What do you do when you are between things?
When you are waiting for the elevator, do you fiddle with your phone? When sitting in traffic, do you keep changing radio stations until the traffic signal turns green? Or, when chatting with a friend, do you jump in to fill in her words while she’s figuring out what she wants to say?
We don’t seem to like gaps too much, not these days. Any kind of break is seen as an unwelcome intruder. We’re disoriented when we aren’t engaged. We don’t know what to do with ourselves, as if we’re supposed to be doing something every second and every minute.
And yet, in the most essential experience, breathing, there is a pause. Between an inhalation and an exhalation, there is a nanosecond when nothing happens. And yet, that micro-instant is what fuels life.
The space between things is magical, if only we allow ourselves to feel it. It’s when unknown things unfold and reveal themselves to us. We may know with a fair amount of certainty the before and after; what happens in between?
You might catch the janitor’s eye in the lobby as you wait, a shy smile might be offered and reciprocated, and your morning might just take a different, brighter trajectory.
You might catch a kiss exchanged in the car in front of you, a tender moment that softens you up as you enter home and greet your kids, forgetting the stresses of the day.
You might allow your friend to reveal a deep secret, which is why she was struggling to respond to you. Maybe she wanted to change the subject because she really needs your help.
Letting the space between unveil itself requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to not know what’s going to happen in the next instant, to not be in control. It asks you to be curious, without judgment. To be generous to allow anything to happen, including something that you could not have ever anticipated.
The space between is where magic happens.