Liminality – a space to discover who you really are now
Are you living someone else’s dream? What happens when you let go of outdated life scripts, beliefs and values?
You know that feeling when you don’t feel like yourself or the person you used to be. Often that is because you are living someone else’s dream and according to life scripts that no longer resonate with you.
True contentment and happiness in midlife can come from living the second half of life differently to the first, by making conscious choices. Conscious choices are made by people with full awareness of the motivation behind their choices.
Family scripts are spoken or unspoken expectations and rules for individuals which may be usually unconsciously adhered to – that is you are not aware you are following them; they just form the route of your life – you don’t necessarily remember anyone saying, dictating or spelling out these rules they just ‘are’. In therapy, we call them ‘Introjects’. Introjects are the unconscious adoption and internalization of thoughts, attitudes, values of others which you internalized and make it part of your own self.
Do you have outdated life scripts? Consider what were your parents’ ideas of success – money, status, possessions, big house? What was their work ethic like? How did societal and cultural expectations and collective pressures back then affect their life choices? Did they value work over family time? Was money used as a status symbol? Did they bother to keep fit or take regular holidays because they valued their well-being and actively administered self-care?
And perhaps more significantly what were their ideas of what success would look like for you? Who did they want you to be? What did they want you to do for a living? I wonder if these ideas form the basis of the personal and work life you currently follow when in reality your idea of success and quality of life is fundamentally different?
As you release yourself from unwanted life scripts and rules that no longer serve you, you enter into liminality – the space where you begin to consider how you want to now live your life now. You can’t go back because you are no longer that outdated person – that life no longer fits you.
However, you can’t go forwards until you have clarified how you want to live now – you are temporarily in the liminal space, a transitional space and it is here, in this space, that you gently begin to make significant change through self-awareness, conscious choices and supporting the self and change life scripts that no longer serve you to new ones that resonate with the person you actually are and desire to be.
Not knowing who you are going to become can be unsettling but living a life that fulfils the dreams of others can be devastatingly unfulfilling.