Brexit was always an issue about identity: are we a member the EU or are we not?
Changing identity is never straightforward.
For example, whenever we end a relationship or start a new job, what matters isn’t so much the practical details of what we now do differently. It’s the emotional and psychological effects that impact us: “Who am I now? How does this person behave?”
This is what is happening in Britain at the moment. A Portuguese woman has married a Brit. They have one child born in Portugal, and one born in the UK. Who are they now? Where they can live? A UKIP supporter believes that immigration is the cause of all their problems. Last week their viewpoint was in the minority so they kept quiet. This week they are in the majority, so they feel able to shout at and attack other people if they want to.
It’s all about identity.
Whenever we change identity we never go straight from one state to another. We always go through a third, intermediate state. This is the churning soup of the chrysalis between the caterpillar and the butterfly.
This where we are at the moment. This is what is causing the turmoil in the streets and in the financial markets of the world. The UK is no longer a committed member of the EU. But it is not an outsider either. The old structure has been lost and the new structure has not yet formed. We are in the ‘liminal zone’.
In this zone people are bound to feel uncertain, disoriented, lonely, vulnerable, and scared, especially if it lasts for any length of time.
People need Leadership. They need guidance to help them through the liminal zone, and bring them to the butterfly on the other side.
Without it they get scared and they start to do things they wouldn’t normally do.