Restoring the Soul with Michael John Cusick

Episode 279 - Chris Bruno, "Becoming a Sage: The New Season of Purpose and Intentionality"

September 26, 2023 Chris Bruno Season 12 Episode 279
Restoring the Soul with Michael John Cusick
Episode 279 - Chris Bruno, "Becoming a Sage: The New Season of Purpose and Intentionality"
Show Notes Transcript

"No more settling for external success; it's about depth, sobriety, and engaging with my own soul's depths. That's where true fulfillment lies.” - Chris Bruno

Welcome to another episode of Restoring the Soul with Michael John Cusick. In today's episode, we delve into the profound journey of self-discovery and transformation that men undergo as they transition into the sage stage of life. 

Our guest, Chris Bruno, shares his experiences and insights as he navigates the in-between space between the past and the future. Drawing from the metaphor of a craggy peninsula and tumultuous waters, Chris beautifully articulates the desire to integrate fragmented parts of ourselves and embrace all aspects of our identity. 

Join us as we explore the importance of intentional living, the power of the sage, and the significance of tending to our inner child.


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Thanks for listening!

Chris Bruno:

I want to invite people to stepping into the sage is that next step and it requires some hard work probably the hardest work of our lives. And when we do, we see people like the venerated sages of our lives, the men and women that we look to to go, I want to be like that guy. That that's what they have done.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Well, Chris Bruno, welcome to the restoring the soul podcast.

Unknown:

So good to be here with you, Michael. Thank you.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

I'm so excited to have the conversation. We only I think met one time down at the restoration of the Heart Conference, if I recall, and then you were kind enough to have me on your podcast and a big congratulations is in order. This is your third book that is recently released. And we're here to talk about that today.

Unknown:

Yes, it's, it's this wild and crazy journey to release these kinds of words into the world, both extremely vulnerable and extremely exciting at the same time.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, so the book is called Sage, A Man's Guide into his second passage. It's not a book about herbs and spices. It's a book about wisdom as in, I love the fact that the word sage comes from the word sagacious. Right, which is wisdom. But I want to start by saying I was delighted to read in the very start of the book about your journey to Ireland, because I was in Ireland for about a week. And then I did a pilgrimage in Scotland in June into July. So it was really marvelous to read about you walking on wet peat.

Unknown:

Awesome. Yes. I love the islands, the islands up there, the Emerald Isle of Ireland and Scotland and England. Both just have such such a heart space inside of me that I love going there. So yes, I went for a month at the beginning of this year, released by my staff and my board to go right. And it was an incredible, incredible experience.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

It sounds like you were in CELT County, Clare, for at least part of the Time Out west.

Unknown:

Yeah, I was on the far far western side of Ireland on what they call the wild Atlantic way down in this peninsula, which has kind of a funny name. It's called the Dingle Peninsula. But it is, it is the furthest west you can get in Ireland. And actually, there's signs all over that say, it's the furthest west you can get in Europe. So it was brilliant. And it was crazy wild because it was in January, and no one goes to this part of the world in January as like a destination. So it was, it was great to be able to match the geography of this tumultuous sea and this rainy atmosphere with really what I feel like happens in the midlife of in the middle part of a man's life, this tumult of between the before and after.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

So the geography matched what you were writing about. Yeah, absolutely. And this was not just a throwaway book, where you were writing a term paper that was kind of interesting, and you want to turn it into a book, this is really in many ways, because it is your third book, and your other books have been about the masculine journey. This is really this represents your life's work. And also, it's been an evolution out of your own journey. So talk about that, especially as you're turning 50 this year.

Unknown:

Yeah. Well, I am turning 50 This year, and that is a milestone and whether people kind of believe in the, in the, in the actual numbers, or in the seasons of a man's life, I feel like this was something that was really significant for me. So one of my first books was about the first passage of a man's life, which is when a boy transitions into becoming a man. And that happens in those early teenage years and into the 20s when we find ourselves and become men. But there's a another passage that I think that we often forget, or maybe even don't realize exists, and that is the second passage when a man has the opportunity, and I'm gonna put it that way has the opportunity to transition into becoming a sage, which we can unpack that in a minute, but where he's not just getting older, but he becomes an elder, and there he steps into this new season of his life as a sage and as somebody who's 49 now and transitioning into 50, I am well on the front end of this, I am not 70 or 80, who's kind of seasoned in in this stage of life, but I always feel like I want to live intentionally and with purpose and with my eyes wide open and with a level of sobriety to what God is calling me into into the future and that is really what where the book stage comes from more for my own self and my own process of what what it's like for me to step into this next season for me.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

