The Messy Middle, And The Authenticity Of In-Between.
Transitions aren’t always as smooth or straightforward as we would like them to be.
Things are often messier than we might choose. There are more things to consider than we may have realized.
Sometimes we’re just in the in-between — heading for the new, but still hanging with the old.
There is an overlap — a crossover. It’s not either-or.
The in-between can be a hard place to be. Because we want things to be sorted, clean and clear. We want to switch straight from one thing into something else.
But sometimes it’s just not possible and we have to go at a different pace. We have to make space for messy and complicated.
The in-between can be uncomfortable. But it can also be a gift.
Maybe there is more of the old we need to integrate. Maybe where we are right now — with the old and the new — is actually perfect.
Often we see the before and after. People talk about how they got from A to B, once they get to B. But we don’t always hear people talking from the messy middle.
And I’m thinking that many of us are probably in the messy middle more often than we would care to admit.
We all want to get to B. Once we know that the old is gone, we want to arrive at the new, on the other side. But there can be so much value in the journey to get there.
Once we get to B, there will always be another journey to take anyway. We will never be done.
We’ll never completely banish the old, or the before. And would we really want to? We can move on and we can evolve, but it’s rarely as black and white as before and after.
What about during? What about making room for it all?
We all want to present the polished version to the world. The done. But polished isn’t always real, and it doesn’t show the inevitable challenges that go on beneath the surface.
When we can show our unfinished, our not-quite-sure or our in-between, we give other people permission to do the same — which invites authenticity all the way around.
We get to be real and we get to see that in others as well. We get to see the truth.
The messy middle and the journey can be unsettling. But it can also be a time of immense possibility and creativity.
You get to decide what you take with you and what you leave behind. You get to spend a bit more time feeling into where you’re heading and what you want to create.
What’s the rush?
The messy middle forces us to slow down and integrate it all. To honor where we’ve been and to make space for all that’s to come; to be in this moment, exactly as it is right now.
It honors the fact that change of any kind is rarely straightforward or easy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful, rich or full of grace.
Kelly Burns is a UK-based writer and mentor specializing in women’s health and the mind-body connection. She writes for both print and online publications, and is the author of the Inner Jewel Weekly blog. In her spare time, you’ll find Kelly with close friends and family, outside in nature, enjoying good food, reading, collecting wisdom, dancing around the house, traveling or on her Yoga mat. You can get in touch with Kelly via her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.