A couple of years ago Andrea gave me a book by Richard Rohr titled, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. Rohr is a Catholic Franciscan priest who has written and traveled the world extensively. I don’t agree with all of his teachings and beliefs, but he is a profound thinker and has some powerful insight for living.
The premise for Falling Upward is we have two halves of life.
The first half we marry, or not, raise children, establish careers, and live life “establishing our identity, creating various markers for ourselves, and seeking security” (page vii).
“The first half of life is no more than the starting gate; it is not the further journey. Our first half of life is discovering the script, and the second half is actually writing it and owning it (page xi).
He believes the “soul’s discovery is utterly crucial, momentous, and of pressing importance for each of us and for the world” (page ix). In his invitation for a further journey, he invites us “to get ready for some new freedom, some dangerous permission, some hope from nowhere, some unexpected happiness, some stumbling stones, some radical grace, and some new and pressing responsibility for yourself and for our suffering world” (xiii).
Since reading Falling Upward, I have read several other books he has written and all of them are challenging at some new level. The reason I wanted to write about some of his thoughts are that I know so few people who really live life to the fullest. Once they hit 60, they start to wane and wither and no longer thrive. They think old and act old and so few go onward to grab hold of the gusto that can come in our later years.
We become so accustomed to status quo, we can never let go of the familiar and habitual to journey down a new road.
Others have “heard some deep invitation to something more and set out to chart a new course.” One of my favorite books was written by Scott Peck who wrote The Road Less Traveled. He personally told Rohr “he felt most Westerners were spiritually lazy and that we tend to stay on the same path even if it is going nowhere” (page xix).
Are you stuck on the same path you have been on for decades that’s going nowhere?
Do you want to survive the status quo or take some risks and create a life where you thrive? Are you asking yourself, “Is that all there is?”
Rohr states the “second half of life can hold some new wine because by then there should be some strong wine skins, some tested ways of holding our lives together…the container itself has to stretch, die in its present form, or even replace itself with something better” (page 2).
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