Transitions and Thresholds
By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog. You can see more of her writing at blessedjourneyblog.com.
There are transitions and there are thresholds. My experience has been that transitions take a chunk of time. I can nurse a transition, especially if it’s from a hard place: things like getting over being upset with someone, but also when trying to figure out how to BE in new way of living. The transition in itself is a process.
My prayers of late, since I have so many things in my life up in the air, have been something like: How should I be now? What do I do in this moment?
I’ve got no map for where I am right now, so the sense of taking a step of faith is constantly with me.
I haven’t gotten it all figured out, but I have had a new experience, a shift in my perspective. Instead of a long transition I’ve asked myself why not choose to change how I feel and act now? Why waste all that time transitioning? Why not just step across that threshold into a new way of being?
This means not sitting in the transition of being stuck in an old behavior pattern. Why not cut the cord and be free of that old baggage?
I’m normally a morning person, but found myself getting fussy and irritated with a family member the other morning. I was feeling he was being rude and I snapped at him. He got offended. We did that dance for about 5 minutes when I said, “We don’t have to keep doing this. We can choose to have a good morning. I am sorry for being snippy and curt.” He apologized for his return comment and we had a lovely morning.
I chose to step over the threshold instead of nursing old wounds.
I am working on a new way of being, of stepping away from old behaviors that I have grown out of or don’t serve me, and now that I’m in the middle of my life, I don’t want to waste any more of it dragging old junk around with me.
Now why has it taken me all this time to realize I can just flip the switch and let go of the hurt? Who knows, but Grace seems to be the answer. And I’m so thankful for it!