We are all in liminal space

May 26, 2021

We are all in liminal space.

Betwixt and between what was and what will be.

Personally and collectively. 

Richard Rohr writes about liminal space in Everything Belongs:

“…often remain trapped in what we call normalcy–“the way things are.” Life then revolves around problem-solving, fixing, explaining, and taking sides with winners and losers. It can be a pretty circular and even nonsensical existence.

To get out of this unending cycle, we have to allow ourselves to be drawn into sacred space, into liminality. All transformation takes place here. We have to allow ourselves to be drawn out of ‘business as usual’ and remain patiently on the ‘threshold’ ( limen, in Latin) where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence… This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.”

Idealizing normalcy. Is that what we’ve been doing as a culture? 

Idealizing the hustle, the waste, the cruelty, the gross inequality?

Normal doesn’t work. Never did. We’ve all known this, and after the last 15 months, we can’t escape it anymore. 

We can’t pretend anymore. 

In a recent episode of Create Out Loud, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Meg LeFauve said:

…for me, it’s always picking the writing, it’s always picking the storytelling. I feel it’s a sacred duty to write. You’ve been chosen by the universe to tell these stories. And if you don’t tell them, they’ll never be told. And those characters who want to come out into the world are never going to exist…  And that’s why I stay in, hang in and do many, many revisions because people aren’t getting the story yet. Why aren’t they getting it? What skill do I need? Because I love this and I want it to be in the world.”

This advice does not just apply to writers. It applies to us all.

What world have you been chosen to create?

What won’t exist without you revealing it?

Be drawn into liminal space and listen.

Stop fixing, explaining, or problem-solving. 

Settle in and down. 

(And honestly why bother to fight liminal space because as I’ve discovered it’s a waste of time and energy.)

It’s also good during liminal times to heed what Anne Lamott told me to do on the first episode of the podcast

“If you came to me and said I felt really flat spiritually and, by extension, creatively, I would say do less and do it more poorly. Try more and do it badly. Fall on your butt more often. Life will always pull you back to your feet.”

Life never gives up on us but maybe it needs us to get out of the unending cycles and be drawn out of ‘business as usual.’

Be well, take care of yourself and each other.

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