There's so many questions I want to ask because even already, so many things that you've said, bring up questions of one of which is I just want to make sure I don't forget this great line that you wrote. But you use the word elder already. And you said that if a man in this stage of life where he has to become a sage, if he doesn't become an elder, he will just become elderly. And I just turned 58. And so I'm just a little bit ahead of you, I think I've got a little more gray hair. But it says sense of gosh, I just don't want to become elderly. If I'm 100 years old, elderly feels more like a posture of the heart and the spirit than it feels about one's physical abilities and things like that. And so we want to, I want to come back around to the idea of elder, but in addition to your own journey, and in addition to going to Ireland, you have seen and I've certainly seen this in my work with men, that there's really no roadmap for becoming a sage. And so one of the things he set out to do was to create a roadmap a guide for men, not a bunch of steps, God forbid, but a pathway for what it means to call this boy home. And talk a little bit more about that, that if the first passage is about calling the man out of the boy and the boy becoming a man, that there's actually this this reacquainted pneus, that needs to happen. For a man to become a sage, he needs to integrate that younger part.

Unknown:

Yeah, so the word that I've used is roadmap. And I'm glad that you bring that up. Because certainly every man's journey is going to be unique and different. And yet, they're because because we are both men and women. But you know, especially as men, and then especially as women, there are similarities to the journeys that we're on. And it is not a is not a process is not a step is not those kinds of things, as you mentioned, but it's generally kind of categories that I would invite men to consider, as they step into this next season of their lives. And the the portion of the book that you just referred to is, you know, the first season, the first passage is to call the man out of the boy, the second is to call the boy, back home to the man and I feel like in the work that you do at restoring the soul. And then also the work that I do there is there's there are parts of us, that throughout our lives that we fragments that we break off, that we find ways of surviving life that we maybe exile parts of ourselves that we don't like we find a level of contempt or disgust or shame with regard to those parts of us that just we don't know what to do with. And a save someone who actually steps into becoming an elder kind of reckons with the reality of those parts that he has lost in the past, and recognizes that those are actually parts that God designed for us to have integrated inside of us and as a part of our full whole self, our whole heart itself as Brene calls it and, and then just this, this idea of bringing this boy, these broken off parts of us back home into us is what makes the difference between an elder and someone who is merely elderly. Elderly is just someone who's gotten older, and someone who is an elder has reacquainted himself with those parts of him his life and historian and the masterpiece of God as, as Paul talks about in Ephesians. Two, the handiwork of God that that he originally designed us to be we bring those parts back to us and reintegrate them into ourselves. And that that I think is what is a big difference between a sage or an elder and someone who is merely elderly.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Have you ever had any trouble? I know I have kind of owning the word sage with almost Barney Fife ah shucks who am I to call myself a sage?

Unknown:

Yeah, of course. I mean I think of sages and I write about this in the book of you know the sage of Gandalf or the sage of Yoda or the you know even biblically some of the sages that we see of of Nathan the prophet and and Jesse and Jethro and like these these older men, Paul that that are the sages and and you know with some level of humility I'm like, I'm not that there's no way I can be that there's no way I can be that guy and, and yet there is that guy that lives within us all that I think God is actually calling us into. So that's one of the reasons why I chose the word sage because there's something regal about it. There's something very kind of honoring and our kind of resonant inside of me that says yes, that's the man that I want to be. It's the it's the man after the king. After we have our domain after we have our, our sense of like, I've conquered my kingdom, I've developed my domain. Now I can step into that stage. I mean, that kind of epic part of me that that has something to draw me into my future.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, that part of the sage, which you write about, which is generative in that it's not just like getting a PhD where I became a sage, but we're becoming a sage. It's really for the sake of others. Yeah. I love

