“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind” – David G. Allen
I have been forced (again!) to acknowledge that I am struggling with patience. I realize that so much in this process is beyond my control and life can take a different direction in one second. A friend told me that one can really test patience when sitting in a waiting room. “Are you still and peaceful as you wait or are you anxious, impatient and fidgety”, he asked. I learned that I need to take a closer look at all the things that happen to me while I wait. I think we are all waiting for something. For a new job, for your child to get over a nasty cough so he can sleep peacefully again at night, or for a throbbing headache to go away. Or something serious like waiting to get pregnant, for lab results, for a lost love to return or for a diagnosis. Others are waiting for a heavy blanket of sadness, grief or loneliness to be lifted from their hearts.
We spend weeks and months waiting for something to start or to end so something new can start. But in the meantime life does not stop. Things happen and life takes a new twist and maybe we hope and wait for someone else to organize our life for us to get a break but it won’t happen. I guess it all matters what type of waiter we are because, in the long run, the fruit of patiently waiting is inner peace. With this peace, we may realize that this job we have been waiting for might not be ours at all but maybe it is rather the perfect job for someone else. Or the person we would love to share our life with does not respond to our calls and messages because they are meant to be with someone else.
To look at waiting from a different perspective may make us realize that everything happens on purpose and in the end, we receive something so much better than we even hoped for. For me, waiting is closely linked to worrying which is exhausting and can drain. Waiting by letting time pass with contentment and the thought that everything will be fine, that most things do not matter and are under control, life is so much easier. However, this is easier said than done and takes a lot of practice. But the more I do it, the more I feel that life is not about achieving. It is not about getting, keeping or having. It is about letting go of expectations, staying true to myself and to let life surprise me. It is about watching my doubts and insecurities. It is about maintaining a willingness to continue, to accept, to hope, to trust, to bend in different directions and adapt and adjust. It is even more challenging while taking care of someone else. Sometimes this means to get up in the morning and make breakfast for someone even though you are exhausted.
These are the tough times. The times to let it all be okay and keep trusting that everything will work out in the end. To look straight ahead and keep going no matter what. To see the good in the things that are ahead and to let difficulties be turned into valuable life lessons. Sometimes it seems that others have it all, but they do not. They are waiting and struggling, too. Having is amazing, but the value of things is most often felt when we are longing for it. Maybe it is the distance I feel from what I want to achieve that allows me exactly how much I love what I am striving for and want to get.
So I stand up again. I keep reaching but I look at my wants closely enough to see that I am not naming what I lack, but what I love. And I love what I love. I am vigilant in this waiting process for the things that have not shown up yet while I get to know myself and the things I do have a little bit more. Taking a closer look at my life, I am very rich indeed. So, I make peace with it all and let go. I am grateful that I get to want in the first place and that I am learning through longing clarity while clearing away resistance and leap in the unknown.