Do you have a recurring dream?

March 4, 2024

Do you have a recurring dream? I do. It’s a style of dream, never the same exact details, but always finding myself in limbo, overwhelmed, trying to get where I need to be. It’s maddening. When I wake up, I can rarely remember what I was so worked up about, but I am mentally exhausted.

There is a concept that describes how I feel in that dream. It is called “liminal space”, from the Latin root word limen, meaning “threshold”. It refers to being in a space in which you’re not where you were and not yet where you want or need to be. It’s like being in a tunnel with only a distant light ahead. And it’s certainly not limited to our dream worlds. It’s a normal, though disorienting, kind of thing. You may be in liminal space right now! Author Jeff Manion calls it “the land between”. David Brooks calls it “the valley of bewilderment”.  Richard Rohr describes this space as “betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There, alone, is our old world left behind, while we’re not yet sure of the new existence.”

Being stuck on the threshold, unsure of your next steps or where to go, can create significant anxiety. “I hate my job – where do I go?” “I’m about to graduate – what’s next?” “We’re empty nesters – how do I refocus my life?” I’m retiring – who am I now?” These are just a few of the normal liminal spaces of life. Then there are the sudden tragic liminal moments like the loss of a loved one or a poor health prognosis.

If…make that when… you step into a threshold and are in the land between, here’s a recommendation.  Take hold of someone’s hand. Seek the understanding ear of a trusted ally. At least tell someone. Liminal space is best navigated together. And, if your valley of bewilderment is related to a fuzzy purpose or unclear calling or lack of meaning, then reach out to me. I created Destinyworks for people in liminal spaces. We just celebrated 5 years of existence as an organization and have “held the hands” of hundreds as they crossed their thresholds.  We’ll hold your hand, too. Reach out to me! And stay tuned…I have a wonderful announcement about Destinyworks that’s in the works. Can’t wait to fill you in!

In the meantime…sleep well, my friend!


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