May 2015: Waiting
“You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen.”
This quote has stuck with me since it appeared on the Facebook circuit a few days ago. Let go and let life happen—which involves waiting. I am a terrible “waiter.” At my worst, waiting is fertile ground for anxieties to sprout and proliferate like weeds. At my best, I occupy my mind and body with distractions so the time goes “faster”—or more likely, goes by unnoticed.
Waiting for life to happen feels an awful lot like being stuck. And loss of control. I have come a LONG way in my journey to overcome my control-freak tendency. Where it tends to creep in is during waiting: times when I must relinquish control and trust life to unfold on its own without any assistance from me.
Funny how life is full of paradoxes like that. There are times we must get off our lazy butts, quit complaining, and make life happen. In contrast, there are times we must let life happen in its own time. We can’t hurry periods of gestation. Babies, and other significant moments, occur when they’re good and ready. Premature and delayed arrivals bring their own challenges—some surmountable, others not. But we can’t change or control it.
We must wait: in line; for the bus; for events; for graduation; for promotions; for deals to come through or fall through; for prayers to be answered, hopes to come true; for messages to be sent and received; for people to hurry up; for decisions to be made; for directions, information, or signs from the heavens. Or as Cheryl Richardson words it in her book, Life Makeovers (2000):
“Maybe you’ve been forced to wait because you’re unsure of what’s next, feeling as though your life has fallen victim to a giant hold button.” (p. 93)
There is no end to waiting. But it need not be stagnant. Waiting can be a time of growth (figuratively and literally). It can be a time of inner reflection, of transition, and preparation. Be open to messages from within. Cheryl challenges us to embrace the discomfort of waiting
“knowing that if you use this time wisely, you’ll strengthen your personal power, the kind of power that no outside person or thing can ever give you.” (p. 94)
Grant yourself the freedom to wait knowing it’s a time of growth, reflection, transition, preparation. Sounds like action words to me.