The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women. During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us. In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. Last week, we talked about the midlife crisis or awakening that heralds the midlife journey (which includes menopause), the process of revisiting our past and the map of midlife. On Monday we explored the shattering of illusions, and yesterday we confronted our fears. Today we continue the process of exploring the many aspects of midlife by learning how to hear the voice of our truth over the voice of the outside perceived authorities to whom we previously gave our allegiance.
What to expect in midlife and menopause – Obedience
As children, we were taught that obedience means doing what we are told. Then we are taught about all those who we are expected to listen to: our parents, teachers, priests and pastors, babysitters, elders, camp counselors, professors, coaches, and then we are expected as adults, to do what our bosses tell us what to do and eventually (if you are a woman), you are expected to be obedient to your husband (Sorry guys….I’m not sure this is ever taught from a gender-neutral position. How many of you were taught to be obedient to your wives? In defense of men, I suggest that men are often conditioned to believe it is their job to make their wives happy, often at the expense of their own truth. This qualifies as another kind of vow of obedience.) The formation of our youth often revolves around listening to the words of some outside perceived (and often self-appointed) authority, and when we dare to speak our truth or to question what we are being told to do, the most common response is condemnation, threats and punishment.
What to expect in midlife and menopause – Seeking the Voice of Truth
At midlife and during the perimenopause, menopause transition, something within us stirs and begins to shift around our relationship with outside perceived authority and we are compelled to begin a process of serious discernment – distinguishing the voice of our own truth from the competing voices of truth outside of us. What we learn during midlife, (if we are paying attention and doing the work) is that the only authentic truth is that which comes from inside of us (which some might call God). This inner truth, more than any outside perceived authority, knows what is in our highest good, knows our passion, knows our uniquely creative gifts, knows what gives us peace, joy, contentment, what will lead us to love and fulfillment. During midlife, if we want to find peace and fulfillment in our life and the awakening of our Soul, we turn more and more to this voice of inner truth and we turn away from all the competing voices that try to keep us in status quo, thereby leading us astray. Of course, listening to the voice of our own truth and unraveling from all the outside authorities to whom we had previously given our obedience is no easy task. Instead, this shift from obedience to other vs. obedience to self causes division, separation and frequently causes the end of significant relationships. If we do not enter boldly into this process of discernment and self-directed decision making, however, we will never know the freedom of living our Soul, of living our truth, of embracing our gifts and passions and serving the betterment of our world.
I have mentored hundreds of men and women in the birth of their Soul, most of whom travelled this journey through midlife. If you are looking for similar support, I am available for one-on-one mentoring, in person, over the phone and via Skype. To schedule an appointment, call (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.