Ah, the gap—that place ripe with resistance, victimhood and the general battle cry of, “Get me the hell out of here.”
We are all, at one or many points in our lives, intimately acquainted with this gap. During my last foray into the gap I came upon an idea: Instead of falling victim to it, feeling oppressed and stuck, what would happen if I became curious?
What it if wasn’t a gap of fear and struggle? What if it was a welcoming place, a place of learning and discovery?
I can say that now, but let me be real with you: before curiosity there was anarchy of the soul.
Before curiosity, my mind was ablaze with a series of unanswerable questions and interminable doubt.
Wave after wave of contentious thoughts rolled through my psyche.
I’m ready to grow…or am I?
I want the next evolution…or do I?
I feel trapped, and scared.
Mostly scared. Scared I’ll fail, maybe even scared I’ll succeed.
A part of each day is spent railing against the cage I’ve put myself in, questioning, why I can’t get beyond the bars.
It’s affecting everything.
My body has never felt so heavy and weak.
My relationships are strained.
I dig my talons into my love and pick, pick, pick.
Nothing is good enough because I’m questioning at my very core whether I am good enough.
And it feels like sh*t.
My friendships suffer because I feel like a broken record burden. So I hide out, because, more than anything, I want to come to those relationships with light in my heart.
My creativity withers, and I haven’t had an exciting idea since I strapped myself into this cell.
I know better and yet I cannot seem to do better.
Who put 22 pounds of buckshot in my heart and an iron manacle around my throat?
And I know my wanted relief is off sunning on a sandy beach somewhere and I’ve sat myself in this dank rotting cell scratching the walls, trying to work it out.
Trying to manhandle my way out of a place from which only grace can carry me.
Attempting to think my way out of a place from which only flow can release me.
So I breathe and ask for guidance.
And, guidance, as it always does when given the space to flow, comes into my heart.
What if the gap isn’t a gap at all, but a necessary step in my evolution?
What if I’m not caged? What if I let the walls fall away into stillness and trust?
What if I were curious instead of fearful?
What if, instead of worrying over how something is going to turn out, I was curious and interested in the details of the situation?
When I embraced those questions and stopped beating my fists bloody against my perceived stuck-ness, peace bloomed. Creativity blossomed. Patience emerged.
I had ideas and insights. I wanted to speak to my friends, to spend time with my partner, to finish that project. Not because I knew without doubt the direction I was headed, but because I was willing to live in the question, for as long as it took for the answers to show.
And show they did, whisper by whisper.
Stepping from the holding cell doesn’t mean bolting to another place, hopping into total clarity and clear manifestation.
Stepping out is simply spaciousness, where there is room to listen to the calling of your leaden heart—lightening the load one exhale at a time.
Letting go, letting the stillness take you and the universe support you makes the gap a far more interesting place.
In this space, there isn’t a whole lot to be done or accomplished. In fact, by doing less, you will gain more.
It is the panicked thrashing that holds us under. Curiosity and acceptance are what buoy is up.
The gap is a real part of life—it’s how we grow. But the fear surrounding it is a self-made construct.
We get to choose: curiosity or fear.
Self-love or self-loathing.
Trust or manipulation.
The gaps will always come, you can be sure of it, but how we navigate them is entirely up to us.
Author: Ashley Welton
Image: Deviant Art
Editors: Travis May; Emily Bartran