The Tender Space: What Will You Do?

I spoke about on this a year ago. The tender space. I can honestly say my sentiments are fairly the same. Life is precious. Time is our most valuable commodity and, let’s be honest, we squander it daily. I know I do and the tender space reminds me of that. The tender space is an amazing teacher. It constantly shows me how often I rush through a moment simply because it is not where or what I want. It shows me how I can get stuck in what’s to come, missing what is right before me. And, in the showing, it teaches me to slow down and lean in.

The tender space. I define it as life lived before and after really big moments. Honestly, the tender space is now. The moments right before me.

I picture the tender space like a valley. Nestled deep and low between two vast mountains. Every journey has its highs and lows. The journey up the mountain and down the mountain is as equally challenging as life in the valley---the tender space. To be honest, I think the tender space can be found in each journey whether you are going up the mountain, coming down or walking through the valley.

With the tender space, I find that we are often in a balance, going between things constantly. Seasons or phases in our life shift, relationships are stretched or birthed, opportunities open and close. We are always between something. It can seem chaotic or unsettling. I know when I get caught up in all the things that are shifting, I feel all over the place. But then I realize---or, rather, I am realizing that that’s the beauty of finding, knowing and leaning into the tender space. It makes room for me to ground myself and lean in, breathing life into the mundane.

The tender space challenges me to live fully right now. It beseeches me to use, give and pursue what is right in front of me. The tender space is rooted in content and gratitude. It is fortified by joy and simplicity. The tender space grooms me, shaping me for the highs that life brings. It covers me in the lows that come. It carries me through the routine.

I am not perfect, nor do I have it all figured out. But, I’m learning to find joy here---smack dab in the middle of life lived. My life is not a perfectly curated IG profile. No one’s life is. My life is comprised of this tender space.

It is the tears poured out over journal pages. It is the group chats that leave me in stitches. It’s the confrontations and heart to hearts with those I hold close. It is coffee in the morning and the work commute.

It is tender because I can miss it. I can abhor it. I can dismiss it. It is tender because it requires ME to see through a different lens every day.

 But, it is also tender because it is mine and no one else’s. What I do in and with my tender space can only be defined and lived out by me.

So, what will you do with your space?