Let’s talk about “the gap.” It exists in many contexts—work, church, relationships, ourselves, etc. It’s the space between reality and what we want, expect, or think we deserve. Life as imperfect humans in an imperfect world means that our lives are filled with gaps.
When it comes to this specific gap, the gap between support and human capacity, we experience disappointment. In the past, my solution has been to try to convince myself not to want or need anything from others. My solution was to avoid the discomfort of the gap by becoming an island.
As you might have guessed, this is an untenable existence. We were made to be with one another and God. Yes, my stubborn self-sufficiency extended (ok, still does in many ways) to God. Said every control freak ever. But if the solution isn’t to shut ourselves away from the world, what is it? How do we deal with this gap?
Let me clarify, lest you think I’m leading you to despair. Recently, I’ve had to challenge the idea that my life is perfectly optimizable. There’s this idea I have, which is culturally supported, that I can stack my life so perfectly that I never experience any gaps, including the one between feeling supported and what others can do. This leads me to feel constant pressure to do more because I never want to experience the discomfort of that gap.
I’m not suggesting that we give up. I’m merely suggesting that it’s worth it to stop and prayerfully consider, “To what end?” every once in a while. That’s an annoying question Dr. Therapist asks me sometimes when I’m spiraling. We might just be trying to use our lives to answer questions that don’t actually have answers or make up for something we learned or lacked in childhood.
So I’d say the first step is learning to recognize that the discomfort of the gap doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong. Or rather, you are not wrong for feeling uncomfortable. I think there are things we can do to help the gaps, but I don’t think the point of a gap is to pass it off like a hot potato. Gaps are part of the gig. They expose the tension of being human.
As far as the specific gap that exists between feeling supported and what people can do, there are a few questions you might ask yourself. What is your expectation or idea of what it means to feel supported? What would you like others to do for you? Are there areas where you are saying no for people out of a fear of rejection?
The next time you’re feeling the gap, try sitting in it and prayerfully considering what those feelings might be trying to tell you.
I’m rooting for you.
P.S. If you found this helpful, but would like to go deeper, 1-1 coaching might be a fit for you! I help singles make the most of their right-now lives. Fill out the interest form to start the process and book your free 60-minute intro call.
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