Nobody likes being left out, abandoned, different, and unwelcomed. Yet, it is a common experience when we are “in-between.” Not where we were and not where we are yet to be.

People feel in-between while they are waiting for a divorce, retiring from work, getting sicker, moving to new homes, or changing jobs. We like the familiar and will often stay with the familiar (spouse, job, church, neighborhood, country) until something motivates us to change. If you watch “Naked and Afraid,” you have seen them land on a beautiful beach, they choose to enter the treacherous jungle with no guarantee there will be food or they will survive. They have to transition themselves into a very humble way of being in order to just survive the challenge.

That’s what we do. It’s always been like that, right?

Perhaps you’ve sent in your DNA sample to find out your genetic heritage. We’re all so excited to see if what we thought is true and to see what we didn’t know about ourselves. I had been told we were “Scotch Irish’ and from England but I wasn’t expecting Finnish and Northern Russia! Probably a few brave or desperate souls traveled across Europe. I’d like to know their stories. Wouldn’t you like to know your ancestors’ stories? Our country is full of them. We all came from somewhere. They had to leave the familiar. They were not always welcomed. They were different from those who were already here. They lived in-between trying to find “there.”

It’s always been that way.

Our world population can be compared to a kaleidoscope that is constantly changing. A kaleidoscope can be beautiful and every change can be amazing or it can feel confusing and busy.

Wars, fires, famines, floods, hurricanes, and heat force people to move and change. Almost everyone has stories of people who moved into your neighborhood after these events, even if it was temporary. Katrina changed the landscape, for example. Help was available. Were the strangers welcomed? Not always.

It takes courage to wait and be patient or live through challenges and struggles to get to a better state of being.

It’s always been that way.

Now, we see people fleeing their familiar on our southern border. They must feel as though they’ve entered a jungle with no promise of anything. They are in-between.

Can we find compassion for someone different? Can we remember our own ancestors and the stories we learned about who we are, celebrating our DNA strands? Or will it take another hundred years to understand human tribal behavior?

Sometimes, there is hope on the other side of the “in between”. I’d like to see everyone come out of their in between in a better state of being. In our human history, that hasn’t always been the case. We can choose to make the other side of in between better.

Does it always have to be that way?

If you need help with your in between, you can schedule a consultation here. You may also contact me at 601-684-9657 or e-mail me at

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Patricia Brawley maintains a therapy and consulting practice and is a university professor. She has always been deeply interested in mind-body interaction, health psychology, creativity, consciousness and dreams. She is strongly influenced by mindfulness meditation practice, Buddhist philosophy, yoga, and humanistic values and beliefs.

Dr. Brawley is an independent scholar and researcher with an interest in phenomenological thought and methodology. She has presented professional papers at national and international conferences across the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Finland, and Russia.

She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, American Mental Health Counselors Association, the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Association, the Mississippi Counselors Association, the Mississippi Psychological Association and the International Human Science Research organization.

Dr. Brawley, a published author, enjoys writing and leading writing groups.  She lives in McComb, Mississippi with her husband and three cats, Kwan Yin, and Goldilocks.