Last week’s blog really hit a nerve, with lots of responses and shares – it seems questions of the heart are what we are yearning for. (If you missed it you can read it here).
I thought I might continue this theme of asking the bigger questions – they can be so freeing. As Rumi said:
Take an axe to the prison wall
Walk out like someone suddenly born into colour.
Do it now.
This first stage is about meeting the social, cultural and milieu expectations put upon you. This is where we are focused on becoming adults and standing on our own two feet. Beginning and establishing our careers. Finding a partner. Starting a family.
The big question that is resonating throughout this phase is: What does the world ask of me? We seek to answer questions like “what resources must I gather? What of my parents or family I grew up in do I reject or unconsciously take on? How do I create a career, relationship, and social identity?”
These are all useful and necessary questions, but they lose their flavour when you stay in this phase, only answering the needs of the world and society. Lingering too long here brings discontent and a sense of ennui. We then try to fix this by doubling down on the things from this stage – like more external validation, resources, accomplishment, or status etc. When the expectations chafe or no longer make sense, which they inevitably will, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, It only means another phase beckons.
In the second half of life, the questions change to a more spiritual nature, addressing the need for meaning and deeper purpose. Instead of asking “what does the world want from me’, the second phase poses “What does the soul ask of me?”
This is where we get to the bigger questions I wrote about last week. In this phase we seek to answer What is the yearning and calling of my own heart, that is only mine to answer?
What truly matters for me?
Who am I? Am I my identity or my job?
Am I my history?
I’m really passionate about helping us expand into the fullness of who we truly are – as people, as leaders, and as change agents. We need to give ourselves permission for this stuff! When inner growth is denied or stunted, great possibility and potential is cut off and lost. We are at a time now where the whole of us is wanted and needed – not just the bits we think society applauds. Stepping into these deeper questions can help bring us more fully alive and into our power.