DON’T mind the gap [gratitude for the rough wisdom of transitions]

Ever heard the phrase, “Mind the gap?”

My urban subway, train, and mass transit riders surely will.  It means something like, “Hey, do you see that bit of distance you’ll need to span while transitioning from the stationary platform you’re on to the train itself, about to move swiftly off into the future?  Enough of a gap to twist an ankle, so beware.”

One of my clients recently sent me an (astounding) email, titled, “Don’t mind the gap.”

She shared some pearly wisdom about the uncomfortable transition she is currently in.  I’m not sure she even realizes how powerful it is.

Either way, it’s a treat to share it with you here.

My client, after a lifetime of muting her own needs and following the prescribed life path set before her, has been finding and listening to her own inner voice.  Recently her inner voice told her unequivocally to get out of the relationship she was in.  Which felt devastating and scary but RIGHT.

So she did.

Of course, who showed up right away but “the one that got away,” and the pull between them nearly knocked my client off her feet, urging her to rush toward that past love.  Is it real?  Could it work this time around? Will I have to move cross-country to be with him? Is he “the one?”

But then she realized that unless she stayed put in the gap for a while, she would just be using him to cork her loneliness, to distract her from the ache of what feels missing.

We are lucky to get this page from her journal, dialoguing with her inner voice, speaking with the gap:

{My client}

“What is my prayer?  What is my wish in life?

“I want to live with purpose.
I want to serve the greater good.
I want my work and struggles to be widespread to help others.
I want to heal.

“I am in a sort of darkness, a gap.

“Something is missing and I am searching.

“I’m in a gap.  What is the gap saying?

“Do not fill it this time.  Let’s just sit with it.  Let’s sit and listen.  This is a critical gap, a gap which is pivotal.  Don’t undermine all of the work you have already done!”

{The Gap}

“I am really so proud of you.  You are so much more equipped to be that woman who is front and forward, confident and stable.  That woman who is giggly and content.  That woman who can recognize when she is judging herself and change directions.  That woman who is present.

“Critical.  Decisions.  Amazing.  Grateful.  Process.  Forward.  Listen.  Be.  Love.  Open.  Yahhhhhhh!

“I love you so much, you are one of the most amazing people I know.  You genuinely want to do great work.  I am so proud of you.”

My client realizes she can’t MIND the gap.

She can’t use her MIND to “figure out” this time of loss and transition.  It can’t be figured.  But it can be intuited.  It can be felt and ciphered and listened to and helped to take shape.

My client learns to not mind the gap.

To feel okay about this time, rather than fearing it.  To honor it even.  To let it tell her how much it loves her.  To see that this once-feared gap is pointing her in a direction of deep self-love, self-confidence, and clarity about her life’s work.  To realize that from there, romantic love will land on a solid foundation.

She finds, in this journal jam session with her and her inner voice, that if she rushes through the gap, tries to make too much logical sense of it, fills it with too many shiny objects, she might miss the foundation-laying power of any transition time.

Sometimes gaps are rough, but they are always right.

Now, your turn.

Are you in a gap?  As rough as it may be, in what ways is it wise?  Come share with us in the Facebook conversation.

I’ll see you there, with gratitude,

Photo by Jan Sturman of Albino Crow Photography

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