“Mind the gap” is an audible or visual warning phrase issued to rail passengers to take caution while crossing the horizontal, and in some cases vertical, spatial gap between the train door and the station platform. – Wikipedia
The phrase Mind the Gap was coined in 1968 England when it became impractical for train drivers and station attendants to continue to warn riders to be careful when entering and leaving the train. Over time many countries around the world adopted this or similar language to keep their passengers safe.
In today’s frenetically paced world this quick pause is almost like a switch to slow motion for one moment in our busy lives. The moment the door slides open our foot leaves the train floor and we can imagine it suspended in space briefly as we step over the gap and find purchase on the platform.
If only it were that easy in “real life” to get from point A to point B when experiencing change. What if when a long term relationship ends, we step over the gap avoiding injury and arrive unchanged on the other side? Do we end up where we need to be, or have we missed an opportunity for being present for ourselves with difficult emotions, for growth, for understanding of what we need to avoid in future relationships?
If we apply the idea of mind the gap to life transitions we face a different sort of challenge. We really become suspended in time while life rushes by around us.
Time moves differently when we are in transition. It can feel difficult to find our feet. It is one of those things we can’t skip. If we try we often feel like we are hitting a brick wall, or imaginary forcefield that pushes us right back to where we started.
We have to do the work to pass over to the other side. We can choose to exist in the discomfort for awhile, in order to emerge more clearly aligned with our values. A truer version of self.
When we do the work the doors will open, the path illuminated before us. If we fail to do the work in the middle we risk getting sidelined or pushed off onto the wrong track.
Leaning in to the messy middle of transition is the work of moving through life connected to ourselves and to the larger energy of the world/people around us. What a gift.
Traveling mercies on your journey.