March 16, 2010

Three years ago an old spiritual director of mine shared an analogy of going through change to being a trapeze artist.  As we make changes and go through transitions in our life, we are like trapeze artists, moving between bars and rings in our life.  Often we can easily make the transition from one ring to the other.  Other times, we cling to the old ring with an arm outstretched for the new bar, but we are not quite ready to grasp the “new bar” of our lives.

This analogy has recently popped into my head again.  I find myself on so many “new bars” in life.  The “old bars” are behind me.  I do not want to go back to them.  The “old bars” hang so close to the new ones in my life that it is hard at times to not be lured by their familiar, calming ruts that I once grasped. At times, these “new bars” are easy to navigate, but there are other times when all I can do is hang on to the “new bar”.  I am literally suspended.  At times neither moving forward or backward feels safe because I am afraid of either movement. Afraid to go back to the way things were, but afraid of the unknown ahead of me. 

I have to move though to begin the swinging motion for my hope is to become so comfortable with the “new bars” in my life that I will eventually be able to fly with the freedom to do tricks and flips.

Our lives change.  We must let go of the past.  Some trapeze bars no longer work for us.  With all of our hope and strength we can muster–we wait,suspended until we can find the strength to take the unfamiliar movement forward. 

Are we clinging to an “old bar” in our lives?
Are we moving quickly between the “bars” of our lives?
Are we suspended between “bars” in our lives?  What do we need to make the movement forward?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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