Loving the In-Between

leaf floating down a river

Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we want to be, we have to be willing to be in-between. It can feel like being lost in the woods.




One of the hardest things we have to do as we grow and change is let go of what is old and familiar, what we don’t want and be willing to stand there empty-handed and wait for something new to appear. As human beings with brilliant minds, we long for meaning when standing in the dark.


Being in-between might mean being without work, or not having a love relationship. We ache from it, long for it, need it, deserve it, want it and yet, the time is not right. We have to clear out a place in us before we can receive the next best thing.


Letting go of the familiar is frightening even when people, places, things and ways of coping have not gotten us even a smidgen closer to what we want and deserve. That is exactly why we often keep settling.


We ask ourselves when our gut is churning, or we feel a subtle but persistent restlessness whether or not we need to just accept things as they are. The choir in our heads tells us that we are “unrealistic”, that we expect too much, or that we are acting like a child and need to just grow up. We all know what being grown up means…  giving up the joy that only children are allowed. The choir members are never our own authentic voices. They are onion-layered chatter of well-meaning people who contributed to our being lost in the woods in the first place.


So we stand here without answers, directions or even the sun to guide us out. We can hardly stand it! And we must stand there and wait. By surrendering, we can make our time in the woods shorter by simply quieting our minds and thanking those voices of fear that served a useful purpose in the past by keeping us safe. Then, we stop fighting. Like falling into a rushing river, the way we stay alive is not by thrashing and gasping for air. We must allow the river to support us and trust it. Float for a while, notice the beauty of the woods, breathe in the night sky and trust that when you have made room in your heart and you are open to the unexpected and no longer afraid of letting go of the used-up familiar, you will have your answers.

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