Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Living a life in which we follow the value of courage is not necessarily an easy life. But I believe it is a value we must follow if we wish to have any real prospect of enjoying a rich and rewarding life.
It wasn’t until I sought out psychotherapy in 2013 that I began to really appreciate how much courage has influenced the life I have lived thus far. It can take a lot of courage to face darkness in our interior lives. Courage may be required of us when we choose to leave behind a situation that is not serving our most fundamental needs. And on that note I can begin to write more deeply about this amazing quality called courage.
Sometimes it happens that we find ourselves in the position of contemplating a choice that has profound implications for our future lives. Or at least we imagine there could be profound implications. I currently find myself in this very position. I believe it may ultimately be in my best interests to leave Minnesota. I haven’t really created a career for myself here in the Midwest. When I moved here in October, 2012 I had a very different idea in my mind regarding what I wanted to do. But then the events of 2013 happened. And I found it necessary to take a huge step back to reassess what I wanted in my life. And in the process of reassessing what I wanted I found it necessary to apply a significant dosage of courage.
I have consulted the knowledge found within mythology and astrology for a number of years. Several years ago I found a great book written by Erin Sullivan entitled Saturn In Transit: Boundaries of Mind, Body and Soul. Sullivan writes about the influence of Saturn throughout the human life cycle. She writes the following about the phase of life I currently find myself in (ages 37 to 44):
“This can be a rich time, rewarding and fulfilling, if one recognizes that by following a path of honesty and personal integrity one is being responsible and ultimately furthering collective issues.” (Bolded emphasis is my own)
I wish to follow my own path of honesty and personal integrity. But sometimes such a path requires us to be courageous. It can be necessary to draw upon our capacity for courage when we need to confront aspects of our lives that are fundamentally not working. There are occasions when the most courageous choice is the one that features us walking away from a situation that does nothing to enhance the good in our lives.
The seven year Saturn cycle I currently find myself in will culminate when it concludes in the year 2018. At that time Saturn will oppose my natal Saturn. Sullivan writes the following about the first part of this new cycle:
“The first part of the cycle recalls the adolescent rebellion against authority and oppression (though at the age of forty-five one is more conscious of what the uprising is about), and there may still be unfinished business from the past that must resurface. Old feelings of inadequacy and futility are challenged by a rise of ambition. Life can no longer be lived for the moment but must have depth, content and meaning.
The initial stage of the Saturn opposition can also give one the courage to shrug off social expectations and pressures. That the period has been called ‘the second adolescence’ clearly shows that childhood and adolescence can be revisited. People who had extremely difficult childhoods, or had their adolescence cut short in some way, find that they can recapture their lost years…There are many examples of people who need to recapture a period in their life which was truncated or never lived at all.”
Recapturing that which I felt (and still feel) was lost has been a consistent theme in my personal exploration these last two years. It thus seems the ‘crisis’ attributed to the beginning of this new cycle (around the age of forty-four) has started early for me. But for me it seems perfectly fitting that this shift began early because I was already so burned out from being overly generous in my 20s and 30s. I can look back over my life now and not be at all surprised that I became so burned out and demoralized.
With the inevitable change of seasons it is time for me to focus intently on my growth and renewal.
As for the particulars of my day today I have enjoyed a beautiful day thus far. I had a session with my therapist. I made a healthy lunch featuring catfish and pasta. I had a productive conversation in the hope of continuing to expand my professional network and future career possibilities. And it’s only 2:30 p.m.