I don’t know about you, but the times we are living in can feel like a kind of suspended animation. A limbo of sorts. A collective holding of the breath, if you will. A waiting, waiting, waiting. A place that is neither here nor there. A retreat that goes on for more than you believe you can endure.
As someone who has intentionally spent a lot of time out of time, I know this one well. That place where you have geared up for, been with all kinds of things you never thought you could be with, and now, you have had enough. Now, it feels like you have done all that is yours to do. Risen to the occasion more times than you can count, and now, you are ready for a break. Ready for it to be over.
Only… It goes on. Right in the face of all that you have done. Endured. Been patient with. Learned from. Been a good sport about. And it can start to feel unfair. No longer helpful. Beyond your capacity. A punishment even.
The Celtic lore refers to those places that are neither here nor there as the “betwixt and between” places; threshold times when the boundaries shift and all bets are off; giving rise to a new way of seeing and being with ourselves and the world. As they say, the veils are down, and we are, with the right frame of mind, privy to something extraordinary. Maddening, you might think. Or magical. It all depends on your perspective.
This week, I read the phrase, “the in-between place is still a place.”* Imagine that. The in-between place is not a no place; some time or space without its own location and address. It is not a place to be gotten past on your way to somewhere else. It is not less desirable than where you have been, or where you most want to go. Instead, it is a place unto itself. One deserving of your full attention. Your acceptance. Your respect. And most powerful of all, your reverence.
How often do we live as if there is somewhere better to be than here? As if, when this is over, then, finally, I will be where I most want to be. Need to be. Deserve to be. It’s funny, that for a place we often don’t want any part of, it sure can take up a lot of head space, and by extension, a lot of our life.
But what if it were true that the in-between place is a place. A place you want to include. What then? A while back, the thought “No where is better than here” occurred to me. Try it. Whenever you catch yourself trying to get away from where you are, say that out loud to the betwixt and between space, and see what happens.
No where is better than here.
* The Shaman’s Mind by Jonathan Hammond