Friday, September 05, 2014

Falling Upward

I once read a very good book called Falling Upward…A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr.  It’s an intriguing book regardless of which half of life you are in.  I have learned from Richard, a friend and former teacher of mine, that the first half of life is about building and gathering and the second half of life is about letting go.  This “letting go” is not the same as giving up.  Richard contends that the second half of life also has purpose.  In the second half of life we discover who we really are.  The Buddhists call this “discovering the face you had before you were born”.  If the first half of life could be compared to weaving and living inside a cocoon, the second half of life is when we morph into a butterfly.  In many ways the end of life is the beginning of life.  Our entire life is a journey.  Within the journey, however, is another journey.  The outer journey may take us many places.  The inner journey will take us even further.  When we are young we build careers, make families, and collect our possessions.  When we are older, we may lose a job or begin retirement.  Our children grow up and a spouse may die.  Our possessions become too much baggage so we start to give them away.  These changes in our lives prompt us to do new things.  Hopefully, these new things open our eyes to new possibilities.  We discover that the scripts of our early lives no longer work so we write new ones.  These new scripts can be very enlightening.  The person we thought we were, good or bad, falls away and the true self begins to emerge.  We leave the cocoon of our early lives and, perhaps, for the first time we begin to fly.  

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