Is the Second Half of Life Just About Growing Old?
Yes, we become more physically frail as we age, but is that the only field we should play on? What if our playing field moves from the body to the mind, heart, and soul in the second half of our adult life?
So many of us experience the second half of life not as a decline but as a fullness: a sense that the world is bigger than our ego and petty desires.
Our good friend (an MEA alum who came to Baja as a student at age 78) and Christian mystic Richard Rohr suggests the following, “Remember, no one can keep us from the second half of our own lives except ourselves. Nothing can inhibit our second journey except our own lack of courage, patience, and imagination. Our second journey is all ours to walk or to avoid. My conviction is that some falling apart of the first journey is necessary for this to happen, so don’t waste too many moments lamenting poor parenting, lost jobs, failed relationships, physical challenges, economic poverty, or other tragedies. Pain is part of the deal. If we don’t walk into the second half of our own life, it is surely because we do not want it.”
The signs of age will mark our body and, possibly, our mind. We will diminish in all kinds of physical ways, but that’s when resilience and adaptability need to kick in—when we realize that our gifts are no longer physical but emotional, philosophical, and spiritual.