Liminal Space in the Second Half of Life

Please share with your network!

Perhaps the one area that can discourage me the most is that for all of my education, reflections, my pastoral ministry efforts, all of the memorable consolations and desolations in my life, prayer, and contemplation, I still feel the same patterns of self-centeredness, judging, egotism, and acedia that have been part of my whole life.  One would think that after all the efforts, I would be oozing in virtue, peacefulness, serenity, and love.  Richard Rohr offers some encouraging guidance on this issue, bringing what appears to be opposites together, that non-dual consciousness of the “both-and.”  Like Rohr, my “what, how, and why” of me, my personality, hasn’t changed but the awareness of the “who” of me has changed greatly.  Now I can begin to see my so-called personality flaws for what they are worth, not much at all, really.  When I can keep myself in this stance, there is less of a need to justify myself, to defend my position or opinion, or to run from my own shame.  There opens  up a “new center of gravity” within me that recognizes I am part of something bigger and I belong to Someone bigger than me.

And so, I find myself right smack in the middle of that second half of life experience; that place where John 21:18 speaks so powerfully about “Being led where you would rather not go”.  That “liminal space” that Rohr talks about is a void almost haunting in it’s mystery and beauty.  I found this deeper explanation of liminal space by Rohr to be extremely moving:

“…a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. If you are not trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait, you will run…anything to flee this terrible cloud of unknowing.”  

It is frightening and awesome all at the same time.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visitor Reflections

    The Archives

    you may also enjoy…


    It is amazing the number of choices we make in a day.  Small things like, should I work-out and get some exercise or...

    On the edge of autumn

    September has a strange and wonderful feeling. It is the best part of the summer and the hardest part of the summer....


    Become the one you are waiting for. You have searched, secretly believing that there must be more … that somehow, you...

    Contact Me

    Let us know how to get back to you.

    How can I help?

    Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.