Jungian Therapy & the Second Half of Life, 2: Desire
We tend to think that desire declines in the second half of life, but Jungian therapy challenges us as to whether that is really true.
As life goes on, there are actually some things that we yearn for with greater and greater intensity, and they may well have a profound importance for our psychic wholeness.
What We Fundamentally Desire Embodies Who We Are
What we most fundamentally yearn for hugely effects the forward movement of our lives. Jungian therapy knows that our desires often comes from the deepest parts of the self, including the unconscious, in ways that we may not readily understand. Our desire powerfully embodies the way we actually are in the world.
Wholeness, Yearning and Desire
In his Red Book, Jung tells us that desire is “image and expression of the soul.” (By “soul” he means the essence of who we are, or personality, rather than anything metaphysical.) If desire is the expression of soul, and expresses our feeling, then it has immense importance for us during the midlife transition and the second half of life. To explore fundamental desires, and to live them out, is connected with being who we are, in an essential way.
The Unexpected Attractor
The unexpected desire may be the most important. Sometimes, in the second half of life, the individual finds him or herself attracted to things that seem completely unexpected, even inconsistent with desires at earlier life stages. Yet, sifting through these “strange attractors” and unfamiliar desires, and possibly living them out, may be essential for the journey towards wholeness.
Hidden Desire and Imagination
Much art concerns yearning, often hidden desire and the ways in which it is fundamentally enfolded in imagination. An important dimension of growth in the second half of life can be the process of letting desire speak through imagination, and realizing that imagination possesses a fundamental reality. As Jung says:
Our desire is a powerful thing, and it matters to our lives. Jungian therapy can be a key part of exploring desire, and entering into the fulness of who we are, and are meant to be, in the second half of life.
How have your deepest desires changed through the course of your life?
PHOTOS: Some rights reserved by worak ; Some rights reserved by milena mihaylova