The Miracle of Midlife, Being Exactly Who We Need to Be
For the first time in history, we can realistically view the first half of life as a kind of gestation period, preparing us for an even more productive second half. Midlife is like a second puberty, a point at which one persona falls away and another comes to take its place. What happens then is up to us.
Some begin a long, slow cruise toward death at that point, allowing memories to become more meaningful than the present. Others, remembering that the spirit within us never ages, see the moment of midlife as a rebirth—the time to put our engines into high gear. Whomever it is we were born to be, whatever our soul was coded to accomplish, whatever lessons we are here to learn; now is the time to seriously get going. We may regret that we’re no longer young, but we’re ecstatic that we’re no longer clueless.
We must be disciplined, though. We want to become precision instruments now, focused on exactly what we want to do and being exactly who we need to be. This requires separating from the person we were before to whatever extent that person was not who we know in our hearts we were created to be.
There’s no more time for five-year detours. No more time for relationships that don’t serve us or for staying in situations that aren’t true to who we are. No more time for pettiness, false pride or whatever other dysfunctional roadblocks obstruct our higher destiny and the joy that’s meant to be ours.
Our life might not be as fabulous as it used to be in some ways, but in other ways it’s even more fabulous. The Universe is constantly and infinitely elastic, responding not to our past, but to our present state of mind. As we learn to reprogram thoughts—atoning for our mistakes of the past and embracing the endless miraculous possibilities of the present—we step into a time when we have every reason to look forward with genuine excitement to what happens next.
Individually and collectively, we are now fitted to fearlessly forge new ground, wielding the power of what life has taught us so far and laying claim to the possibility of redemption, not only for ourselves, but also for the entire world. The planet needs a new story, aligned with a larger consciousness, and so do we.
What we need now are imagination and courage. Many of us feel we’ve forever carried around a secret dream, rarely validating it even to ourselves and often denying its reality. Yet it has refused to go away and is ready to be born at last. Individuals that have spent decades achieving one thing or moving in one direction often take up something else entirely that gives them far more psychic satisfaction. They see achievements that were the height of their material success as preparation for an even greater one; the means by which they learned the skills ultimately needed to make their biggest contribution to the world.
Divine law guarantees that the power of “now” presents an endless fount of miraculous opportunities. In God, there are no limits to how high we can go, ever. In God, there is no time… only the call of the soul. It is not too late; we are right on time and we are better than we know.
Now, having visited so many other places in our journey of life, we seek our place within the collective heartbeat of holiness. When enough of us stand in the light of our higher purpose, seeking to be ever-greater servants of love, each consciously dedicated to creating a more loving world, then a new field of collective possibility will emerge among us. All that is not love will begin to fall away of its own dead weight. A profound moment of planetary renewal will occur then, after our having allowed it first to occur within us.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed inspirational author and lecturer. Six of her 10 books have been New York Times bestsellers, including The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife, the basis for this article.