The In Between

This is a place I’ve avoided most of my life! I like to be there. I set my sites on a goal or next step and move swiftly toward it. No lollygagging about for me! But lately I’ve been wondering what it would be like to spend more time in this “in between” place. What would it be like to slow down, be more thoughtful, be more present, let things marinate, and not rush to solve problems? What if I gave a great big shrug and said, “I don’t know yet?”

How would that apply to my feelings? Maybe I wouldn’t rush through them. Maybe I could sit quietly with them, feel them. Maybe I could catch and release them, feeling curiosity, not judgement. Maybe I could sit in the discomfort of not fixing my pain and let myself feel sad, empty, upset or angry, instead of pushing on to happiness, peace, and joy. Wouldn’t that be more genuine and less forced?

How would that apply to my relationships? Maybe everything doesn’t have to be resolved immediately. Maybe neither of us has to be perfect to carry on. Maybe there are people I need to let go of. Maybe I need more time alone. Maybe I can use the in between to be discerning about what relationships lift me up and enhance my life and which drain me.

How would that apply to work? Maybe I can look at each day as an opportunity to contribute. Each interaction I have with a student is a chance to make a difference in his/her academic and personal life. Maybe I can take it day by day, not rushing to make decisions about how long until retirement. I can trust that when the time is right, I will know.

How would this apply to my future? Maybe I can stop trying to plan and just let life unfold as it will, knowing that oftentimes opportunities and experiences present themselves when I am present and open minded, rather than having tunnel vision. Maybe I don’t have to map out the next 5, 10 and 20 years right now!

The in between is not a particularly comfortable place for me. I’m a gal who likes a good plan and is always prepared! But moving through life from one “should” to the next has left undeniably empty places in my heart and in my soul. It has closed me off from authentic experiences, relationships and feelings. It has wooed me into presenting my False Self rather than my True Self. Maybe the in between is a place to pause, rest, and surrender.

Photo: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 6.30.21 by J.M.R.

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