Unknown:

that you say that about a PhD because siege to becoming a sage. It's not about the knowledge that you have. It is about the impact that knowledge has had on your life and the presence and subtleness and acquaintance that you have made with your own self, with your own suffering, with the suffering of others like that. That presence is what makes the sage not how much he knows. The Craig that I refer to is Craig glass. He is one and then Ben McComb is the other man that I talk about a lot from young life from young life. Absolutely. Yeah.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Well, that's so cool. Because I became a Christian through young life or my sister actually led me to the Lord. And then it was young life that discipled me. And I know Craig Well, Craig glass, when I see men like that. And I think Craig is prop Craig glasses, probably 10 years older than me, maybe five or six. But men like that. And Craig glasses, a man's man in my in my mind. And there's that sense of I want to be like that, when I grow up. When I was younger, I used to have that sense of other men seeing them as quote, the kind of man that I wanted to be. I don't like the phrase, a real man. But that's the kind of man that I want to grow up into. And so on the one hand, I don't have a problem, acknowledging that I wanted that, but then probably going back about five years, I would say, Yeah, I want to be a sage. And then I would feel shame over wanting that. But not when I looked at another man saying I'd want to be that way. And I think I've finally gotten to a stage where I just own that. And it's not about the word, it's not about whether I feel like I've arrived. So talk to me about and you tell so many wonderful, difficult personal stories in the book, but talk to me about something, maybe a story that happened in Ireland that represents that geographical turbulence and how you came to terms with writing the things you wrote in the book.

Unknown:

So on the far western coast of Ireland, in January, as I already mentioned, the sea and the sky are just extremely tumultuous. And there was there was one day that I you know, took a break from writing and I went for a long walk, and I came to what literally is called the furthest western point of Europe. Now, I don't know why they say that because there's some islands off the coast. But that's what they say. And so there I was, and I was walking down this very craggy Peninsula into the ocean, and on one side of the ocean was this kind of calm waters. And on the other side, the waters were crashing up against the rocks. And then there was this break between the rocks. And the it was in it was in that in between space, that liminal space between the rocks were the calm water of one side and the tumultuous water of the other kind of engulfed one another and there was this back and forth between the two and the rise of the tide and the crash of the waves and the commerce would proceed. And I found myself in that space, just looking at what God presented before me as a kind of physical representation of my spiritual experience of what it felt like to be in that in between space. And so the parts of me that felt unfinished, the parts of me that felt like I had conquered the mountain, the parts of me that felt like I had kind of walked through some significant suffering in my own life. Those were on one side of the rocks, and then the other side was this unknown and this awareness that that more has to come for me. So another time I was going out and it was again, taking a break from writing and there was this rock outcropping. And Michael, when I was a boy, I grew up in the mountains here of Colorado, and there was my family of origin home it was pretty tumultuous in the book I talk about my there was an abuse from my family, but there was the tumult came from the existence of my older sister who has From the moment of her birth had significant mental and emotional disabilities to the degree where she's five years older than I am, but she has probably a one to two year old level of functioning even to this day. And so as a boy, my, and I were the only two siblings. And so as a boy, I grew up in this home where so much was required of my parents to be pouring into her well being her care, her containment. And there were often things that that happened that kind of blew up into big explosions of of screaming and crying and an issues that happened with her. And so I would retreat, I would leave the house. And being in the mountains of Colorado, there was this large ranch that I could go and I had, I had a couple dogs and a horse. And as an eight or nine year old, I would hop on the horse and they would leave for like five or six hours at a time. And I'd go and find this rock outcropping on this ranch, climb up to the top and, and have this moment by myself at the top of these rocks, where I kind of pretended I went into this fantasy world of an eight or nine year old boy of how much I could control the the wind and the rain and the clouds and I was commanding the sky and all that kind of stuff that a little eight year old boy does right to imagine those things. In Ireland, there was another rock outcropping. And there was something inside of me that I knew that today that day, was the day that I needed to go back and find that boy, and honor those parts of his life and his story where he had to escape. And he had to go find his own way and he had to go survive in order and and find a way to kind of take control of nature have something bigger than him, because all the things in his life felt so out of control. And so that day I walked up to that rock outcropping and climbed up to the top of this rock outcropping and, and sat there probably for maybe three hours, just being with that part of me that that internal boy that still lives within me, that was so longing for someone to pay attention to him and care for him and tend to him and hear him and understand what it felt like for him in that moment. And so that that day felt super important for me to go to the another kind of proverbial rock outcropping to find that boy, and like we've talked about are already bring him home, like no one is going to care for him, other than then than me, and now, as an adult man, as a middle aged man, I can do that I can, I can tend to those parts of me that feels so left, lost and orphans, and bring them home. And so those are those are two moments of both my current midlife and then also back, tending to that little boy who still lives within me.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Wow, that's powerful. Thank you for sharing that. It sounds like that might not have happened exactly that way or at all, if you hadn't, hadn't been so intentional about the geography, about the place of wildness and turmoil on the Atlantic coast, going to the rock outcropping, and all of how that kind of set up re experiencing that moment from when you were young.

