Integrated Life Transition Quandary: What’s Going On With Me?

As men transition from being “nice”, living from fear and externally referenced to being integrated and solid, often a common and unexpected quandary happens. As he becomes more driven by internal categories, the pursuits that previously gave energy, drive, focus and thrill now have less power and excitement. It is as though a core part of life is now non-existent. And so essentially life seems boring and doesn’t have the same drive as it used to. This transition experience is to be expected. It is actually the point; his life doesn’t have the same drive it used to. That old core is gone, replaced by a much more powerful reality. If you are unaware, this transition feels like something is wrong.

Men will report that the drive to work excess overtime is gone, so they wonder if they need to get another job. Or the desire to flirt with random women is fading dramatically, makes him wonder if something is wrong with his sex drive or mojo. A man who would spend way too much time surfing porn now has extra time, which at first seems boring, since porn provides excitement. One man who usually lost it in road rage, noticed he is relaxed when cut off in traffic, which seems peaceful, but is so different from the explosion of emotional energy he is used to. One man who was questioning himself, reported he was actually becoming more intrigued by less beautiful, more average women and interacting with them about generic life things rather than initially pushing into sexuality.

The life of a man, who exists for the next fix of external validation in whatever form, actually has a life of excitement. The excitement is fleeting and driven from external triggers, but exciting nonetheless. So as he grows solid with internal strength, the thrill of the search diminishes. So since on the surface this healthy transition seems like something is wrong, since the search for validation brought about energy, drive and thrill. Now, he begins to experience more peace, rest and relational calm, which to the untrained eye, feels boring.

What is happening is a beautiful transition from the frenetic external search for meaning and identity to a life of internal confidence and peace. The transition on the outset feels uncomfortable, but the result is a life of depth and self-control. Stay with the transition, be aware of how potentially disconcerting it is and then enjoy the deep and abundant experience of being centered and at rest. You will find that this transition is part of a priceless journey you will never regret.

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