"I'm nearly 50 and feel stuck and disoriented"
I am nearing the end of the fifth decade of my life path and I feel completely stuck, disoriented. I experienced a series of failures in all major life areas and (probably) as a consequence of this am suffering from a depression since then (from 1999). I tried many self-help techniques, am still visiting a psychologist, recently started with energy healing sessions, began practicing Reiki and I read a lot of related literature in an effort to understand the background of my problems. I think I did make some progress as far as depression is concerned, but it is very little and it happens at an extremely slow pace.
In the meantime my close family has been suffering a lot, my professional performance degraded drastically, I will be facing unemployment very soon with rather gloomy career prospects. I am very much afraid as to whether I will be able to support my family. But what I am primarily afraid of is my irrational behavior and greatly reduced intellectual capacities. I am not able think clearly, I am constantly absent-minded, I procrastinate indefinitely, I feel defensive and as a loser, I keep avoiding people (except very close friends) - in short I do everything opposite to what one should do in such an emergency situation.
I guess this crisis had to happen in order to help me understand how meaningless and aimless my life was up to now. I think I became aware how much I neglected the spiritual dimension of my life. I have been feverishly searching for a new meaning and direction but am still far from knowing where to go. And how can I hope to know, being in such a state of mind?
I would not like to use strong words but I often feel desperate and sometimes even get a desire to abandon the struggle.
Please help me find a way to wake up.
Hello - I think you have a good grasp on what is going on for you. You are definitely in a period in your life where you have realized that there is a need to develop the spiritual aspect of your being. Rather than this being a terrible situation, what if you re-framed how you think about it? In other words, this doesn't have to be a struggle ... unless you are fighting against it. How about seeing it as a marvelous opportunity here for growth and development!? Lots of incredible things can happen from taking this path - things you may not even be able to see yet or understand. But they are waiting for you. This period of your life does mean that you are in the process of getting to know yourself in a new way - rearranging yourself, so to speak. That doesn't mean that who you were before or how you lived was meaningless. It just means that now you are ready for the next step.
In all situations in our lives, if we see what is happening through gentle eyes, and through the eyes of love, we see that we have never done anything wrong or meaningless. Life is all about just having experiences, and learning and growing. Up to now you have had more experiences with more worldly things. Now you are ready for a different kind of experience. That's exciting!
Depression is simply a refusal to see something, and when we use up a lot of our energy to hold something down, we don't have the energy available to us that we need for other things. What you have been denying is your feminine energy. Your spirit is working to help you to find a new balance between your masculine and feminine energies. As you do this, what you will find is that your heart is going to open up. As your heart opens up, there will be so many great opportunities that come your way. What I heard in your letter was a tendency to come from a harsher (the masculine) place with yourself, and most probably, with others and life in general. As you gain the energy that comes from the wisdom and loving heart space of the Feminine, (which you may have defined as "irrational" - but it is not that at all) you will have a lot more energy, and much more balanced energy at your disposal with which to live life in a new way - a kinder way. You will probably find a different job that will match this new energy - one that will be even better for you and your family.
It can be frightening to go through such a big change, but believe me - it is worth it! When you are balanced between heaven and earth, spirit and nature, sun and moon, day and night - in other words, the masculine and the feminine energies of life - You will find that life is more wonderful, more full, and that you will be more whole - a full person - someone still strong with the masculine energy, but also more deeply connected to all that is - living more deeply from a place of joy than you have ever experienced before. So, what if you really embraced what is going on? What if you jumped in the stream of it and let it carry you where it will, and trusted the process?
I think the process you are in is great! And remember, your soul knows what it is doing! It's wanting to make you a whole person. Just let yourself trust it!!
Hello Ayal, thank you very much for your insightful explanation.
When you talked about opening of my heart I remembered that my energy healer said that I am totally blocked in the heart area (fourth chakra). She also mentioned an important traumatic experience I am supposed to have had in early childhood (or even earlier?) - something I cannot recall presently.
I think I can understand your message regarding letting the stream carry me where it will, but, frankly speaking, it is not easy to absorb it entirely, in particular for me who only until yesterday perceived life and the world from purely materialistic viewpoint. I will try to do my best not to struggle against, at least.
