Journeying Toward Wholeness

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Jungian Therapy & the Second Half of Life, 3: Time

March 14th, 2012 · Jungian, Jungian therapy, second half of life, therapy, Time

Jungian therapy

Jungian therapy is shaped and informed by this awareness: no one can avoid the significance of time in the second half of life.  In my earlier posts in this series on the second half of life, I focussed on open-ness and desire.  For this post, I’d like to think about time, and its enormous impact on us

Our Finite Season

We become acutely aware that our time is limited in the second half of life, as Jungian therapy well knows.  This gives a certain type of urgency to living.  We have real choice about whether we will meet it with panic, denial and regret, or a sense of courage, self acceptance and engagement of creativity.

We are Creatures of Chronos

Many traditions have a time deity, to reflect its necessity, like Greek Chronos or Mithraic Aion.  Human consciousness needs duration to even be aware of itself.  We have to spend time to even feel that we are living.  So how will we spend it?

Time, Change, Age

Time, change and aging profoundly affect our relationships

We confront these three in our bodies.  We confront them in the self, as, in the second half of life, we become aware of possibilities that we have not lived out, and aspects of ourselves that we have not yet acknowledged — the unlived life.

However, there is also the possibility that, as we age, we may move towards a certain important kind of freedom.

Courage to “Waste Time”

Growing older, I may find that I am liberated from the tyranny of the expectations of others, and of the need to prove myself to others.  This can be one of the genuine gifts of maturation through midlife and the second half of life.  I may find that I need to have the courage to “waste time”, as the world might think of it, to remove myself from the busy-ness, and just to reflect on my life.

I will never forget a lawyer I know, who through Jungian therapy decided to leave the legal profession, after years of working incredibly gruelling hours.  He told me, “The single most important thing that this experience has taught me?  My time is the single most precious thing that I have.”

Learning how to live in the present, to be with yourself, to listen to yourself, and to foster soul.  These can be key elements of psychotherapy in the second half of life.

PHOTOS:  © Maria Paula Coelho | Dreamstime.com
© 2012 Brian Collinson

 

 

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Jungian Therapy, Time and the New Year: 4 Reflections

January 5th, 2012 · Jungian, Jungian therapy, New Year, therapy, Time

At New Year , we are all acutely aware of the passage of time; an approach rooted in Jungian therapy leads us to reflect on time in at least four different ways.

Jungian therapy

1.  We Live in the Flow of Time

By nature, humans exist in time, and in conscious awareness of time.  All we do and are is in the midst of duration.  We may lament time’s passing, but without it, we wouldn’t exist.  Still, we are surrounded by so much that is impermanent, to which we cannot cling.  How will we cope with passing years?

2.  Midlife and the Significance of Time

By midlife, and often before, we feel keenly that our time is limited.  We know we have lived nearly half of our lives.  Sometimes, I can seem to feel the days rapidly slipping away.  It can be an agonizing realization, and sometimes we may have to battle the snares of regret , in order to stay with life in the present.

3.  Worthy of my Time?

If life is limited and finite, I need to live in the ways that are most meaningful to me.  To do that, I must know what it is that I really value.  And to know what it is that I really value, I will have to encounter those parts of myself that I do not usually encounter or acknowledge — the undiscovered unconscious self.  Many people don’t dare to really ask, “What is it that is really important to me?  What are the things that will really last?” — and then to live in and for those values.

4.  Dancing Toward Soul

We cannot imagine existence outside of time — it is fundamental to who and what we are.  And yet, something in us connects to, and resonates with, eternity.  There is a dancing way of living, that, although it moves through the seasons, has the air of eternity, because it connects with values and aspects of the self that are unchanging — the things we eternally seek.  This, the reality of soul, is often imaged in dreams and in art, as a lover within us, who we seek and love for our whole lives.  Here is Donovan, singing W.B. Yeats’ profound and beautiful poem,

With very best wishes for the New Year, and for you, on your journey towards wholeness.

PHOTO: © Some rights reserved by midgefrazel
VIDEO: “The Song of Wandering Aengus”, by cronogeo
© 2011 Brian Collinson 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, ON (near Mississauga)

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