The Portal of Discomfort
I'm starting a new series featuring writers and leaders doing the courageous work of invisible bridge walking.
The first post comes from Gage Bock below. As Gage says, "the descent to Soul can be an unnerving, de-stabilizing and disconcerting journey. But as they say, if you’re falling, dive."
When I was in my mid to late 30s, having been freshly plucked by the Mystery out of my cushy corporate job and into the wild landscape of my larger Life, I experienced a long swath of time where I felt deeply discombobulated about my path forward.
What’s more, as someone whose job it was to help others get clear on where they were going and how they'd get there, this was deeply troubling to me. How can I help others navigate the path when I’m not even sure of my own path forward?
Don’t get me wrong - it wasn’t like I couldn’t set goals; it was more like every goal I tried to set for myself never really felt right. While I could will myself to reach a goal, something deeper inside of me knew that any goal I could THINK up wasn’t really the right direction. I wanted to progress, to move ahead in some way, but something inside of me knew that progress going forward would not look anything like it had before. Some part of me knew that the path forward was not something that I'd be able to DO in the same way that I'd done it before.
I was between worlds, not really fitting in to who I’d been, but also not sure of who I was becoming.
And, if I’m being honest, this period has lasted much longer than I would have liked it to. If you’re anything like me, your ego will scratch and fight and resist this dark path for as long as possible. It doesn’t want to die to what it’s known.
However, now, almost six years down the road from that moment where I was plucked out of the nest, I am convinced that there are times in a life where it actually serves us deeply to STOP and STAY in the betwixt and between place, and not to try and get out of it. That place where we're neither here nor there, but somewhere in the middle. That place where true transformation is possible, if we can allow it.
And while this place may not be comfortable - in fact, it may be scary, daunting, troubling, confrontative, deeply disconcerting and unbearable - I am convinced that it is the exact portal to the place ours Souls really want us to go.
For those of you who may be feeling in a betwixt and between place in your own life, like something old is dying but you’re uncertain of what’s being born or even how to make it be born, I offer to you a piece I wrote a few years ago.
In my estimation, this dark path is a very courageous path to take and to stay on, for as long as Mystery needs you to stay on it.
If you find yourself here now, I bow deeply to you and your courage.
Be with yourself here, in this dark passage.
Be with your own un-doing.
Be with that which is dying. Honor it. Bless it. It has given you much.
Be with your SELF, in the deep discomfort of your own disappearance,
for you may truly never see this You again.
This path is the darker, more hidden one in the forest. Most miss it.
If you find yourself on this dark path, though, whatever you do, do not rush it.
You cannot rush it. You cannot get there faster than you will.
Savor it as much as you can. Sink your roots in. Dive.
And when it gets unbearable, as it’s wont to do, try to sink into it even more.
Perhaps, eventually, your own re-emerging will happen.
Maybe, someday, you will re-appear into something even more real and true than what you now know.
There are no guarantees.
Just as you cannot make a tree grow faster or a fruit ripen more quickly,
You cannot will yourself into being.
This is a place of un-doing, un-taming, un-naming, un-becoming.
Let it happen, if you dare.
Be with yourself in THIS dark place.
For truly, it may be the exact portal to your one true life.
As a Soul-Centered Professional Coach, Gage works with courageous and creative artisans of cultural evolution - bold folks who have heard the call are ready and willing to make the difference they’re here to make in the world. www.gagebock.com