Unknown:

Yeah, you know, and I would say, like a lot of guys that I've talked to her like, well, I can't go fly off to Ireland and take a month to go right and go find it, right. Like, I can't do that. And But your point is, is well taken that it doesn't, it doesn't require you to go to a place like that. It just requires you to have the kind of intentionality and an awareness of what parts of you still are unfinished or untended to. And that's the work of the sage. That's what helps us move through the second passage cross that threshold into that sage is when we go and we find those parts of us that have that we've laughed, unintentionally, or intentionally, I don't know, but left in the background, and still kind of sit there waiting for us to find them. So I still do that here in Colorado, I'm you know, still live in Colorado, and just this past weekend, went camping and had some time with younger parts of me that needed some tending to and it was just about the intention.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, I think sometimes I just need to walk around the block for 30 minutes to make that space to happen or to just sit down my phone or to delete one of my news apps, which I find myself having to do all too soon. You know, it's it strikes me that the lonely boy on the ranch, that was you. And then the chosen sense in adulthood of I'm choosing to be by myself. And most people would say if I had a billion dollars and a plane ticket to the west coast of Ireland, I would not go and be by myself for a month. And so you write about loneliness versus solitude. And can you unpack that a little bit? What the difference is?

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, I feel like loneliness comes from a part of Boss that is looking externally for our validation, our identity, our worthiness, we're looking outside of us. And so loneliness kind of comes from that place. And there are times that, you know, I'm alone and I, you know, wish I had people around me but loneliness comes from this place of there's something unsettled still within me that I need someone else to validate the worthiness of my existence. Solitude is the shift, it's so fascinating to look through history, to see solitude is actually a spiritual practice, that so many of our ancient mothers and fathers in the faith, recognize as a movement of the soul, to where we become friends with ourselves, we become friends with those younger parts of us, we become friends with the masterpiece, as I already talked about, that God has written into our lives, and kind of find some level of community and communion with myself, and with who God has made me to be. That is what solitude is. And so, to go off to Ireland, many people were like, are you going to like, have people come visit? Is your wife going to come visit or whatever? And my answer was, No, I'm looking forward to making friends with myself. And again, that that is a subtleness that happens inside of a sage where he is, or you know, or she is friends with themselves in a way that doesn't require someone else to validate their worthiness.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

So you use this word coming home, and that the second passage and becoming a sage is about bringing the boy home. I think for many, they'll intuitively know what it means to bring a part of us home that's exiled. But can you put some words to just what this idea of home is? You know, we talk about Christians dying and going home to heaven. And yet in a very real way home is within because for the believer, that's where Christ dwells, that's where there's some maybe not physical space, but the representation of our deepest truths being. So what what do you really mean when you say home?

Unknown:

I think the word that comes first to mind, Michael, is the idea of belonging? Do I belong to myself? And is there is there a part of me that doesn't seem to belong? And, you know, I'm a man of many metaphors. And so one of the ways that I like to think about this is just, you know, maybe me as a man sitting at the head of the table, and then what parts of me what boys sit around the table, what boys are welcome there, and what parts of me are not welcome there. Maybe my sexuality is not welcome there. Maybe the level of my you know, on athleticism is not welcomed there. Maybe there is a part of my intellect that is overly Welcome at that table and other parts are not. And so I think it's it's important for us to kind of recognize, how did I have to survive the life that I have lived and the traumas and tragedies that I have had to navigate in both as a boy and then as a young man and as a man? And what what parts are welcome and what parts are not? And do can they all belong? Even if there's parts, like I said, around sexuality or parts around my intellectual athleticism, even if there's parts that have levels of shame, can I recognize that the shame is not original shame, it is coming from something else that is shadowed my heart and caps designed to dis integrate me, so that I would not be the fullness of who God made me to be. And as a result, step into the shame and step against the shame to say no, that part of me is welcome. And that part of me is important to be at this table for me to be a wholly integrated man.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

I love that. I love that. So it's almost as if home is not so much a place even within as it is a way of being and an integration in terms of who we

Unknown:

are 100% 100% So of course, you know a little

MICHAEL CUSICK:

bit about my story, and our listeners know about my story that when I was 29 I blew up my marriage and my addiction was exposed. And so I like to say that I had my midlife crisis when I was 29 years old, which is at thematically for most people the midlife point that you make an important distinction between a midlife crisis and becoming a sage, although the two can be related and one can lead to the other. unpack that a little bit.

