( This post first appeared in Seekerville on July 10, 2010.)
Have you ever gone through a period in life where the same theme, the same message keeps slapping you in the face? After six or seven slaps you finally realize, "Hey, someone is trying to tell me something."
The theme of closed doors and open windows has been on my subconscious a lot of late.
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us" ~ Joseph Campbell
Since I first sold, I have been experiencing some real difficulties in understanding where I should be on this writing journey. My compass is swirling and I haven't figured out how to incorporate the many areas of my life into these new developments.
That was when I literally stumbled upon the concept of liminal space.
Psychologists call "liminal space," a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be. (definition from parole)
Think of liminal space as the place where you arrive after you leave one room and have not yet entered another. The space between the closed door and open window.
The concept of liminal space and thresholds isn't simply scary. It's terrifying.
So, why is liminal space so important? Because it allows us to arrive at the place of transformation and you cannot experience transformation unless you let go.
To let go you need faith.
David Jensen says this in a sermon on liminal space:
"I'm going to show the courage not to retreat back to what was and I'm going to be patient not to jump into what I think ought to be, but I'm going to stand in liminal space. I am going to trust that as I stand on the threshold it is pregnant with the possibilities of God."
Let go of the comfortable and familiar and be willing to embrace the uncomfortable and the unfamiliar...the possibilities.
Standing in liminal space isn't about jumping off the cliff into the unknown, it's about embracing the cliff.
Can you hang in the that space of change, and embrace it, waiting on the threshold-- waiting for your life to meet you?
I've stopped trying to make my old journey fit my new destination, instead I'm sitting on the cliff peacefully waiting for what's to come.
"For we which have believed do enter into rest.." Hebrews 4:3
What about you?
I'd also like to add that this post is so apropos as this week I moved from Colorado to Arizona. Talk about liminal space. Quit my day job and packed up the office and here I am. I left Denver with a winter coat on and knit scarf around my neck, and here I sit in my new office with a tangerine tree outside my window -and they're ripe too!
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