Out with the Old, in with the New
A few years ago I was introduced to the concept of something called “liminal space.” “Liminal” is the Latin word for “threshold,” something of an in-between space in life. When we are in liminal space in our lives, we are experiencing some kind of massive transition – something big is changing, something is happening. We’re moving out of something old and into something new…but we’re not quite there yet. We’re standing in an existential doorway of sorts between two seasons of life, standing in a threshold. We no longer back where we were….nor are we quite yet where we’re going.
Liminal spaces occur often in life, and when they do, they can deeply stretch us and challenge us. They are often uncomfortable, and sometimes hard to stay in, because change can be painful. We want to jump out of the growth process and back in to something more secure! The unknown can be scary, and our sense of identity may be uprooted during the process. That said, when we are able to successfully move through a liminal transition, it always results in something absolutely beautiful showing up in our lives, something we’ve never had before.
These transitions can take a number of forms. Examples might include ending a season of singleness, in order to move into a marriage or a committed partnership. Or, conversely, choosing to leave an unhealthy relationship and embrace a season of singleness. It could be a pregnancy, and the “in-between” space of growing something we cannot yet see as we transition to motherhood. Perhaps it's a move, and being brand new to the city of Denver.
Some liminal spaces are more internal, more about our relationship with ourselves. Perhaps we’ve decided that we are sick and tired of being a “people pleaser” and it’s time to work on our boundaries, and learn to how to say “no.” The process of unlearning our default way of being in the world and choosing a new way to be can be tough. However, the freedom and joy we experience once we reach the other side is nothing short of miraculous.
While there are a multitude of ways we might experience liminal space, each time we move through this kind of transition, there are constants and similarities in the process. For starters, it’s usually uncomfortable. Leaving the comfortable familiar to embrace the scary new is not easy, and it requires a great deal of courage. Transitions also tend to uproot our sense of identity. If I was married, who am I as a divorced woman? If I was single before, who am I as a partner or wife? If I was an engineer, and I’ve left that work to pursue my business idea, who am I as an entrepreneur?
When we’re moving through a liminal transition, it’s really important to have support. Our feelings about what's happening are not black and white, nor cookie-cutter. We may be thrilled to be out of a bad relationship, but simultaneously terrified of being lonely. Perhaps we're ecstatic about being pregnant, but equally terrified of whether or not we’ve got what it takes to be a parent, and scared of losing our freedom. This where focused, experienced women's counseling can really help to move through these transitions successfully.
Working with a trained Denver therapist during transitions can help us move through these seasons when it gets hard, or when we feel stuck. We may need some help to make sense out of what we’re feeling. The amazing part of transition as women is that it always births in our lives something incredible that we didn’t have before; something that perhaps we’ve been longing for. We might just need a little help navigating our path and emerging even stronger on the other side.
If you find yourself in transition, and want to move through it with strength and resilience in order to have the life you desire, counseling can help. Give us a call at 720-363-9188! It would be our absolute privilege to support you as you transition into an even better and stronger version of you!