Hiding from Ourselves

We avoid endings whenever possible, and we steer clear whenever we can of the neutral-zone emptiness Endings feel like failure to us, and at a deeper level. So we use the busyness and structure and status of work and family life to hide ending it from view. Believing in doing so that if we just keep adding and adding to what we have, we’ll end up with something new and will avoid the need to make any endings.

But it is not just endings that we fear. The aloneness and emptiness that are often felt in the neutral zone are just about as fearful for many modern people as endings are. Whenever we can’t see that anything is happening—and you usually can’t in the neutral zone—we doubt that anything can “really” be going on.

We fail to see that real new beginnings, the kind that revitalize and inaugurate a new order of things, come out of that chaotic neutral zone.

William Bridges, The Way of Transition