On Abandonment and Initiation

On Abandonment and Initiation

People often think of ‘initiation’ as having to do with an entrance into a religious or spiritual order or in relation to coming of age or puberty. In reality, life has many initiations as life is made of initiations and the space between them. Since life is initiation, many of these come naturally as a person grows, ages and commits to experiencing life rather than just existing. One natural initiation is the mid-life point. We don’t really talk about this experience much in our culture, nor do we really support people going through the experience of realizing their life is half completed. At this point there is a reckoning spiritually for most and one of the things that often comes up is pain around abandonment.

During the first half of a person’s life they are building knowledge and the mind, then forming an identity, healing, building relationships, and focusing on survival. It’s easy to get lost, especially living in a society that neglects to put people in touch with who they are and a direct relationship with their spirituality. Without these two things people are tossed about with one influence and then another. This is worsened as society thrives on keeping you distracted, unhappy, unhealthy, and unaware.

When a person comes to their mid-point reckoning, which can happen at any age, the cycles which brought them to this point start to reverse. Most people stop and realize that they are half done. They look at their lives up to this point and judge whether or not they’ve lived in line with their soul. Some people hit their mid-point and think “I’ve done well so far, I wonder what adventures I can have in the second half!” Others might look back on a hard life where they didn’t enjoy as much freedom as the first but think “I’m proud of what I’ve done and who I am, I’d like to deepen that from here.” These are the ones who likely have been in touch with their intuition if not their spirituality. They have followed the nudges of their soul.

On the other hand some take the mid-point hard. They will think “It’s half over and what have I done?!” or they have a crisis around “getting old” or people thinking that they’re getting old. They sometimes try to hit the re-start button, buying ‘younger’ clothing, maybe getting a ‘younger’ haircut, perhaps buying that sports car or suddenly dating a younger person that clearly isn’t their intellectual or spiritual equal. As this initiation is in part about becoming centered in self rather than being self-centered, these people often have a reckoning in which they must stop looking at what other people think, stop looking for guidance outside themselves, and start turning to that awareness at their core for personal standards and decision making. After these come to a place of acceptance, they realize they haven’t lived according to their soul’s purpose and often change everything (or they don’t have this realization and enter a depression). This latter group are usually the ones that experience a crisis of abandonment.

It’s not uncommon for at least one relationship to end during this time in people’s lives- whether that is a romantic partner, children, or simply a friend. This is not because the person reaching their mid-life point is somehow unequal, unworthy, or that the process of aging has somehow made them less desirable. It is because of the reckoning. People who have lived in line with their soul usually have a social structure that fits and doesn’t shift much at this point. Those who realize they need to make changes have a sudden energetic shift even before they make life changes. It is this shift that leads to people leaving their lives because they no longer match that person. The leaving or ending is a good thing but that’s often missed by these because it’s easy for them to hyper-focus on the people leaving. That is not the real source of crisis of abandonment in this case.

The reality is that these people have abandoned themselves many, many times up until this point. It is them abandoning, violating, walking out on, or not supporting themselves which has led to relationships that do not align with who they are on a soul level. When a person comes deeply in contact with their soul, such leaving may be painful as the end of relationships are, but it is not devastating because they are aware of the sense of that person not being who they want to be around anymore. The two simply no longer match. Perhaps you’ve experienced the end of a relationship that was comfortable and felt like the right thing to do- one that ‘simply no longer matched.’ The great thing about this is that if the person can see these feelings for what they are and let the mis-matched person go, that leaving creates a space for someone who does match the soul to create a healthier, deeper, more nourishing and inspiring relationship with. One trap at this point is to try to hold on to someone who no longer fits and in the meantime drive away the person who does fit.

The key to handling intense feelings of abandonment at this point involves getting into contact with your soul, your version of divinity (and thus guidance), and in facing the times when you have not been faithful to yourself. It’s a clean-up job, one that brings reckoning, healing, and creates space for joy to move in. The joy and connection this process yields can help make life after this time a beautiful, deepening experience full of renewed creativity and a surprising amount of personal power. After this initiation, there is increased freedom from expectation and responsibility, some of the crazy drives familiar to youth, and an opportunity to dive deep, purify and restore.

There is a lot of room for celebration after this initiation. Be sure to celebrate your work as and after you do it.

Love and Cheers to You~
Rebekah Laughing Crow

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