Living in the Threshold

One of my favorite writers, Richard Rohr, a Franciscan monk from Arizona, describes living in “liminal space.” The word liminal comes from the Latin word “limen,” meaning “threshold.” A “liminal space” is the time “in between” what was and what is about to come. It’s a state of transition, waiting, and – perhaps most difficult for most of us – not knowing.

If any transformation is to take place in our lives, it will be because we’ve learned to stand still in the liminal space. But to do that, we’ll need to stand straight and tall when the world screams at us:

“What do you mean, you don’t know what you’re going to do?!”

It’s hard to explain even to ourselves, after being convinced that we are in complete control of our lives for so long. Most of us – who perhaps have been making vacation plans five years in advance – suddenly find ourselves confused.

“I’m not sure what I want to do five minutes from now, let alone five years!”

That’s because we’re starting to be attracted to the liminal space again. Like in that half-way zone between sleeping and dreaming, we’re floating, ready for something new to come into our lives. Liminal space leaves room for the Universe to step in and talk to us. As Richard Rohr says, it’s not a place to be feared, but savoured:

“Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible. It’s the realm where God can best get at us because our false certitudes are finally out of the way. This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed.”

So, in response to the screaming world, we answer, “Leave me alone. Can’t you see I’m waiting to see what the World Wants To Bring Me!?”

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