Unknown:

Yeah, so the man that we were referring to before Craig glass, he uses this great phrase, he's says that most men either go through a midlife crisis or go through a midlife awakening. And it sounds like what happened for you at 29 was there was awakening that the things that you had been looking to, to bring that identity to bring that sense of well being or self or worthiness or whatever they weren't working. And so that's what I would say is kind of midlife are actually the doorway to the threshold of the sage is when we're like, oh my goodness, the things that I've been doing the job, the kids, the Corvette, the Porsche, the wife, whatever it is that I've been looking to externally to give me that a sense of like, I'm a good man. Those aren't working. That I think is an opportunity to go, you know, really to balance between what is a crisis, the crisis is when I don't have anything else to go to, and it just recycle to another job, another wife, another car, you know, that kind of thing. That's the crisis. But an awakening is when it's like, oh, Lord, what is possible here for me? What can I reintegrate back into myself where this isn't working? So then what does? What What have you designed for me to bring back to myself that that is what I think about midlife and it's hard midlife? I think it's hard, because just like those rocks in Ireland, where there's one side and another one is very tumultuous, and it kind of swallows up the other in the waves, that that's kind of what it feels like is Oh, my goodness, I'm looking behind me. And I'm looking ahead, and I'm finding myself right in the middle of these two things. And what have I done? And what will I do? are really the question that someone in midlife is asking, and I want to invite people to stepping into the sage is that next step, and it requires some hard work, probably the hardest work of our lives. And when we do, we see people like the venerated sages of our lives, the men and women that we look to to go, I want to be like that guy. That's what they've done. They've done this hard work.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, I think it's such hard work, because it is precisely as you described, between the two stages. And neither one is familiar any longer. The future one is completely unfamiliar. And it's just a dream or a hope. And the old one, for most of us, we want to flee from that, right? Because that's the shamed part. It's the weak part, it's the vulnerable part. And then the other part of this, that's kind of implicit, but it's really not often spoken, is that the second half really requires that something dies. And that's the process of of whether you live to 100 or toward towards 70, that we're all moving toward dying. And in the spiritual world, the more we move into that space of dying, the more alive we become the more of a sage we are.

Unknown:

Isn't. Isn't it fascinating that death, and resurrection are part of our story? Yeah,

MICHAEL CUSICK:

yeah. One way or another, we become like a little child, don't we?

Unknown:

Yes. And again, isn't it fascinating that it is the little children that Jesus invites and says there's the kingdom of heaven?

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, yeah. You told another story. Or, at least you were common. He said that I've asked many men, sometimes I'm speaking or counseling, when did you become a man? And they'll say, when I had sex for the first time, or when I got my driver's license, or when I got married, or when my child was born, but you've never heard anybody say, I'm still becoming a man. And I so identified with that, because I've always thought there would be this place of arrival. And until there's a deep peace and acceptance within myself, there's always somebody who at some description is going to be quote, more of a man, they'll have more money, they'll have a cooler car, they'll have more hair than me. And therefore I can always in the pecking order put myself lower. But there's this growing sense that no, I'm I'm okay. In there is no pecking order. I'm just me, too. So. come in on that this idea of that we're still becoming men in that part of the sage role. Is that humility of not having arrived? Well, I love that you talk

Unknown:

about the pecking order in the comparison because I feel like that is what we do all the time. And whether it's all the categories, our money, it's how we look, it's our bodies, it's our wives, it's our jobs. It's our whatever it is. There's a there is a pecking order and I feel like the reason that I say that we're still becoming men is is less about who you are, you know, versus me, Michael, but who I am versus is me. And the more man that God has made me to be is what my calling in life is not more man than you. And that shift is a huge shift that you can be all the man that you are and all the way that you are and all the goodness and glory that God has written into your life. And so can I, and there doesn't need to be this comparison or competition, this one up or one down of what you have versus I have, because God's not called me to be Michael Kusik. He's called Chris Bruno. And, and that is what that is, what my calling is from God. And so therefore, I'm still becoming that man, as I am learning how to be more fully who I am, versus who I think you should be, or I should be compared to you or the next guy.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

