The Messy Middle
People talk about the beginning, the pivotal moment that made everything change. People talk about the end, the dream that finally came to fruition or the failure that knocked them down. But people rarely talk about the messy middle. The middle isn’t a rush of inspiration that makes you change the trajectory of your life. It’s not reaching the top of a mountain and gazing gloriously at the view and it’s not a crash to rock bottom. The middle is a slow, steady, painful, uphill trek through thick mud with falls along the way and few moments of reprieve.
The most unsettling part of the middle is you don’t know how long it is going to last. It’s like you’re climbing in the dark and you don’t know how long it’s going to take to get to the top or when you may lose your footing and fall face first into the suffocating mud. When you do fall, I’d be easy, far too easy, to stay there and suffocate or to let yourself slide all the way down to the bottom.
What’s harder is getting back up. Continually rising after the countless falls. Pushing forward despite all the cuts, bruises, and jabs to the gut that knock the wind out of you. Although you may sometimes waiver, what gets you through is the inner knowing. The inner trust you have with yourself. The knowing that you can do hard things. Being okay with faltering because you know you will get back up.
When doing new and uncertain things you may be tempted to give up and forget why you started in the first place. When things get hard, which they will, you may fall into old coping mechanisms. This will likely happen subconsciously. Your mind wants you to return to things that are familiar, even things that weren’t serving your higher good. Stop these old habits before they become your habits of choice again. Otherwise, these unhealthy habits combined with the doubt of climbing new mountains may cause you to lose your footing.
When talking about transitional periods on his podcast, Mark Groves said “I started to think on transitions. Recognizing how hard it is to carry the space in the middle. And I think so much of our transitions are cut short because we can’t sit in the space of expansion. We can’t sit in the space of trusting that we’re going to arrive. Trusting that we are going to catch up.” Mark proposed the following question: “can you sit in the space that your soul has drawn you towards and just trust?”
We embark on new endeavors, up new mountains, for a reason. We are drawn to certain things and people for a reason. Our soul/intuition/inner knowing/higher self/whatever you want to call it knows what will and will not serve us. If we only stay the course, keep climbing, rise when we fall, and trust ourselves even in the discomfort.