If you allow me, I would have two more questions:
Is it OK to continue with what I am currently doing (energy healing, Reiki, etc) in order to help find the balance, or, again, let my spirit work at his own pace?
When we feel, as you mentioned, some sort of frantic need to find a purpose or a mission in life, what is usually happening is that we are lacking a sense of Self. And we are frantic to find it, to feel filled up. When we know who we are (which is God), and we just feel good about ourselves, when we feel great about being alive, and we have that deep sense of being filled up with our own Light, so to speak, DOING something loses its glamor. That doesn't mean that we won't do wonderful things with our life, but we do them from a different place. Rather than doing something from a need to fill ourselves up and trying to make that be what makes us feel good about ourselves from the outside, we do it from a place of already feeling good, on the inside. In the end, anyway, doing something to make us feel important or meaningful never works anyway. We think it will, but once we do it, we realize how empty it is and how it's not how we thought it would be. Because... the only thing that can make you feel wonderful and alive and worthwhile is how you feel about yourself from the inside.
If you live from a place of deep peace on the inside, WHATEVER you do will feel wonderful... even if it's just mowing the lawn or making an omelette. You won't be looking for that elusive something outside of yourself to fill you up. It can't. That's what addiction is all about. Thinking something external will do it for you. And even having a mission or wanting to have one is an external thing. However, doing what you LOVE to do is an outward expression of all the love you carry around on the inside, and that works and feels wonderful, but only because you are already filled up. Then you just express it. This is called "The Peace That Surpasseth Understanding." It is beyond figuring out, beyond anything we can do, or that the mind can think of. It's that place of just being so at peace with yourself, so deeply in tune with yourself as God, that it just IS, and it flows out of you. Do you see the difference? It is said, "God pays us for doing what we love." The universe just wants us to be happy. There are no missions to fulfill - unless doing it is what we love to do, and brings us closer to self understanding.
What you are really looking for is that feeling of deep Love and Peace on the inside. And you have begun the journey to find out how to feel that way. Good for you!! Have you heard the short, but to the point, Zen saying: "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water"? Well, what this means is that what you DO before you're enlightened, and what you DO after you're enlightened doesn't matter, or really even change. It's all the same. It doesn't matter what you DO. What changes is the state of mind you do it FROM. In other words, how you feel when you do what you do is what matters. So, DOING something isn't the answer. Actually, the truth is, if we are needing to do something to make ourselves feel better, what we end up doing is usually taking from others rather than serving others, as we are doing it from a place of need - needing gratification, needing to be shown how good or right we are. When you do something just to express the love you feel, like singing in the shower, or smiling with true joy at a little child playing - then there is no imposition on others. And THAT is a moment of true peace and enlightenment.
There is another great story that may help to illustrate and illuminate this. Once there was a man who traveled all around the globe looking for the person who had the sweetest singing voice in all the world. He would ask everyone he met where to find this person. He was sent to an opera house in Rome where a man with a stupendous voice was singing to thousands of people. When he asked the man if he had the sweetest singing voice in the world, the man said "No, that's not me. But go to Paris. There is someone there who has a much better voice than I have." So, he directed him to a woman in Paris who sang so beautifully over the radio every day to hundreds of thousands of people. And the man said to her, "You must have the sweetest singing voice in all the world!" But the woman said, "No, that's not me. But go see a man in London who sings for the queen and all the royal court. He has the most beautiful voice in all the world. So, the man went there, but when he arrived and asked that man if he had the most beautiful singing voice in all the world, the man said: "No, that's not me." This went on for quite a while, the man going hither and thither looking for the sweetest singing voice in all the world. After many years, the man was directed to a little sage sitting all alone on top of a mountain in India, singing his heart out to God. No one else was there. And he knew that he had found the person with the sweetest singing voice in all the world.
In answer to your second question, I think any healing work you give yourself along the way is a wonderful thing and contains gifts for you. Loving and nurturing yourself is a way to develop Love and compassion, and allows us all to see how we help one another along the way - how we are all ONE, basically, and have so much to give and share with one another. If you give that to yourself, that IS your own pace, as you are choosing to do it, and YOU ARE CREATING THOSE EXPERIENCES FOR YOURSELF. And isn't learning to Love, starting with yourself, the only journey there really is?
Many blessings!! Ayal