Getting Unstuck From a Middle Mentality

long roadIt’s the middle of the day in the middle of the week just past the middle of the month and working toward the middle of the year. I’m a midsized, middle class, middle child, middle manager living in midwest middle America. I guess I’m a middle man. But a middle man is an intermediary between other parties. So, if I’m a middle man, what am I between? I’m between small and large. Between rich and poor. Between two sisters. Between executives and hourly labor. Between east and west, between north and south. At 36 I guess I could be midway between birth and death barring any unforeseen incidents that place me closer to the end than the beginning. Is being in the middle the same as being nowhere? Or am I somewhere?

Have you ever watched ABC’s The Middle? If not, it does a great job bringing humor to the realities of the middle. But it also pokes fun at how many of us live stuck in the middle.

Some of my middles are static. I can’t do much about the fact that it’s the middle of the day or middle of the week. I can’t change the reality of being a middle child. Unless my parents, at 60, decide they want to adopt a child or some biblical miracle takes place and my mom somehow becomes pregnant. Both unlikely at this point. I can’t get any taller or shorter and don’t want to get any wider so I’m probably stuck with midsized as well. It’s easy to view all of my middles with permanence. In fact, thinking through the lens of static permanence is a hallmark the middle mentality.

But what of the rest of the middles? Am I stuck there as well? Being middle class, a middle manager and living in the midwest are all variable despite the static nature of them. Well, maybe those things in themselves are not dynamic, but we are. Maybe the middle is just a stopping point for dynamic humanity. Maybe we’ve forgotten our capacity to move beyond the middle to discover dynamic aspects of our unique personhood. Maybe circumstances have reinforced our stuckness. Maybe we forgot our capacity to move.

Are you stuck or do you just feel stuck? What’s the difference?

How are you able to get unstuck?

What are you in the middle of?

How are you dynamically journeying through the middle toward life ahead?

What are you moving toward?


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