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Everything Looks Like Failure in the Middle
By Karen Wright
I'm not what you might consider a chef... heck, I'm barely a cook. My idea of fixing dinner is to steam an artichoke! Oh, and pour a nice glass of merlot. But, on occasion I've managed to bake a cake or turn out a batch of cookies. One thing that always fascinates me is how ugly it can all be part way through. Maybe that's because I don't follow recipes.
My cooking is organic...by that I mean it evolves as I go. I try a little of this and a smidgen of that. Tasting and judging as I go whether it's too bland or too pungent. Making adjustments along the way toward what I hope will not be fodder for the trash. Which has happened more than once!
But, I regress... this message is not about cooking - or even whatever one might call what I do! It's about process - that beginning to end journey of unfolding possibilities.
Just like my culinary creations, which can look rather disgusting and other-worldly while I'm in the process of figuring it all out, our attempts to reach any goal can also appear lop-sided part way through. The act of creation is messy and seldom resembles anything close to the end result (hopefully!).
If we were to judge our achievements while they were evolving we might deem them failures. And it's for sure that others would. They'd peek in and neither fathom the intent nor the process. They'd expect to see a mini version of the end result... growing its glorious way to completion. But, middles don't look anything like ends.
Middles are crude and ambiguous. Going off in all kinds of directions...looking for the just-right combination of certainty and possibility. Middles writhe and collapse. They spurt and contract. It's chaos... glorious chaos.
You're in the middle of something right now. And I'm betting it's got you wondering whether there's a light at the end of the tunnel. We love/hate the middle. And that's part of its charm. It's not done and we aren't either.
Middles are misunderstood step-children. They want so much to belong and fit in, but they're different. They zig when others zag. They're unpredictable. But, they possess so much vitality and hope... if they're just given a chance, and the trust, to blossom into the incredible magnificence they promise.
Don't feel defeated, while there in the middle. How you're feeling...that's normal for the middle. You're exactly on time and on course. Ride that uncertainty like the wild pony it is - thrill to its power. Mainline to its seminal origins. This is what birth feels like. New, odd, promising, dangerous. This is life on the edge of becoming. Incredible!
We're all in the middle - of becoming. We're not done yet. We're messy and unfathomable. We're an equal mix of grace and angst. How will it turn out? You tell me!