Progress takes time so here’s how to be patient and trust the process of change.
Note: This beautiful essay is written by Shana Lundell.
No, not that show Malcolm In The Middle.
For some reason that show is what popped in my head when I wrote that first sentence and I wondered if you would think that too?
Crazy talk. That show isn’t even on the air any more. And I’m not sure if anyone watched it but my kids. HA!
But I digress.
What I really wanted to write about was what happens in the middle of our self healing and the discovery journey.
You know … the stuff we think, feel and do in between failure and success.
No one seems to talk about that middle period. And I would like to trash talk about it because this time gap is a pain in the ass, neck, and everywhere else in between.
This middle zone between failure and success feels like molasses because it’s slower than a snail stuck on a honey coated roadway.
Ok, I am exaggerating a bit. But let’s be real. The middle isn’t glamorous.
People often get impatient and give up during that middle zone because it is too hard.
Sometimes people even have amnesia about the middle, like how some women do about pregnancy. Years after their child is born, they suddenly say how marvelous they felt the entire time of pregnancy. I say that is horse shit.
Let’s be honest. There is no way one could feel marvelous during the entire shit show of pregnancy.
I have given birth three times and I am happy with my three beauty-full, darling daughters.
I lost my mom to cancer when she was 57 years young. This loss happened less than a year after my wedding. Dealing with this loss was excruciating. Each day I woke up and was surprised I was able to carry on. I was a walking tear machine.
Next, I lost my dad in 2015.
Then, my dear stepdad 3 days later.
Talk about taking the wind out of you!
Recently, this past fall, we lost our beloved family cockapoo, Sammy Sparkle. He was my therapy dog that helped me immensely through many sad, dark, grieving middle times.
I needed Sammy Sparkle to help me during the middle zone of missing Sammy Sparkle. But alas he wasn’t there. I still miss him deeply.
It takes a village to get through the ordeals we encounter.
We cannot force a message we are not ready to receive. But we must never underestimate the power of planting seeds of insights – which eventually grow into lessons learned.
I had lots of seeds planted through many of my journeys. Indeed, I felt at times like I was a Chinese Bamboo Tree, because years were passing before any insights and lessons learned sprouted.
However, in actuality there was lots of cultivation and growth occurring under the surface. Just not fast enough for me.
On my travels of well being, I discovered the power of having my very own Personal Success Squad.
I started to purposely pay attention to the energy and vibrations of the people and personalities around me. And I valued my Personal Success Squad for their abilities to fill my cup whenever I worried it was becoming depleted.
I had years of burning myself out from burning the candle on both ends.
Eventually I realized that coaches are not just for famous athletes. It is more than okay for us regular ol’ folks to seek out skilled professionals to help us reach our best versions.
There’s so much noise, chaos, and choices around the latest and greatest way to get through one’s messy middle period – and head quickly to the happy lessons learned and enjoyment earned.
It is no wonder why so much stress and anxiety surfaces during this muck of a middle period – to hurry on up and become who you really want to be. It is bedlam out there!
I sought out uplifting podcasts, educational Ted Talks, and informative audible books to listen to while driving. All of this elevated content became important essentials to feed my brain. We are what we think.
We are also who we spend time with. We become the sum of our sacred circle of true blue cherished friendships, trusted advisors, and close family members. They can absorb some of our pain – and then in trade give back insights and love. They become our magical miracle growth formula.
Plus I also allowed myself to spend time in silence. I believe we need to give ourselves periods of pause. We need to fully feel the pain of the middle of the pain. And grab what’s needed from this pain. Then move on with our booty of benefits – realizing that all will be okay.
Yes, the middle sucks. But we can’t bypass its emotional discomfort if we are going to truly, authentically mine it for its gorgeous golden nuggets.
Yes, I confess, I recall at times wanting to shelf the tough stuff.
I didn’t want to deal. Instead I simply wanted to keep on going with whatever I was good at. But unfortunately life doesn’t work like that.
We must surrender to our emotional pain, in order to allow clarity to surface.
I saw this quote that I need to share as it inspired me to respect the stinking middle.
“When accepted, rises, crests and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes a part of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. Out goes naïveté, in comes wisdom, out goes anger, in comes discernment,out goes despair, in comes kindness. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive, and expansive… The pain leaves you healthier than it found you.“ -Martha Beck
So, where does all this whining then glorifying the middle bring me?
I now realize that there is no hurrying through this messy time.
After all, the tortoise did slowly and steadily win the race. And he saw it as a ride – not a race.
Basically, it takes as long as it takes. And I must be gentle with myself.
And yo – you too!
Please don’t be so hard on yourself about your middle. After all, that’s what builds character.
You can’t jump through the middle – in the same way that you cannot skip the gestation period of pregnancy.
There will be two dates on your tombstone that your family and friends will all read. What really matters is what you did within the dash in the middle! Cheers to making your middle moments magnificently matter!
This inspirational essay is part of a book Shana is writing, called “Fire Fly Moments.”
Follow Shana on Instagram – @fireflylightmoments – for more inspiring thoughts and beautiful quote images.