I just arrived home from a quick trip to Melbourne, that included a long road trip in rural Victoria.
As my friend and I embarked on the trip, map in hand, with my friend driving, we were full of expectations. We were two women in one car on a long drive, and this made us smile. We hadn’t seen each other for two and a half years, and we had many stories to tell.
The beginning of the road trip was full of excitement, conversation and a lot of snacks. As our words slowed and the sun set behind the rolling hills, we continued driving. The road waned and the light became dim. Miles of tarmac flew beneath our vehicle and we entered the place of unknown called the in-between.
At this point, discomfort set in. We questioned:
“Are we getting lost?”
“Is Google Maps taking us in the wrong direction?”
Waiting, driving, thinking and questioning, this place between made us anxious.
Have you ever been discouraged in the middle of a journey? I’ve found that it’s easier to contemplate dreams and potential at the beginning of a journey rather than the middle. We map out the directions and gather our supplies, then after the initial excitement it’s easy to lose sight of the destination when we’re in the in-between.
Where are you at today?
Are you currently at the beginning of a journey or have you just completed one?
Or maybe you find yourself a little lost in the in-between?
The in-between is a valid place to process—taking time to acknowledge our uncomfortable feelings when we are between what we used to do and what is coming next. Often we talk about the inception of an idea and the completion of the idea, but we often ignore the time in-between—the waiting place.
Do you feel a little lost?
Do you feel unsure and confused how you arrived in this place of unknowing?
Maybe you are just in an in-between place and that is okay.
I have been thinking a lot about this space lately. We have recently shifted house and the place of transition, has been one that can easily take over and it is easy to think that it is a forever place. I have realised though, that just as seasons change from winter to spring, so does the awakening of the new in the midst of the “In between.”
When we surrender to its patience, when we don’t run from the cloud of unknowing and try to escape its lessons, but listen to the space that is created, when one thing comes to an end and the rest note that comes before another arises, this my friends is the “In between.”
Here are some lessons on happiness I’ve learnt in the in-between:
1) Don’t try escape moments of hiddenness or silence.
It is a well known fact, that without the rest notes in a score of music, there is no opportunity for the fullness of sound to be reverberated. If you have finished one season and are waiting for the new to come, let me encourage you, the moments of hiddenness, the moments of rest, the times of in-between allow the music in our lives to take shape and breathe. As much as we want to escape those hidden seasons of in-between, surrender to their anonymity and breathe in the space that is offered in this season.
2) Don’t make major life decisions in the midst of the in-between.
I read a book once called When Everything Changes, Change Everything: In a Time of Turmoil, A Pathway to Peace.
As I read this book, I realised that for me and my life, this summation was unwise. It is easy to want to throw out everything in the midst of disappointment and transition, but routine and comfort, simple pleasures and our favourite people will become our life lines in the difficult confusion that can try to discourage us during the in-between.
3) Don’t lose hope in the unknowing of the in-between.
“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.” ~ Pema Chodron
I have learnt that the in-between is the greatest place of growth. It is in this season, that the little steps encourage me to continue to steadily move forward. Growth happens in small increments in our everyday life. Just like the tyranny of the journey as we drove down dark rural roads, eventually as we moved, inch by inch, road by road, we found our way to the destination despite it seeming to be an unending journey of the in-between.
Do you find yourself saying, “Are we there yet?” in the midst of a journey?
Are you confused about your progress in the midst of the in-between?
“Take courage, dear heart.” ~ C.S. Lewis
You are on a journey and as long as you keep moving forward, little step by little step, you will find your new season and opportunity of development. The in-between is a stretching, growing place and it is often the catalyst to the growth that is required for you to settle into your new reality.
“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity and of love.” ~ Caroline Adams
I hope your road trip brings you growth, delight, opportunity and lessons. This my friends is the most satisfying perspective on the journey toward living a life of great reward.
Author: Amanda Viviers
Image: courtesy of the author, Pinterest
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock