Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
How surely gravity's law, strong as an ocean current, takes hold of even the smallest thing and pulls it toward the heart if the world... This is what the things can teach us; to fall. (Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours)
At a couple of key moments in my life I have found that it is Richard Rohr who has told me my own story back to me and in such a way that has encouraged me to continue the journey. On both occasions he showed me that for the great majority of us there are two distinct journeys; the journey of the first half if life which is about ascent, about building a tower with distinct boundaries and a strong identity and the second which is about taking the leap of faith from that tower into the unknown. He showed me that the sense of failure that I had was actually a call to a new journey; a journey beyond the safe boundaries of my early adulthood and that what I saw as my falling into the dark was actually a falling into God. And he showed me that that all institutions are by definition about the need for identity and success that betokens that first half of life journey and so I should not be too disappointed by them or angry with them.
"My conviction," he writes, "is that some falling apart of the first journey is necessary for this... [the second journey]... to happen, so do not waste a moment of your time lamenting poor parenting, lost job, failed relationship, physical handicap, gender identity, economic poverty, or even the tragedy of any kind of abuse...Make sure that you desire, desire deeply, desire yourself, desire God, desire everything good, true and beautiful."
I have certainly found elements of this "falling apart"to be true for me in my story. And I have seen enough to believe that this second half of my life should be a desire for the "good, true and beautiful", in other words for God.