Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is This Real Life?

"Marshall, you okay?"
"Uh, yeah, every few minutes I have to fight the urge to weep openly...I'm not sure where that's coming from yet, but i think that's healthy, right?" 
-Alias, Season 2, episode 15
Have you ever had one of those seasons in life where you knew things were stirring inside, but you just couldn't pinpoint how?

Around Christmas, I spilled my guts to a nun who was offering counsel for $1 per hour (that's normal, right?) and shared about everything going on in my life at the time. She was remarkably calming and identified what she called 'liminal space' in my life. Liminal space. The in-between.  She said, "Layla, you're in it."

I didn't need her to tell me (but it was nice to hear). I've known for some time now that I'm not where I was, but sure as heck not where I want to be.

So, how do I enjoy (emphasis on joy) the liminal space I find myself in? 

Maybe life is liminal space. 
We live in this broken world, carry our broken dreams, aching for hope. 
What do we do in the mean time? 
If you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like. So, what do you do? You laugh. I'm not saying I don't cry but in between I laugh... -Sam (Natalie Portman's character) in Garden State
I love that. Finding cause to laugh in the midst of difficult seasons. I want that perspective, but Lord knows, I'm as bad of a 'fake-laugher' as I am a 'fake-crier'. 

I also know that joy is much more than mere laughter. So, for one month, I decided to end each day taking a moment to identify 5 things I was thankful for that day. Every day. Even on the bad days when I was laying in bed wishing for a do-over. In fact, those were the days I found myself most thankful for the discipline. 

Here are just a few of the things I gave thanks for:  
  • Getting to see the sun rise today. 
  • Running the half marathon today and my sore muscles that tell me I pushed myself.
  • That Panera doesn't charge me office rent.
  • A great phone call with Sol E. today.
  • Holding my tongue today.
  • The ability to write, use my mind and voice.
  • For kind strangers on airplanes. For that matter, I'm thankful for airplanes, too! I flew in a metal tube across the sky to another town! Crazy!
  • Someone told me they read my blog! 
  • For having best friends in my life and getting to talk to them today.
  • Waking up to a deep conversation with my mom, being able to comfort her as she grieves the loss of her friend.
  • Weekend adventures with friends!
  • Betty, the lovely old lady at church who said "I'm so excited you're here, I wish I could offer you a cookie!" 

I'm not sure what that nun would say about my life now. Maybe she'd say 'I'm still in it.' Maybe not. Nevertheless, in small ways I'm learning to find joy and be thankful. Albeit, ever so slowly. But, at least there's nothing fake about it. 


Noemi said...

WOW, this is so awesome, Ly, so encouraging! You're an excellent role model of living out a life of joy in the midst of liminal space : )

Honesty: the lost art said...

:) :( :)

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