It will come as no surprise to anybody for me to say that … a LOT has happened since I last posted on LOACA Life’s Blog site!! Life has changed for all of us in ways we never could have imagined.
I already thought my retirement had been anything but smooth. I was already wandering around in the wilderness looking for the path that would lead me to discover the retirement-life person I was supposed to be. What was my new purpose? Little did I know that rather than orienting, I was about to be thrown into a huge disorienting place (along with all of you!). In reality I had been in a place of disorientation since I made the decision to retire! I was moving further into a larger place of disorientation and disorder!
According to Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and contemporary theologian, we are now living out a time of Order, Disorder, and Reorder.* In these recurring times, we find ourselves in what is called liminal space. These are the spaces in between what was and what has not yet come. We go through smaller and larger times of liminal space all of our lives. That is where we find ourselves now in the midst of a huge global time of disorientation, change, crumbling understandings of how we live our lives, much divisiveness, and a very uncertain path.
I am reminded here of my retirement mantra. Three years out from my retirement that mantra, “Not all who wander are lost” still gives me some hope! It has been a time of much sickness, death, upheaval, injustices, and much grief, sadness, and sorrow. However, wandering in the liminal space is not all bad and indeed opens the door to much possibility for fresh new perspectives and change that has needed to happen for a long time. If we are willing to listen and try new things there is possibility for something good to come out of the ashes of the grief and sorrow.
We are in the midst of these difficult times as Ladies Of A Certain Age, whether or not we want to be – or even recognize that we are. The best way to orient ourselves is to be open to the new ways of life that are manifesting. LOACA women are already in a time of change, aging, and reorienting! We are uniquely positioned to move forward in the new ways of being that are before us!
What I found during my time of Sheltering in Place for over a year due to the Corona Virus, and in the midst of such global disorder, was a new sense of contentment. As an extrovert living almost like a hermit no one was more surprised than me! This contentment did not always keep the anxiety and fears at bay, but it helped me to come back to a realization that even in the midst of chaos, contentment is possible with a willingness to change our focus and perspective. This does not mean we are not sad, grieving, and even angry at what is happening. It means we can find a place of balance and resilience in the midst of the emotions we are feeling.
On my daily Seize the Day calendar, the quote was:
“A contented heart is an even sea in the midst of all storms.”Anonymous
How is this possible?
In about 62 AD, a man named Paul, who was one of Jesus’ earliest followers, wrote a letter to the congregation in Philippi, Greece. In the four Chapter, he writes:
I am not saying [these things] because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him [Jesus] who gives me strength.
Verses 11-13 of Chapter 4 in The Bible’s New Testament Book Philippians
The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM (Franciscan Media, 2020)