Finding Your Way in Transitions, Part 2 of 3: The In-Between Stage

In my last article on Transitions I described three stages of transitions: Letting Go of the Old Way, the In-Between and Accepting the New Way. The focus of that article was on letting go of the old way.

The Inbetween by bastien-nvs-R7EfLoHHpPk-unsplash

In this second part we’ll look at the In-Between stage. For caregivers it is the space between what was and what will be. Suzanne Braun Levine calls this space the Fertile Void and describes it as, “the long, slow, deep breath –the gathering in of strength – that precedes a daring leap into the unknown.”

Words such as unsettled, anxious, afraid, uncertain, unknown are associated with this stage. In our culture the in-between space is seldom recognized or valued. We like certainty, predictability and control. We want to move from the unknown to the known as quickly as possible. This makes it harder to navigate our way through what is a natural, normal process. We are told we should just “get on with it” and we don’t even know what it is we are supposed to get on with.

Feeling stuck, confused, lost, and in limbo is normal in these circumstances. It can be hard to watch the world go by without our participation. We have to step outside our “normal” lives and be on pause. Looming large can be the question: “Who am I now?” And “Who will I be?” You may feel disoriented, as if you’ve lost connection to yourself and the world.

So what do we do while dwelling in this transitional zone since it presents a whole new set of feelings and challenges as we are called to stand in the void. Learning to trust your own needs and emotions is valid and necessary.

Here are some helpful practices in the dwelling place of the In-Between:

  • Journaling – Journaling helps you deal with emotions and provide
    healthy ways to express yourself.
  • Shore up your support. Deliberately establish a support team who
    understand and support you.
  • Make extreme self-care a priority.
  • Acknowledge and validate your feelings.
  • Connect to something bigger than yourself. It could be nature, a pet, a
    support group, a spiritual reading, a Higher Power, or a religious
  • Go easy on yourself and celebrate the small victories.
  • Remember sometimes the most important thing you can do and the
    bravest is to JUST SHOW UP.

Next time we will talk about New Beginnings.

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