When a shift in how we understand something happens, it’s often unsettling. It’s a private thing, especially at first, because it takes time to understand what’s changed and until we get clearer, we find it hard to talk about it.
This is a normal part of change, but I really do hate it. I’m trying to come to terms with that off-putting sensation of not quite belonging anywhere. I feel like I’m at odds with myself when I’m sorting through these rough patches. The work is all internal and therefore not easy to categorize or understand, and so a certain loneliness tinges the entire process.
I love the epiphany itself and I’ve been through this enough to know that the eventual result will be worth it. But that damn middle section is a huge pain.
It helps to realize that privately nurturing these small seeds of growth is both valuable and important. It’s part of the process. The challenging bit is seeing the world in a different way, but still living as if the epiphany hadn’t occurred. It requires patience to manage these shifts in understanding. We have to be gentle with ourselves, the way we would treat a child going through a major transition.
I get trapped up in the middle sections of change. I feel lost, bereft, alone. It’s easy to feel misunderstood, like the ground is no longer solid under your feet but it’s not quite clear where your next step should take you.
I know that something big is happening for me in these uncertain places. I’ve been here before and I’m certain I’ll be here again. Anyone willing to risk by growing and changing will feel some of this unsettled discomfort. It’s the stretch before the new thing fully reveals itself. It gets dark in this unfamiliar terrain, with accusing doubts whispered into your ear. “Who are you to try for this? No one else thinks this is a good idea! If this was so great, more people would be on board.”
When we make decisions based on what other people might say, we are sunk before we get moving. It’s a losing game, and I know this, but far too often I start to play it when the doubts get loud. The key is to stay the course, to allow the passion to ignite into flame, to tamp down the fear and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
It’s okay to be the only one who initially believes in something. The rest of the world is busy with their own stuff. If it brings life to your soul and hope to your spirit, pursue it. Make your way bravely through the middle ground of the shift. Fight the insecurity and the doubt. Emerge on the other side, into the sun, knowing that you will never be the same. That alone is enough reward.