The spiritual path is not always a smooth one. Though many think it is an uphill climb, getting easier as we put one “foot” over the other, it is far from being that simple. Getting from here to bliss is requires a lot of rerouting, sometimes stepping back and even (it seems) going in circles.
Don’t beat yourself up if there are times when you feel like you’re the goldfish in the bowl of life. It sometimes help to just be fully aware of exactly where you are, even if it feels like nowhere. The first step for any kind of growth or expansion is awareness and acceptance.
Life in limbo isn’t too bad, just take the necessary measures to not stay in that place for too long.
Out on a Limbo
(Published in the Super section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 25, 2007)
I think I can be guilty most times of being an emotional fence sitter, racking up mileage points to and from my trips to limbo. It was easier earlier on in life, using pure idealism to propel me forward in making decisions, the world, being black and white through a teenager’s eyes was so much easier to make my oyster, or at least I thought. Adulthood and coming to terms with emotional upheavals slowly brought in more color, and definitely more static. So, finding clarity when lost in a feelings fog can make one reluctant to leave the limbo terminal. Not knowing the beginning or the end of what you’re going through can sometimes be extremely peaceful, as paradoxical as that sounds, it’s like being a permanent resident of Switzerland during the World War. It’s a neither here nor there Neverneverland and numbs the pain of having to choose one over the other. Ignorance is bliss, and limbo is bliss at its best. There are of course, advantages and major disadvantages of being in this state. One thing that could be considered a pro is that it actually gives you some time to think and reflect. Honestly, like when you are unsure if your flight is leaving on time or is delayed you then surrender to the fact that you have to sit down or walk around lost in as many distractions as you can possible come up with. In come the scenarios swimming in your head, all the possible wonderful endings and all the disastrous ones, in fact, it becomes a mental Choose Your Own Adventure, and the best part about it is that the ending can change over and over again. That’s the fun part about being in limbo (ok, fun is relative) you allow yourself a certain amount of detachment in order to play and replay scenes from your life and permit yourself to rebook your destination, if at least, in an imaginary outcome atlas, with no hidden fees and surcharges. You become audience to your drama, so in that aspect, limbo rocks. Another plus about limbo is that it allows reassessment, and for some, the chance to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is often scowled upon as a weakness, when the truth be told, showing vulnerability gives others a chance to help, when they would normally be turned away out of pride. There is no shame in admitting you need help, no one is expected to be strong day in and day out, and when the winds of confusion set in leaving us helpless in the hands of what we cannot control then humility takes over as well. We then learn that although we have to make decisions on our own, there are many around us who will help us til it’s time for that decision to be made, who act as support, sounding boards, sometimes even a shoulder to cry on or an understanding ear. We all crave definition in everything from our tv sets to our own lives but first we have to surf through our experiential channels in order to get the best reception, and this takes time. Limbo gives us a timeout and eventually a way out. So on your way to destination definition, enjoy a couple of stopovers in limboland.