Ancient Wisdom For Modern Problems Posted on July 26, 2023, updated on August 31, 2023 by Dr. John Hawkins, Sr. Recently I have been dealing with several people going through seasons of transition in their life. They run the gamut of young college agers, mid-lifers to retirees. What they all have in common is they feel lost, out of control, anxious and depressed. They describe themselvs feeling empty with all these confusing emotions rolling around in them and they don’t know why. Times Of Transition I tell them it is because they are transitioning from one season of life into another. This involves change, loss, grief and the feeling of being up in the air. These are always the hardest times of our life. They are moving from a comfortable and known old normal into an unknown new normal. We are not wired to live in this state long-term. These transitions can last a few years and be on multiple levels. This process can hit us at any age. The high school or college graduate leaving behind their youth and moving into adulthood, or the parents experiencing the empty nest now that all the children have left home. The retiree who has been looking forward to leaving the workforce and now after a couple of years is wondering what to do with themselves. The man or woman leaving the military where they felt real purpose from the mission and from being given important responsibilities that made a difference. Now in civilian life they lack all of that and are surrounded by people focused on petty, unimportant things. The individual moving into old age with a body that rebels against them; nothing works right, everything hurts and their days are filled with going to doctors. But worst of all they feel irrelevant, passed by and forgotten. Times Of Loss Or perhaps it is someone dealing with losing a child or mate of many years. The loss is unbearable and they don’t know how they can get through another day let alone a year. All of these transitions are part of the reality of life; what we call the circle of life. The only way to avoid these changes is to die young. That doesn’t seem like much of a solution. Knowing how to handle these times; how to adjust and navigate through them is the key to having a happy and mentally healthy life. The tools necessary to survive and thrive through these transitions are found in ancient truths. The foundation of these truths are religion, philosophy and psychology. We think of psychology as being a modern discipline. However, the ancient philosophers and theologians had a solid base of psychology (even if it wasn’t called that back then); unlike today’s philosophers. The reality is as humans we are a physical body, a mind and a spirit or soul. They are all interconnected and affect each other. In helping people through these difficult transition times they need to be worked with on a holistic level. For example, people come to me all the time complaining about physical symptoms they are having. They have been to the medical doctor and they found nothing. They are referred for therapy because the cause of the symptoms is stress and anxiety. In addressing the mental health issue the symptoms go away. Tools To Help Many people want to deny the spiritual part of their life. They could be an atheist, agnostic or for all practical purposes live that way, with no thought for God. When faced with the reality of death, their own or a loved one; they have no solution to help themselves. When trying to figure out the meaning of their life or how to have a purpose that gets them out of bed in the morning they have no solution. I’m talking about a solution that really works, helps them through the changes and gives them a happy life. A true solution can’t deny the reality that as humans we are a body, a mind and a spirit. My training in theology as a former pastor, in psychology as a licensed mental health counselor and a student of philosophy and various religions; has equipped me to help people on a holistic level. Plus, and I hate to admit this, I have lived a long time and experienced a lot in life. I am the father of four adult children, grandfather of 13 grandchildren and soon to be a great-grandfather. I have been through a lot of life transitions. I know what has helped me navigate through to the other side of the transitions. One of the most ancient wisdom books is the Bible. There is a reason it is the best selling book of all time. It helps people with both life and death. The Bible is a book of books, 66 in total. There is in the Bible an amazing book called Ecclesiastes. It was written by one of the wisest men to have ever lived. A man by the name of Solomon; he was a philosopher king. The book is all about finding life’s meaning and getting through life’s transitions. A Ticket For The Trip I am going to write a series of articles with accompanying videos from this book, because it is chock full of life principles that work. There is a phrase used in this book, Chasing the wind. If you live your life chasing the wind you will live a life without purpose. You won’t know where your life will end up because you won’t be living intentionally. You will never catch the wind and what would you do with it if you did? If you spend your life chasing the wind, you will end up with a life of boredom, discontent and regret. You will realize too late you have wasted your most valuable possession – your one life. I hope you will go with me on this journey and find practical guidance to help you through all of life’s transitions. Until next time, keep overcoming.