Seasons of a Man’s Life
Mid-Life: When man attempts to reappraise his life and penetrate his illusions.
Termination: An ending, a process of separation or loss. In some cases the separation is complete. All termination brings a sense of loss, a grief for that which must be given up. The task of transition is to terminate a time in one’s life: to accept the losses’ the
termination entails; to review and evaluate the past; to decide which aspects of the past to keep and which to reject; and to consider one’s wishes and possibilities for the future. For a man especially, this transition is harder when he has not reached many of his goals that he had set out to accomplish when he was much younger.
Every transition brings to question the life structures. What have I done with my life? What do I really get from my partner, family, friends, and community—self? What is
it I truly want for myself and others?
The widespread fears about old age have been widely recognized. Long before old age is imminent, however, middle age activates our deepest anxieties about decline and dying. The most distressing fear in early adulthood is that there is no life after youth.
THE EXPERIENCE OF ONE’S MORTALITY IS AT THE CORE OF THE MID-LIFE CRISIS.
- The recognition of vulnerability in one’s self becomes a source of wisdom, empathy and compassion for others. You can truly understand the suffering of
others only if you can identify with them through an awareness of your own
weaknesses and destructive self.
- Mid-life individuation enables us to reduce the tyranny of both the demands society places upon us and the demands of our own repressed unconscious.
- Greater Wisdom regarding the external world can be gained only through a stronger centering in the self.
- Becoming one’s own man….later on in settling down (late thirties). Speaking
in his own voice is important, even if no one listens…but he especially wants
to be heard and respected and given the rewards that are his due.
- The loss of illusions is a desirable and normal result of maturity.
- There are no “should” or “musts” anymore, only preferences.
- New Structure is possible and appropriate for your future.
- The process of losing or reducing illusions brings up feelings of disappointment, joy, relief, bitterness, grief, wonder and freedom. THE OUTCOME IS A MORE GENUINE SELF.
- Doing the work, you acquire a higher tolerance for life.
- New structure is now possible and appropriate for your future.
Choices? What choices have you made, and how are you dealing with their consequences?
- In studying your life, how has your work served to fulfill or sustain or destroy the self?
- Men sometimes form a life structure that is reasonably viable in his world, but poorly connected to who he is.
- One of the great paradoxes of human development for a man is that he is required to make crucial choices before he has the knowledge, judgment and self understanding to choose wisely. This is especially true of two great choices of early adulthood: occupation and relationship.
- As you struggle to make the fateful decisions-to break out or to stay put- you are likely to be moody, uncommunicative, alternately resentful of others and blaming of yourself.
- Examine the “shoulds” in your life. Is this belief true? Where is the evidence? Where are the facts? It’s just a thought, and thoughts are not real. BUST YOURSELF!
- You will feel alternately young, old and “in-between”. Your task is to make
sense of this condition. Balance
This period of acknowledgment and new adjustment lasts for several years. Assimilation takes time…