And again, that requires so much work, and not just going to counseling and reading books and conferences. But it requires solitude, it requires suffering, it requires experiencing radical love and grace to be able to get to that space where we can just say, I'm okay being me, and to really have that embodied and felt. And I can say that I've touched on that. And I have moments where it's sustained. But it's not yet anchored in the place that I want it to be. And hopefully in another 10 years, I'll be able to feel a little more firm in that.

Unknown:

Well, and that's where I feel like the invitation of God has always to be evermore that, that he always has more grace, there is always more love, there is always more forgiveness, there's always more awareness available for every one of us. And if we believe that by the time we're 3040 5060 80 years old, that we should have, quote unquote, arrived, then I think it limits actually, the possibilities of what what were offered.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah. You also write in the book, sometimes in explicit sentences, but it's woven, implicitly through everything, that we really live in a world and a culture of settling and settling for our spiritual appetites to be satisfied with, you know, sermons and cognitive religion, in that most men settle for success or further for some kind of external trapping, and that they don't pursue or even really know that they could become a sage. And so a big part of your work at restoration project and the marriage project and in your other books, is really inviting men into this journey. Can you can you talk about maybe not a story of a particular man. But what's it like for you as a 50 year old man who's writing and thinking deeply about being a sage, to see men that are younger than you and further back on the path begin to awaken to this? Because I personally identify with probably in my 30s, looking at older men and saying that I want gray hair and I want to be like that. When when I'm older. Yeah.

Unknown:

Well, and the crazy part is that is exactly what part of my story was that I was a teenager, and I couldn't wait to be 50 I couldn't wait to be 60. Because sage was always something that has been on my life and my heart, you know, the idea of settling is actually stepping into a place of unfaithfulness. And what I mean by that, Michael is that, to believe that God has given you everything that is possible, everything that he had in store, all of the treasures, and all of the goodness that He has for you, has come to an end means settling for what currently is. And that means that I have a pretty small view of God, I have a pretty small view of who he made me to be and what he is calling me to be. And so therefore, too subtle is going up. I guess this is as good as it gets. I guess I throw my hands up in the air and go, you know, I'll just work this job, or I'll just kind of live this relational, vacuous marriage, I'll just live in this place of, yeah, the best thing that's going to happen for me is a good football game on the weekend. That that is that is so much smaller of a story. And, and I use that language because I believe that we are called to live quite a large and big story that is that we are participants in a much larger meta narrative than even our own lives. And if we settle, we are actually living according to a much, much, much smaller story than than we were actually called to. And so you know, the, the quote, I think you even use it is is with Thoreau and he talks about men just living on lives of quiet desperation that we just stopped talking, we just settle into, I guess this is my life. And if if men who are listening to this find themselves in that position, I just want to say, no, no, no, no, there's that this is not your life that you are designed to be something far, far more than whatever small story seems to have captured your heart.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Taking a deep breath here, because I want to see if I want to go down this route. Richard Rohr has written the book, falling upward. And in that book, he talks about, among other of his works, and many other authors, the second half of life journey. And so a lot of the same themes are part of this, this idea of becoming of our best years are ahead and how the way down is the way up so on. And all of that applies to women. And so how would you speak to women? Is there another word that you use? Is the journey different somehow, when it's gendered? Because it would seem to me that maybe the stage, or the season is a little bit different, but how do you see this for women in terms of this second half of life journey of of offering wisdom and the kind of other centered relationality.

