As we face changes to our daily routine and much more, my hope is we find common ground in this new liminal space, a state of being we landed in collectively and definitely not by choice. What is liminal space? According to Richard Rohr’s meditation this morning, it is the in-between space when our former way of being is challenged or changed. It is not a new space for me. It’s a space I experienced at a deep level last summer as four life transitions unfolded over a four week period: watching my youngest graduate from high school, moving out of our home of 15 years where countless memories were made, laying to rest our beloved dog Coco, and facing a job transition at work. A space and time for me of letting go and allowing this empty part of me to accept the new. Embracing my new tall and skinny home that would match my new life with an empty nest as my youngest transitioned to college. Finding peace in a walk along Richland Creek without my four-legged best friend. Learning new skills as I shifted my work responsibilities. And celebrating the accomplishment I felt of successfully raising my two children to be good humans.
Liminal space feels kind of like this picture to me, paddle-boarding into the sunset, as a peaceful sound of rippling water flowed all around me. Peaceful as long as I kept my focus above the board, balancing my weight to stay upright, and embracing the beauty of nature before my eyes. Disruptive and fear-filled if I lost my balance and tumbled into the water as the sun disappeared on the horizon.
Maria Shriver coined this feeling well today in her Sunday Paper: “But, here we are. Sitting in the unknown. Standing in the uncertain. We’re thinking, wondering, and watching as certain states test lifting their stay-at-home restrictions.”
What will you choose in this new space? We are each grieving the loss of what was, all that we knew to be true about our routines and daily life. Some of us have chosen vulnerability and openness, surrendering to what is and finding beauty amidst the abrupt halt to what was our daily life. Our true reality is we are no longer in control or certain of what will happen next. If we are honest, we haven’t really been in control before. My hope is this leveling of daily routines leads us to common ground, one where we embrace what lies between the known and unknown, and we accept each other just as we are.