Life in the Middle
How do you live between “need now” and “not yet”? I confess to not having a formula. I admit openly struggling with waiting in the middle. Waiting for anything requires patience, tolerating the uncomfortable, finding something “to do” while you wait, and a way to monitor your thoughts and alter your thinking to seek out ways to ponder the positive instead of drowning in the negative. The human brain is expertly geared towards negative thinking. Requesting the brain to operate outside of its common default system is work. The work of “changing your thoughts” is the work of learning to live life in the middle.
I am living in the middle right now, and I do not like it. I suspect none of us “like” it. What we tend to prefer, generally, are guarantees, “sure things”, absolutes, constancy, and a life that is predictable and secure. So, what do we do when some area of our life is none of those things? What can we do to ride the wave of uncertainty while in the middle of the storm? There are volumes of works by a variety of authors already written addressing how to wait, how to live with uncertainty, how to live life in the middle. I have read several. I am finding it much easier to read “about” living in the middle than I am actually doing the work of “living” in the middle. It is hard. It is uncomfortable. It is stretching my comfort zones in ways I have not felt before. I feel like a wet rag doll, who, after having survived the ravages of a good cleansing in the washing machine, is being stretched and yanked and plastered against a hard surface to insure I dry with all my parts properly aligned, ready to be fully functional when the wait and the drying is completed. It hurts at times. It is frustrating. It is not what I want, but it is what I have. Perhaps, within that thought is the clue to an answer-it is NOT what I want, but it IS what I have. What do I have? Let’s start there.
Instead of looking at what I do not have, what DO I have that can provide a sense of security in this time of unknowing? I have the security of an address, a bed, warmth, food, running water, a strong partner walking right by my side doing all he can to shorten the waiting in the middle timeline, daughters, sons-in-love, grandchildren, supportive and understanding friends, spirituality, prayer, a functioning mind and body, this computer, and a way to outlet the feelings by writing. I have a four-legged furry little man, Comet, who may be my best teacher right now. Comet is content. He is warm, fed, has the same address, access to the same supportive people, he has what he needs. Do I have what I need? Yes, currently I do. My discomfort is rooted in the “what if” that may never arrive. Comet lives fully and completely in the present moment which is, as of this writing, safe, secured, and real. I need to follow Comet’s example. Easier said than done you might say? I completely agree. Yet it does seem to be a path offering a true and reasonable way through the middle. Aha-another clue, “through”. I must be accepting of the fact that the way out will mean going “through”. The world in the USA of 2019, by and large, is no help to those who must go through. Our world today wants to resist through by any and all means possible. I am leaning in the direction of resistance and avoidance myself-and it is NOT working! So what can I do? I can choose, that is exactly what I can do. CHOOSE ! I can choose “the way of Mr Comet”, the Labrador Lane!
What does that look like in practical, realistic terms? It looks like a woman who gets up daily and spends time in quiet and stillness. It includes journal writing and blogging my way through. It means I reach out to those I can express emotions to without judgment. It means I look at the things I DO HAVE-the good ole attitude of gratitude. As cliche as that statement has become, it remains one of the most effective ways to renew perspective. It means, like Comet, resting in knowing the true needs of living are, in fact, met every day. I get up, I get fed, I am warm, I am loved, I have health, I have my own version of furry protection, and if my needs are met, that can be enough. I can choose to enjoy and be thankful for my needs being met. That is not true for so many-even in the USA. Getting what I NEED can be enough. Getting what I NEED will be enough. I will express sincere gratitude for being a human whose needs are being met each and every day. As I close today, I feel the grumblings of hunger telling me it is time for lunch. I have only to reach in my bag for the lunch I prepared and eat it for my hunger to be abated. It is what I need. It is what I have. And it is enough. Life in the middle, good or bad? Perhaps it is neither, it just is-and accepting it is my life right now looks like “the way of Comet”, the Labrador Lane. Life in the middle through the Labrador Lane-someone should write a book like that!