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THE FEMININE

A MAN'S CRISIS

When a man comes to some point around the middle of his life and feels lost, depressed and unhappy, many voices will tell him that he needs to find Purpose -- that he needs to find his soul's Mission in life and make the necessary changes. That may sometimes be the cure but often it is not enough. 

 

A man's mission in life never consists solely in an outer, objective goal. It always includes learning to give and receive love. To be connected with others. A man who achieves one major goal and feels unhappy and is not necessarily in need of another goal to meet. It may be that he needs to understand himself and other aspects of his life more deeply. 

"I'm already connected with others" he might say. Sure, that could be true. But for many men, it is not. They are disconnected from themselves and others.  

 

A man who feels lost may already have accomplished his purpose in many ways. He has succeeded in a lucrative career; he is married, has a house, children and so forth. The problem is not necessarily that he needs to find his real purpose of saving orphaned children or mentoring others. The problem is often that he is harboring deep emotional wounds and the relational or spiritual side of his life feels empty. 

In that case he needs to heal his emotional wounds and learn what it means to be relational and connected with others. 

Carl Jung distinguished between Thinking and Feeling as two opposite and complementary functions in every personality. And the law of psychological energy says that every person will tend to specialize in one or the other. Of course there are people who are more balanced, but the vast majority of people are stronger in one side. 

 

People who are thinking types also feel, of course, but they specialize in being cool-headed, objective and principled. They are not the same as the warm-hearted, empathetic people who put personal and relational concerns first. Does that mean they can never show such warmth and relational skill? No. But it is not what comes easiest for them. 

 

If a man is a strong thinking type -- or if he is a Feeling type who is emotionally wounded -- then he will need to work on feelings, relationships and spiritual connection in order to overcome the crisis of midlife. And no amount of new missions, hobbies or passions will cure what ails him. 

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