The In-Between Place
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who does not understand growth, it would look like complete destruction”
Complete destruction. Death. A total clearing away of everything no longer needed to make room for the new. The life affirming. The vibrant and vital.
That’s the before and after of deep transformation. But that’s not what I want to talk about today.
Today, I want to talk about the process. What happens that allows the before to become the after.
For this to occur, we have to spend some time in what I call the In-Between place.
To be honest, not many people relish their time in this place. It’s no wonder, really, because it’s uncomfortable as fuck.
It’s the place where who you were ceases to exist, but the new you has not yet emerged. For a while there is this vast empty space with nothing to fill it. It’s like a free fall into an inky black void.
It’s the place where everything you used to do to numb out, placate, ignore, deny and protect yourself no longer works. And you have not yet found a suitable alternative. So you FEEL EVERYTHING!
It’s the place where you can’t go back but don’t yet know how to move forward.
It’s the place where every truth you thought you knew gets called into question, and any solid ground you thought you were standing on turns to quicksand.
It’s the place where nothing makes sense and yet, every now and then, you catch a fleeting glimpse of something resembling wisdom on this path.
It’s the place where you fly apart at the seams, and you’re not sure you will ever come back together again.
It’s the place where nothing you do feels good or right, and everything you do feels foreign and confusing. You will start to wonder if there is even a point to all this shit.
This is a wobbly place. Tenuous. Unsteady. The terrain is shifting and sliding all at once. Mudslides to the left. Rockslides to the right. Avalanches from behind. Tsunamis from the front. A place where all the maps have been torn up and the sign posts obliterated.
While you’re hanging out here, grab onto whatever footholds you can to steady yourself.
Breath is a foothold.
So is nature.
And connection with other safe people.
And being in your body.
Tether to what is available to you. You won’t be here forever, I promise.
I also promise that you will return to this In-Between place again and again and again as long as you are committed to your own growth and evolution. It’s the way it works.
A coach of mine once described this as The Cave Of the Unknown. I love the image of entering the darkness. You literally can’t see two feet in front of you and you just have to feel your way through until you see the light. You may run into walls and trip over rocks. You may hear scary noises. The shadows may terrify you.
But here’s the thing about this place. It’s also a portal. It’s actually where the magic happens.
Because it’s also the place where you sob. sweat, dig, panic, pray, open, ache from gut-wrenching honesty and vulnerability, almost give up and give in but don’t, writhe and twist with the pain of your discomfort, and come face to face with your own blackness so that you may be able to see your light. In this place, you heart will shatter open wide and deep and far.
You will wonder if you are dying.
Actually, you are.
You will wonder if you can make it.
Well, not exactly. You see, the you that brought you to this God-forsaken place is not the same you that will bust you out of it.
Every single part of you that insisted on this descent in the first place will be burned away. Ashes absorbed by the earth.
Everything that is now you emerges, fresh and clean. The pieces of you are rearranged in the most beautiful, brilliant way. You have been forged anew in the fires of transformation and you, my dear, are breathtaking!
If you find yourself in the midst of your own In-Between place, I am here to remind you that it is real. It’s a thing. You are not making it up, or over-reacting. You are not crazy or losing your mind. And you are most certainly not alone. I, and everyone else who has been here, walk with you.