times. When I look back, I cannot help but wonder how I would have journeyed through all my struggles without this amazing grace…I am puzzled when I think of so many people journeying through really tough times in life, without faith; I wonder how they do it without feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, because even during times of trials, people journeying with faith still experiment doubts, frustrations and periods of discouragements.

Trials and struggles test our faith and our sense of commitment and are experiences of personal growth. I will elaborate further about this in our next encounter as I develop the issues we most likely might be confronted to in our relationship with God during the mid-life transition. But in the meantime, the most important thing…“We must know God…not know of God….”

Here’s a little anecdote I’ve received from a friend in an email; it illustrate our journey of faith in God.

“A woman was asked by a coworker: “What is it like to be a Christian?” The coworker replied: “It is like being a pumpkin.” God picks you from the patch, brings you in and washes all the dirt from you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate and greed. Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for the entire world to see.”

“Religious belief is not a simple assent of the intellect to historic fact. Faith is a gift, a grace, a blessing. It’s a supernatural bridge between God and man. It’s comparable to falling in love (mystery element). Words cannot describe what you feel in the heart for the person you love. It’s a meeting of the hearts.” Like all lovers, experiencing their share of interpersonal relationship issues, so does people having faith in God, including Christians. This is what I hope and pray you discover during these time of life assessment. For those who are already journeying, may you journey deeper into an even deeper intimate relationship with Him. The world might crumble around you, but He will always be there.

In Your Mid-life struggles: look at the big picture http://www.mid-life-renewal.com/mid-life-spirituality-when-it-hurts.html


The Sources:

1.Dear Heart Come Home – The Path of Midlife Spirituality by Joyce Rupp, The Crossroad Publishing Company, 16Penn Plaza, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10001 Copyright 1996 – re-edition 2006.

2.Jesus Today –A Spirituality of Radical Freedom, by Albert Nolan, published by Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308 Copyright 2008

3.Lost in the Middle – MidLife and the Grace of God, by Paul David Tripp, Shepherd Press, Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania Copyright 2004

4.The Promise – God’s Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts by Father Jonathan Morris, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 Copyright 2008

5.How to Befriend Your Shadow – Welcoming Your Unloved Side by John Mombourquette, Novalis, St-Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, copyright 2001

6.Holy Bible – Catholic Edition - The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Bible Press, Copyright 1993.

7.Why Faith Matters by David J. Wolpe, HarperCollins Publishers 10 East 53th Street New York, NY,10022 Copyright 2008

8. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Published by DoubleDay Publishing Group, Inc. 1540 Broadway,New York, NY 10036 Copyright 1994