I was texting with a friend of mine who was feeling a deep ache. A few months ago, her son was going through a lot and had a trigger of depression and anxiety from some old bullying in school that had happened years ago. Now, out of highschool and away from the situation, the pain was rising to the surface.

She walked him through, and carried his heart through the last couple of months and he’s in a great space now. So grateful… 

For both of them.

And now, all of the things that she put on hold for herself are coming to the surface and there’s a different ache there now.

You finish one process and you’re smack dab in the middle of another.

Life is so full of ‘middles’.  

The middle of a marathon.
Or a road trip.
Or building a house.
Or  writing a book
The middle of a relationship.
Or raising a toddler
The middle of grieving a loss.
The middle of healing your child, or your self…

The middle is the longest part and sometimes the most grueling part. My friend, Tina, and I were talking about this the other day and we both agree:

The middle is where we meet ourselves.

When I do my 100-Day Gongs, my Taoist spiritual practice when I do the same thing for 100 days; the beginnings are exciting, the endings are satisfying —  and the middle?

It’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s where just doing the practice — without all the excitement and satisfaction fanfare and hoopla — just has to happen.

That’s where all of my thoughts, patterns, habits, and my beliefs just come and stand at the front door of my soul and confront me.

I’m tempted to distract myself, to give up, to give in, to walk away…

The middle calls us to keep going
While it threatens to undo us.

I’ve been married 29 years.
I have two teenage boys.
I’ve dealt with a health condition.
And a crazy, Italian family.
And a crazy voice in my head that is, quite frankly, a pain in the ass sometimes.

Trust me: I’ve been tempted to give up in the middle.
Many times.

But here’s what I know is true:

There are gifts hiding in the middle.

When you keep going, you see what was worth it and what wasn’t.
When you keep going, you see where you’re strong
And where you need to be stronger.

It’s the place where you meet yourself, accept yourself, call bullshit on yourself
It’s where you notice the flares of excuses that come up that seem really, really legit sometimes
And it’s where you press on
And new strength gets built because of it.

I would have liked to have stopped in the middle of laboring my children.
Especially with Caleb.
Six days of labor.
Not kidding.

And did I mention: Six days of back labor.
Not kidding.
It felt like a red hot poker was being dragged down both sides of my legs on every contraction after the third day.
It was freakin’ painful.

But if I had stopped in the middle, I wouldn’t have a Caleb.
And holy crow, he is SUCH a joy.

The middle is where some new life in us gets to come forth.
And like childbirth, the pain of what we go through, bonds us to the child.

The pain of the middle
Bonds us to life
And to ourselves.

And we learn to know us, trust us, and love us — in a way that no one can and no one else has to

Because no one else could do our ‘middle’ for us.
We own that.

So no one else owns it
And because the middle is where we meet ourselves and reconcile to who we are
no one else owns us, either.

It’s powerful.
The trust you end up having in yourself is

Because what no one else gives you
No one else can take away.

That, my friends, is pure gold.

That’s why it’s really, really important for you to hear, that whatever middle you’re finding yourself in, there’s a gift in there.

Through the trudging
And persevering
And holding on
And letting go
Without giving up

All of those parts?

That’s where all the messes and magic collide.
Right there in the middle.
In that, “I’m not giving up”

So, keep going and keep pressing on, my friends.
The beautiful soul who you are, is going to make it through
And what I can tell with all of the strength and conviction in my heart, is that
It’s worth it.

Because the gift you find in the middle

Is you.

Here’s a song I wrote for my friend who was in the middle. It’s for her. It’s for me. It’s for all of us.

It’s for you.

Love you,


You’ll Land
By Stacey Robbins

When you feel like life is loose
You’re untethered in the air
Every wind just threatens to blow you away
It’s hard to hang on just another day

But in the space of all the wandering
And feeling lost and scared
I’ll remind you:

You’ll land
You’ll land
You’ll find your solid ground
And then, you’ll soar
You’ll scale the heights you’ve never dreamed before

You’ve got that Alice in Wonderland magic
Just living in your soul

So, you’ll land
And you’ll soar

I know…
I know.

When the day starts off with a heavy mind
And your feet don’t want to hit the floor
And thoughts just rush into your head
“I’ve been here and done this before.”

And it feels like the ocean you’re swimming in
Just moved away the shore
I know it’s tempting to give in
But I know this even more

You’ll land
You’ll land
You’ll find your solid ground
And then, you’ll soar

You’ll scale the heights you’ve never dreamed before

You’ve got that Alice in Wonderland magic
Just living in your soul
So, you’ll land
And you’ll soar

I know…

I know that it feels like
The pain is all there is
But I know that on the other side
You’ll see the gift in this

So, hang on close
I’ve got you here
Your heart is not alone

You’ll land
And you’ll soar
I know…

I know