The beautiful book written by Christophe Fauré certifies it: life begins after 40 years!
In a society where youth is on the rise, it is good to remember that life is also savored after quarantine.
☀️ I see it every day with the clients I help as part of Life Transition coaching, the midlife is experienced as a powerful rebound towards new perspectives, new projects, and a different way of leading his life. 🚀
☀️ Far from undergoing a “crisis” that looks like a planned disaster, these women are experiencing this transition as a step rich in promise and opportunity.
☀️ For some, this manifests itself in a quest for more simplicity, for more attention to oneself and to others; for others, it is the search for new experiences, new passions … all aimed at achieving a higher degree of personal fulfillment.
➡️ Based on Jung and his theory ofindividuation, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Christophe Fauré offers a brilliant analysis of this key moment, and offers solutions to be, finally, aligned with oneself.
📌 We would first be seized by a moment of floating caused by the feeling that life has lost its meaning, without finding a reason for it. In reality, it would only be the exacerbated manifestation of a silent movement that affects us all.
Where does the need for change come from?
It most often proceeds from dissatisfaction, from unhappiness. What we have built no longer satisfies us. And this need would be all the more pressing once past forty when the great challenges of early life (studies, career, family) are behind you. We then have the impression that:
🔸 our existence has shrunk
🔸 boredom sets in
🔸 we are on autopilot
Christophe Fauré thus describes the feeling that dominates “Everything happens as if the identity that we had built for ourselves in the first half of our life no longer corresponded to the person we are becoming. »
He explains this discrepancy as to the manifestation of what Carl Gustav Jung called the “individuation process”, a psychic experience from which none of us escapes. It is a question of finally becoming who we deeply are, of letting happen the person who, in childhood and in the first stages of building his adult life, first learned to repress himself in order to conform to this which was expected of him.
“The essence of this process is an inner dynamic that pushes us to realign ourselves with the authenticity of our being. » Christophe Faure
This transition can be incremental, or throw us off balance (on the occasion of a serious illness, death, separation) suddenly, affecting our love, family, and professional lives.
➡ The existential questioning that characterizes the living environment is therefore not a sign of self-indulgence but, on the contrary, the mark of a natural evolution of being in which new needs are invited. It is therefore useless to feel guilty because these needs are completely legitimate and foreseeable.
How to ride the wave of change?
However, assures the psychiatrist and psychotherapist, “it is not so much the internal process of transition that poses a problem as the refusal, conscious and unconscious, to welcome the changes that are looming”.
According to him, you have to accept this phase as a promise of fulfillment and give yourself the means to express your potential by listening to your desires.
Because it is not enough to want to change to achieve it. Freud already affirmed that we care more about our neuroses than about ourselves. Blessés par l’expérience, nous mettons en place des mécanismes de défense qui nous protègent de l’anxiété et de la dépression, mais limitent nos capacités d’épanouissement. These unconscious strategies lead us to deny the reality of our thoughts and emotions. They can lead us to adopt behaviors contrary to our deep desires. And we lock ourselves into behaviors of failure and the repetition of our mistakes. Et nous nous enferrons dans des conduites d’échec et dans la répétition de nos erreurs.
➡️ It requires the courage to confront our fears, to face our resistance to change and to truly open up to ourselves.
Listen to your inner metamorphoses! The change will only be truly satisfying if it is preceded or accompanied by an inner change: a form of liberation made possible, sometimes, thanks to therapeutic support or coaching.
“To change said J.-B. Pontalis is first of all to change your point of view about yourself, and about others. And this mutation means that perceiving the world differently, we live in it differently.“
But it’s not just about changing “against” something that hurts us. It is also necessary to ask oneself about the “for”: what do we hope to achieve by the change? For the philosopher Robert Misrahi, « notre désir le plus profond est un désir de joie ». But we do not take it seriously, because we have learned to see in it a lack that can never be filled.
This joy, warns the philosopher, is only accessible to us if we operate three “inner conversions” :
🔸 The first is to stop believing that we are the result of determinism – the toy of our unconscious, the product of a system: we are also a source of freedom.
🔸 The second is to stop seeing the other as an instrument or a master and to set mutual relationships with him that allow everyone to achieve.
🔸 The third, finally, is to understand that our life happens between birth and death. “Happiness, he writes, cannot be simply defined as a retrospective look at our lives. It must be an experience in the present, an active joy, a creation of each moment. »
And you? 💫
Where are you at in your transformation process?
Here are the 5 stages of individuation that can give meaning to our need for change and allow us to welcome it with more confidence.
According to Christophe Fauré, in (Albin Michel, 2011)
1. The accommodation phase
✳️ It corresponds to childhood and the first times of our adult life when we are mostly outward-looking.
✳️ We are then very strongly involved in a process of becoming whatwe believe we should be in order to exist in someone else’s eyes.
✳️ This trend leads us to adopt a character, a “persona”that does not reflect the totality of our being.
✳️ With age, this character begins to suffocate us. Entering the midlife transition begins with an observation that is becoming more and more insistent: as if the foundations of what we have been up to now are beginning to crumble…
✳️ We have the feeling of being lost on the way, sometimes of having been betrayed, or even of being an impostor.
✳️ What Carl Gustav Jung calls our “shadow” – what lies dormant in us and that we have not yet chosen to be – is remembered in waves of nostalgia.
✳️ It’s time for doubt. Life becomes uncertain, without direction. We begin to reevaluate the foundations of our existence, even questioning everything.
✳️ We are experiencing a sadness that is similar to mourning: we believe we are crying for our youth, we are crying for the character we have been.
✳️ This cracks and lets the repressed emerge, in its positive and negative aspects. Anger and skids are there.
4. The start of integration.
✳️ Uncertainty and confusion are losing ground. The progressive adjustments go in the direction of greater coherence.
✳️ It makes it easier to implement changes by overcoming conscious blockages.
✳️ The quest for approval has given way to the desire to no longer betray oneself. This is the time when we can choose to rearrange our priorities and find a way to express our potential. These positive transformations are sometimes accompanied by relational conflicts.
✳️ This is, ideally, the moment when one becomes a complete individual, endowed with better self-knowledge.
✳️ We welcome more flexibly our qualities and our faults, our contradictory desires, and our inner conflicts.
✳️ We access the full and complete integration of all dimensions of our being: the ability to see ourselves as we are as individuals, but also as members of the human community, connected to the living and the whole universe.
Alors, à voSo, on your marks! Ready? Change… ☄️
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any support for your life transition…
Last modified: April 12, 2022