The liminal or between phase is vital as it is the moment where the man is in pain and in a surrender stage. It is the moment where suffering, mystery, and paradox will do the lesson. Feelings of success and victory have no voice in here. The main teachers will be the unexpected.
It is the moment where a man comes to the realization that striving is an essential part of life. He, finally, learns that he is not in control, it is not about him and life is hard . In many cases, the symptoms of depression, anxiety, mid-life crisis, addiction, anger and crisis of limitations happens due to the resistance of letting go of what a man believes is the only truth in life. Once he let it go, the liminal phase starts. The stepping into the unknown is initiated.
Why a Rite of Passage?
I consider the rite of passage metaphor one of the most important tools for deep examination of life. It is like a map of an unknown territory of one’s life. In my opinion, it is almost impossible for one to go through a liminal space without a map.
According to Anthony C. in an article published by the Dulwich Centre, a rite of passage “enables people to prepare for a journey into unknown territories of life, which can be confusing, disorientating and painful for an extended period of time. This map allows persons to plot their journey into three phases: the phase of separation, the liminal or between phase, and the phase of re-incorporation” .
Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking to Live an Authentic Life™.
To read about Spiritual and Psychological Fear, click here.
To read about The Gift of Loneliness, click here.
Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking an Authentic Life. Click here to know more about his work . Or, please, continue reading about the importance of men's rites of passage.
Men’s Support Group
It is not an easy journey. That’s why it is important for men being connected with a men’s group, or some kind of 12 Steps Program, or Yoga group, or some group that provide him a space where he can feel supported and fully accepted, with no judgement, around others who are going, or who has gone through. Anthony C. explains that “if the liminal phase is not clearly understood, people will often feel at times that they were better off under their ‘old behaviour’. The map instills hope to persevere and try once again. It gives hope to construe their life again with a progress view, as opposed to regressing”.
A sense of Belonging in Nature
My personal experience in a men’s rite of passage, and in being in a men’s group for almost 10 years, is that it provided to me a sense of belonging and deeper acceptance, which is difficult to find in the busyness of life. It doesn’t make life any easier, it makes me feel supported, but life has always been hard. My own challenges persevere. The difference is that now I have my own map, I know my own personal story due to soul work and consistency in the men’s group. The men’s rite of passage awoke my desire to connect with Nature, plus my desire to connect with men on a heart level, guiding me to the Authentic Self. It helped me to reveal and name my fears and my strengths.
Anthony C. wrote about a few components from the Narrative therapeutic approach to deal with the challenge of addiction to substances in order to cope with the hardship of life. The rite of passage is just one of the components. I decided to talk about it, as it resonated with me the most, and I often use with my clients. An addiction doesn’t necessarily need to be from substances. We all are addicted to some kind of behaviours less danger to society, but it keeps us unawakened from who we really are. Hence the importance of awake men to their Authentic Self - the vision of my work as a counsellor.
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