NAVIGATING THE SPACE BETWEEN
Life is constant flux. Always moving from one thing to the next. Projects, relationships, activities and even healing, constantly starting, going, ending and then arising again. Seems to be that most of us have energy in the beginnings of things. We also tend to like the completion or sense of resolution that comes at the end of things. But what about the space in between? The time after the initial excitement to get something going or make something happen, and before the completion of whatever the activity, project or thing is. The space of unknown, of navigating the process, of ups and downs, certainties and uncertainties. How do we navigate inside the middle?
The truth is that this is the space where most of life happens, and it’s the space that we tend to dislike the most because it is unfinished. This is where all of our protective mechanisms reside and our triggers live, where we just want to get out or get it over with, whatever it is. The space between often feels chaotic, overwhelming, like we don’t know how we can make it all work out. Sometimes it even feels boring. The harder we try the more frustrated or hopeless we feel. Our head spins, we feel restless, we get bogged down, our energy state is lower, and our excitement or drive wanes. We can begin to feel like we aren’t making progress, not moving forward and we get depressed, angry, irritated or restless trying to find a way into completion already.
The most direct way to work with the space in between is to stop trying to get to the end of things while allowing things to be unorganized, unresolved or unknown. This is a beast for many of us. We like order, clarity, and knowing what to expect. When these elements are not present we get unhinged. Our emotions rise up and begin to take charge of our behaviors and state of being. We become not “ourselves” and react from our charged emotional state. This is fun for no one. Along with allowing things to be undone it is equally important to actively accept the fact that life is a big mess. One mess after another. While you are busy cleaning up the messes, don’t forget to learn something through them. The purpose of the mess is not to clean it up, but rather to learn through the experience of it. When you understand this, you will experience how life cleans up its own messes once you’ve learn whatever you need to learn through them.
LIFE IS LEARNING
Learning is the destination
Life is not supposed to be already done. Life is supposed to be lived and created. Creation is learning. If you are a parent you get this. You’ve created a child and now you are learning to be a parent. You don’t know how to be a parent before you become one. It’s learned as you go. Sure you can read books and take courses to prepare, but you don’t learn until you do it. While some of it is smooth sailing, likely most of it is a rocky adventure on uneven terrain. Ups and downs, highs and lows, certainties and uncertainties. However most people don’t quit along the way because they feel a social and moral responsibility to care for and tend to what they have created even when it get real, real hard. It’s one of our creations that we generally commit to more than others, and therefore is incredibly growthful.
While we might have expectations to be a perfect parent, we soon discover that we aren’t. We come to accept that we are learning. If we don’t then we will have a challenging time attempting to live up to ridiculous ideals. With time and some experience under our belt we start to understand that the most magic and intimacy is experienced when we are on uneven terrain. Without the rocks the journey is flat, and quite honestly a bit boring because there is very little learning. Learning equates to feeling a sense of progress and eventual accomplishment, but the reward is in the learning itself rather than in your attempt to get the experience over with so you can feel resolve.
It’s really like this with all of the space between. When we create a business, start a project, get into a relationship, build a house, reform our body, or embark on healing, we are committing to create. To bring something new into our experience. There is a beginning, a space between, and an end to all of these. The space of most learning is the space between. When you reframe that life is about learning, rather than about accomplishing, finishing or getting things done, you can rest more in the space between. Even if there is restlessness, uncertainty, mess, boredom and the like, you can rest into the larger perspective of learning. There will still be uncomfortableness or sometimes numbness, because that is a part of learning. You can’t get away from it regardless of how hard you try. It will follow you into your next creation, and your next creation, and the next.
There is no where to get, really. Yes there will be things you will accomplish and complete, but then you will create more things. We are creators. I don’t think that creating is ever complete. It’s simply that we need to interact with the space between differently. Rather than it being a burden, a problem, or something we need to get out of or endure, we need to see it as learning and growth. Recognize that the learning and growth is the actual destination, even before we reach completion or resolve of whatever we set out to create. This is how you become present in the space between. This is how you move into life rather than trying to get out of it.
Dr. Amanda Love, Network Spinal Analysis Chiopractic & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado