A Reminder from “The Engineers of Life”…
“Life’s Mysterious Illusions…”
Have you ever been in what we call “the Time of No Longer and the Time of Not Yet”? Think about what we are asking here? Could it be that we all are actually spending our lives in this transitional zone of endings and beginnings?
The truth is this is exactly where we are spending our lives. And because we fail to realize that we are in this “transitional zone” and the significance of this mysterious time, much of our life struggles are do to this lack of awareness. That’s right. Most of our struggles and difficult times are a result of our inability to let go of the old, safe and familiar parts of our lives so that we can accept the new and unfamiliar parts of the lives we are meant to be living.
To help explain this phenomenon, we are taking an excerpt from the book “seeds of Intent” that is a story about life’s mysterious illusions.
Life’s Mysterious Illusions…
Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar holding on with all my might, or for a few moments I have to choose and let go, and then I’m hurtling across space between bars.
Most of the time I’m hanging on for dear life to my trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of speed, a particular single focus even, and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the questions and even some of the right answers.
But once in a while as I’m merrily swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and I see another bar swinging toward me. It’s empty, and I know, in that place deep within, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, and my life coming at me. In my heart of hearts I know that for me to move forward to be the person I must become, I have to release my grip on the present, well-known bar to move to the new one.
Each time it happens, I hope and pray that I won’t have to grab the new trapeze bar. But I realize that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some time I must hurtle across space before I can reach the new one. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that all my previous hurtles across the void of the unknown have ended well. Each time I am afraid I will miss and I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the seemingly bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, and no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging on to that old bar is no longer an alternative. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of the past is gone and the future is not yet here. It’s called transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs.
I have noticed that in our culture this transition is looked on as unimportant, something to be overlooked even ignored as a vast place of nothingness. Surely the old trapeze bar was real and I hope that new one coming toward me is real, too. But the void in between, what does that look like? Well it is just a scary, confusing, disorienting nowhere that must be gotten through as fast and as unconsciously as possible. What a waste!
I have a sneaking suspicion that the transitional zone is the only real thing, and that the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void where the real change, the real growth, occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transitional zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored and truly savored. Even with all the pain, fear, and feelings of being out of control that can accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, most passionate, most expansive moments in our lives.
And so, transformation and the fear that accompanies it may have nothing to do with erasing our fears but rather with giving our permission to “hang out” in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab the new bar or any bar is allowing us to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void we just may learn how to fly.
Please take a few minutes to think about examples of your life’s mysterious illusions. It’s pretty interesting isn’t it. And what are you learning that can help you with smoother transitions as you look to the future?
In the Spirit of Learning through Life…
Jimmie and Charlie Watson
“The Engineers of Life”