On Being In-Between
Sometimes we live in limbo. It seems we are in-between steps in our journey. We are finishing one step and preparing for another step but it appears that nothing is happening in that space. Are you there? Have you ever been there? Is it possible you might be there again someday? I know this place and I’m beginning to think about it differently. I don’t think limbo is really limbo. I think it’s just a part of the process of living and as much, if not more, happens in our development during that phase.
A year ago I was temporarily living in Durham, NC while my daughter got a life-saving double lung transplant. On October 12, 2013 she received her transplant and was recovering at Duke University Hospital. That journey was full of waiting: waiting for an answer on what to do about her damaged-by-Cystic-Fibrosis lungs, waiting to be on the waiting list for donor-lungs, waiting with mixed emotions for the “right” person to die (loss for one family meant life for my daughter…hard to work through that!), waiting for her to heal after her surgery, waiting for rejection to go away, waiting for getting back to living a normal life. Now we are in a new waiting phase as she has battled lymphoma since June. Today, it’s waiting to find out if the chemo worked. We won’t have an answer until early December.
Lots of limbo. Going through this season has been one of intense growth. It isn’t about waiting for the situation to change. It’s been about growing each moment of each day while not knowing very much about the next moment. But isn’t that how every day is, really? We never know without a doubt what is going to happen in the next moment. We think we do. We have bought into the lie that we have control and things should work out the way we want them to. As time is marching on and we are less insulated from the pain and unpredictability around the world, we are beginning to understand the concept of living in the moment and not hanging on too tightly to our expectations of how we believe life should be for us.
I challenge you to accept where you are right now. You don’t have to stay there forever, but it is reality for right now. Growing has more to do with accepting reality than pretending it’s not happening. Are you thinking about ending a relationship, changing jobs or in the middle of your own health crisis? You’re not certain of the ending, but to be certain is an illusion. Do what you need to do to get through this moment. Sometimes that may be taking a breath, feeling the air come in and out while acknowledging your presence in the here and now. You may not have the answers right now, but that is ok. I believe the answers will come in their time. As you breathe, let go of the need to predict your future. You can’t predict it and hanging on to the future is sucking energy and focus that is useful for growing in this moment.
I found this quote and put it on the wall of my daughter’s hospital room while she endured her chemo treatments:
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene