Purgatory is not the same as hell, but it sure does seem like it.
"A place or condition of suffering, expiation or remorse..."
For example, imagine how the marathoner feels in the taper phase of an intense training program, a couple weeks out from the big day - restless, anxious, and full of self doubt? Or the injured athlete who can not participate in their sport and must sit out in order to recover - frustrated, angry, critical? Or the skier in wait of snow. Or the job seeker, unemployed and yearning to be productive. Hurry up and wait can throw one off balance.
Purgatory is subversive. It is where momentum stalls. Patience is tried. Skin becomes thickened in more ways than one. Hopes get dashed and fears aroused.
It is where one can feel desperate and verge on panic. Or one can be bored silly.
Purgatory is a place where loneliness gets amplified. Self searching questions emerge to challenge one's commitment, competency, personal value and sense of optimism.
Time to dig deep. Feel it, figure it out, atone as needed. It is time to call on old and familiar, as well as new and untried, coping strategies. This could be a time to read more, marvel at nature, play soft music in the background, pray and breathe deeper, and stay connected.
The waiting period needs to be trusted and should probably also be managed. It is critical to not let the oppressive forces bear down too hard and extinguish any remaining spark of hope.
Purgatory is the gift of time to return to a state of grace.