March 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm #53006JasonParticipant
A couple of years ago I entered a phase in my life that is referred to as the midlife passage or midlife crisis. It really turned my world upside down. I lost all my friends and sank into a deep depression, and found myself asking “is this all there is?”, “what is the purpose of life?” I have been studying the Jungian philosophy ever since and feel as though I have made great progress. Things at home are better between my wife and I, but as far as friends go I find myself emotionally guarded. Through my studies of the Jung philosophy I have read lots about finding your souls new purpose in order to begin living for your soul and finding new meaning in life.
This is where I have gotten stuck. I have been unable to determine what my souls desire is. The literature I have read about how to find your souls purpose seems to all generally say the same thing. That it is necessary to step out of your comfort zone and try new things, try the things you have always wanted to try but have not to eventually find your souls happiness. But it seems that this method to finding your souls purpose (stepping out of your comfort zone ) is focused towards people that have been too afraid to face their fears, too afraid to break away from the constructs imposed upon them by friends, family and culture. What is perplexing me is that I am stuck in what is called the “liminality space” I have had difficulty achieving happiness and finding my souls path by this method as I have lived my life very differently. I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and fulfilling dreams my whole life. I have always been more afraid of not trying than failing. I do not really have any unresolved dreams or desires that my soul has ached to live… as far as I am aware of right now. But I do know that I am not as happy in my life as I could be. So if someone has done everything they have desired to do over the course of their life, achieved virtually every goal I have set for myself and has more than any man deserves (beautiful family, great job that I love, modest economic stability, a laundry list of accolades and accomplishment) how is one able to look at their life and find what is missing? Any useful insight would be greatly appreciated. I am living in a holding pattern right now, not emotionally up or down just right in the middle, kind of like being numb.March 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm #53011StraightNoChaserParticipant
I am not too familiar with the Jungian Philosophy however I can relate to that numb feeling. I feel that being numb is a sign of depression. More in the clinical sense. Like you said you have fulfilled all of your desires and are doing great work on self reflection/discovery. Because I feel it is clinical maybe it is the body you can treat instead of the mind. Maybe try a detox or cleanse, a new physical activity, sleep more, maybe a vacation, yoga? Get those serotonin levels up so that your body can match your mind.
I believe depressed can be environmental(I’m depressed because) or clinically(I feel down/numb no reason). Maybe keep a food diary and see how you feel when you eat certain things or a mood diary in general.
That’s all I have to offer. Maybe someone more familiar with Jungian philosophy has more insight but I feel you are on the right track.
Hope that helped.March 19, 2014 at 8:43 am #53075JasonParticipant
thank you for your insightMarch 19, 2014 at 9:18 am #53081MattParticipant
Sometimes when we get wrapped up in the quest, climbing the mountains, we lose sight of the joy. Much like we can see a treasure chest off in the distance, and tunnel vision toward it. Then, we open it, have a pile of gold that brings some satisfaction for a few moments, before looking for another chest. Then, we look back with pride at all the gold we’ve accumulated, but find ourselves feeling empty, numb, restless. A few things came to heart as I read your words.
Its sometimes said that “its not the destination, its the journey” that brings us joy, and that is true. Consider for a moment that when the joy comes from the treasure (accomplishments, accolades, etc), we hop from success to success… having to climb another hill as soon as we reach the crest of one, in order to ascend some mountain of “being a successful man”. Blah! Hogwash! Instead, we can see the hill, the treasure, and aim to get there, but during each step, take a look around and see what’s there. That’s where the happiness is, the joy. Said differently, numbness arises when we are out of tune with our senses, so focused on mapping the forest that we miss the beauty of the trees.
The solution is actually quite simple, but requires some time and effort. Consider either spending some time meditating, relaxing, unwinding… so that you can rest more directly in the present moment, more acutely connected to the world around you, right now. Or, consider doing some charity work. Being generous with our time, attention, and affection helps to remind us of the many blessings that grow around and through us.
MattMarch 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm #53111Meg HartleyParticipant
Where do you find inspiration? What brings you the most joy? If you had a bajillion dollars how would you spend it? What would you do all day? When you look out a window on a long trip where does your mind wander to? When was the last time you lost track of time?
Those always help me, hope they help you!