Welcome back! The second component of a life change is titled The Messy Middle for a good reason. According to Bruce Feiler,
“The messy middle is all about what happens when we’re in the state of in between. It involves a complicated alchemy of giving up old ways and experimenting with new ones, moving beyond what’s past and beginning to define what’s coming.”
Just a reminder, navigating through change is dynamic. In part, that is what makes The Messy Middle so challenging. It is easy to slip back into the lower levels of energy we experienced initially in The Old Ending, especially as we are attempting to create a new beginning. It may be more comfortable also, requiring less physical and mental exertion. In moving toward what we think we want or desire, we may discover we need to make additional changes, or that we really do not want what we thought we did. Thus, we need to pivot.
Change does not occur in isolation. Every action creates a reaction. The butterfly effect rests on the notion of interconnectedness, such that one occurrence can influence a much larger complex system.
“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world” - Chaos Theory
With this in mind, let us explore Level 4 Energy.
The core thought and role of Level 4 is care and concern or the desire to alleviate the distress of others. Care and concern lead to compassion with feelings of giving, nurturing, supporting, and loving. At this level our actions focus on the service of helping others. We begin to look to help instead of control. A word of caution here, because in caring roles we seek to meet the needs of others first and often neglect meeting our own needs. Caring may become a burden if we neglect self-care. Remember who puts their oxygen mask on first on the airplane? YOU! You cannot care for another without caring for yourself.
Now back to the story of losing my second job. Within four weeks of learning this job was being eliminated, I interviewed and was offered a new position. My new position was nearly three hours from my present location, so again I relocated, this time temporarily living with a sister on the other side of the state. I thought this was a great idea to live with my sister. I would be helping her out by paying rent and contributing to managing household tasks and projects, until I could find my own place. In my new job, I held a director's position. I was excited about helping and supporting staff, serving clients and the community, and also helping the organization to grow and to evolve to a new level.
A quick note, during this time, my previously diagnosed illness flared. I was so busy helping at my sister’s home and at work, I neglected to pay attention to the changes and distress my body was experiencing. Once I realized there was a problem, I connected with my physician and was able to calm the storm my body was experiencing within a few weeks.
Now, what about the butterfly effect? Living with my sister created its challenges for both of us. During this time, the transmission on my car ceased to function. I was told it could not be repaired. In addition to finding my own place to live, I was also shopping for a car. Eventually, I acquired a new car and a home of my own.
Did I mention my sister and father died during my messy middle? Yup, within 15 months I grieved the death of my mother, sister, and father besides starting another job, and mutiple relocations.
Because of these changes and challenges in my life, I began to accept the butterfly effect and embraced the teaching of Aristotle, “Everything happens for a reason”. Rather than asking myself “Why me?” I began to accept and embrace “It is what it is!”
Tomorrow, Level 5 Energy begins with reconciliation.