05 December 2008

On the edge

I have written before of liminality.
I speak of it in counseling and spiritual formation conversations.
I wrote of it in June on Conversations@Intersections.
I am in a liminal space, a threshold, again.

Every time you walk through your house or into your place of work, you cross many thresholds. You may not consider each one as a major decision to be made.

Do I go in?
Do I cross over?
Shall I just stand here or go back?
We tend to take the next step.

Other times we get to the edge of a precipice, imaginary or real, and we hesitate. That's often a good thing.

I've been at many junctions in my travels where stopping and considering carefully my next move was a good thing. My decisions deterred me from danger!

Camping out on the edge of a precipice is not a good thing. It's not a real place to dwell. It's a place from which you can view what's ahead. It's a place, a vantage point maybe, where you can consider the path behind you. It might be a contemplative place.

Contemplation is good. Reflection is vital for spiritual health. At such times values are re-examined and priorities reassessed. Many times life becomes more simple. Distractions are eliminated or put in their place.

Richard Rohr says, "I am convinced that without experiences of liminal space (that place where all transformation happens), there is no truthful perspective on life. Without truthful perspective, there is neither gratitude nor any abiding confidence. It is precisely this deep gratitude and unfounded confidence that I see most lacking in our people today . . ."

So here I am, at the end of a year with a new one just round the corner. How to move in to it with integrity, knowing who I am and what I hope to contribute.

It's good to stop and think.


Rachael said...

Mmm, so much of everyday life is automatic, or nearly so. Or maybe a combination of automatic and responding to what occurs - not necessarily thinking about it. And I think quite a lot of that is necessary, at least in my life, just because reflection takes time and energy, which I don't always have. But I can go too far with automatic and response, and when I do,I'm not enjoying life so much. There's an intensity missing that I crave - that turns up in crisis, but also with reflection.

Tash McGill said...

Since reading your post from Genesis, I've been doing much rumination on where next .. our liminal spaces are next to each other perhaps.

Jill said...