There’s no escaping the fact that life is messy… and wild and wonderful and weird – often all at the same time.
Sometimes we’re in the flow, enjoying ease and clarity. Other times we’re swimming upstream in a river of chaos and confusion.
If we’re lucky, at some point in our lives, we arrive at the place where we have outgrown our old paradigms and beliefs, and we find ourselves in the midst and mire of transition.
Something has shifted. We’re no longer who we were… and yet, who we are becoming is not yet formed.
We are like the caterpillar, turning to mush in its chrysalis. No longer the caterpillar. Not yet the butterfly.
This can be a place of great discomfort, curiosity, excitement, fear, and hope.
Even in its unpredictability, it is one of my favorite places because it is also ripe with possibility. It’s the blank slate, the carte blanche.
It’s a pause, a breath, an opportunity to lean into the question, “Who am I, now?”
In her book When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chödrön writes that so often, people move away from the discomfort of transitional spaces, scrambling to put their lives back together the way they were before. When things were more… well, comfortable. She points out that when we do this, we cheat ourselves out of possibilities we can’t see yet because it was too disorienting to sit in the unknown.
It can undoubtedly be very difficult to stay in the transition zone. The desire to distract, act, numb out, or try returning to “things as usual” can be strong.
But you can’t rush alchemy.
You can no more will yourself through a transition than you could make the butterfly appear sooner.
Everything in its time.
Pause. Remember. There is magic in the mush.
In the timeless words of Rainer Maria Rilke –
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.””