Every now and again, I pick up Pema Chodron‘s book, The Places that Scare You, and read a chapter or two. Today, I turned to chapter twenty-two “The In-Between State,” which seems to aptly describe my present state of being. She writes that “[a]nxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid.”
She also explains that, in this state, one has already begun to reject those things, in which one once found pleasure. That is, in this in-between state, one begins to understand that the suffering that is being experienced is far greater than any pleasurable acts that one might have relied upon in the past to quell one’s fears.
Thus, what can one do in confronting such a state of being? Chrodon states that the answer lies in being able to stay in the middle. Specifically, she writes, “By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what’s happening, we begin to access our inner strength.”
The task, then, is to hold oneself in abeyance, even if the world seems to be demanding that a decision be made, or a step be taken. It is in standing still that allows one the opportunity to hear, with clarity, the inherent wisdom within. It is a wisdom that understands that there need not be judgements of good or bad, right or wrong, etc.
So, how am I handling my in-between state? Well, I am silently facing my many internal selves, and that are asking me to choose a direction–I am learning to sit with their uncertainties, their fears…my uncertainties, my fears… Until next time,D.