Unknown:

So I would say a couple of things. My column first is not being a woman, I have not experienced what this is like. And so I can't speak to to to that experience. I do see incredible, incredible wise women who I would also call sages, in what they bring in what they offer and how they, how they live into the second half of their lives. I do think that there probably is a different kind of journey, though. Similar. And maybe maybe parallel paths, though, you know, slightly slightly different in what does it mean to end gender men? And what does it mean to end gender woman in those ways? And what are some of the the assaults that are unique against men? And what are some of the assaults that are unique against women will will kind of determine the shattering or the disintegration that men need to face versus women need to face and written that read, therefore, the reintegration process is going to be different, though, though, I do believe that wise women and wise men are really at the pinnacle of what it means to be a human, especially as you age into the second half of life.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

I appreciate that, especially as you're talking about the the assaults against the soul. And I think when it's all said and done when I read the book, and I have your definition here on one of the pages of the why sage emerging when a man steps beyond the story of his life. And I know you talk about five aspects of a sage. But the thing that stands out is that the sage is one who enters into becoming a spiritually deep person and engage with the own depths of their soul. And I really appreciate that. I remember years ago, it was Gordon McDonald, who had his own midcourse correction, as he later called it instead of a midlife crisis, who said that the kingdom of God and the body of Christ doesn't need people that know more about the Bible, or people that can do more for God, but they need people of depth. And I just so appreciated the constant thread all throughout the book, about calling men to depth and I think we have very little understanding of, of what that means, or how we develop that depth. So thank you for being a guide.

Unknown:

Yeah, absolutely. And that's a part of my own journey recently, in the last decade or so is, how expansive can my spirituality be? Rather than how restrictive can my spirituality be? And, and I don't mean to step into anything that is, you know, kind of outside of Orthodox Christianity, but the Can I hold that God is big enough to hold the big enough that that I don't have to hold that for him, he's capable of doing that for himself. And so I can hold the both and have an expansive spirituality that welcomes myself, my doubts, my confusion, my pain, my anger, my you know, all those things, as well as the doubt and all those things of other people as well. And so that's, it's I think that's an important part of becoming a sage is having that expansive generous spirituality for sure.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, well, I recently read Dallas Willard say that when you're talking about transformation and formation of The Spirit, that it's never about Orthodoxy or the correctness of a position, but it's about encounter and what happens inside of us. And that was so refreshing to read. And having recently gone to Ireland, myself and you, when you start to travel outside of the US and certain parts of the world, you start to realize that Orthodoxy is defined very differently than it has been for the last 100 years here. Some of the Christian Celtic spirituality, and that just begins to rock our world. Yeah,

Unknown:

I had the privilege of being in Ireland and in Scotland, but then also serving in missions in the Middle East for 10 years. And the, the ancient faith of Christians in some of those lands is so refreshing, because of a how ancient it is and be how much it calls me to recognize how young our general cultural faith is here in the United States. And that is really, you know, 100 200 300 years old at most. When we're talking millennia of other people. There's some things I think that we could stand to learn.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, yeah. It's so easy to be myopic, and to, to stand upon certainty in a way where it's, well, I'll speak for myself, I can, sometimes I'm not very humble when I consider my own perspectives.

Unknown:

Yeah, I feel like certainty is something that and we see this, Michael, we see this in the stages that we know in the stages of fiction and literature and all that is that certainty becomes something that is used far more like a weapon than an invitation. And I feel like when we can step into invitation, that's where we're in the realm of sage.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, so I gotta ask this question. Would you use the word mystic and sage interchangeably?

Unknown:

I've certainly believe so. Yeah, I don't know that every mystic is going to actually be a sage. But every sage is certainly going to have some elements of mystic.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

I like that. I want to thank you for the conversation. Thank you for writing this book. I can't wait for people to get it in their hands. Can you tell us how people can get a hold of it?

Unknown:

Absolutely. So it's available on Amazon. It just Google sage, Chris Bruno, and it will come up. So it's available on Amazon. If you'd like to learn more about the ministry that is a part of restoration. project.net/sage is where you can find information about the book and also the other things that we're up to at restoration project.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

I love that just type in sage Chris Bruno like Sultan, Michael Kusik or something. Something like that. That's great. It's not an official title. On your business card, now that you've written a book, I congratulate you. The book is so rich, you're a great storyteller. You're a great writer. And I really appreciate this conversation. Chris.

Unknown:

Michael, thank you. It's been so great to be with you today.

Brian Beatty:

So thank you for listening to another episode of restoring the soul. We want you to know that restoring the soul is so much more than a podcast. What we're all about is helping couples and individuals get unstuck. You know how some people go to counseling or marriage therapy for months or even years and never really get anywhere. Our intensive programs help clients get unstuck in as little as two weeks. To learn more visit restoring the soul.com That's restoring the soul.com