Are you waiting for the weekend? Waiting to take a vacation, a trip, a get away? Waiting for the end of your work day? Waiting until the time is right to, oh I don’t know, live your life?
I had one of Oprah’s “a-ha moments” about the whole notion of waiting while walking my dogs this morning ( I seem to do my best thinking when I’m otherwise occupied and not intentionally thinking, like when I’m dog walking, brushing my teeth, in the shower, cleaning the house…you get the idea).
It led me to question why it is that we consider ourselves to be “waiting” for something. In an effort to narrow it down, I surmised that what we’re waiting for is often in the form of news, or information. Whether it’s good news (approved for the loan, offer was accepted on the house, got job we interviewed for) or bad news (the loss of a loved one, or a job, or something didn’t turn out the way we hoped).
What exactly is happening when we find ourselves waiting for something? What is it about the wait that is so difficult?
We think that our lives will be more complete in some way when we finally get the news. Yay! We got the loan, we can buy something and our lives will be complete, or yay! we got the house of our dreams, NOW our life is really complete, or maybe it’s that perfect-for-you job that you just got that will finally make you complete.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly in following your dreams and doing, being and having the wonderful things in life that make your heart smile. However, those things don’t complete you.
If it’s not-so-good news we are waiting for, such as in the case of a loved one being diagnosed with an illness, or a friend that’s had an accident, or some other form of loss, our lives are essentially put on hold. We experience a heaviness as if the weight of the world is resting on our shoulders. We wonder how to even cope in the midst of not knowing, of not having the answers we feel we need. We think we need the answers in order to know what to do next, in order to continue to live our lives. But the truth is, you can only live one moment at a time anyway, and it will always and only ever be the moment that you are in right now.
In either case, we think that a future moment is going to be better than the moment that we’re in. We’ll have something then that we don’t have now. The problem with that is, you’re missing out on the moment you have right now, and it will never come again.
The loan either will come through or it won’t, you get the house or you don’t, the job is yours or it isn’t. It’s black and white. It is, or it isn’t. Either way, you can’t do anything about it until it gets to that point. So why worry about it? It’s in the future and you aren’t there yet. Let it go and enjoy where you’re at in this moment. Enjoy all that you already have in your life and all that you’ve been through to get to where you are.
In the case of facing a loss, here’s my take on that. What I’ve learned is that we oscillate between the devastating thoughts of life without our loved ones, and what that will look like, and trying to come to terms with where things are at right now in the grand scheme of things. Again, we’re devastating ourselves by looking to the future, which hasn’t come yet, and we’re missing out on what could potentially be the last weeks or months with our loved ones.
The wait does us in.
So how about this for a change…let’s use the wait to be a catalyst for change. Whenever we find ourselves waiting for something; good news, bad news, the bus, dinner or our kids to clean their rooms (big hahahaha on that one!), let us use that realization to our benefit. When you become aware that you are in fact waiting on something, anything, take note of the beauty that surrounds you. Be thankful for what is already in your life, even if it’s the kids messy rooms (you can be thankful in that moment that you have kids and all of the love that they bring into your life).
Here’s a suggestion; the next time you find yourself in the “wait” zone, use that time to do something that you’ve been telling yourself you never have time to do. 😉
The life you have is 100% yours. It can be as beautiful or as difficult as you decide it will be.
I'm a Certified Body Language Trainer and Speaker, columnist for Canadian Firefighter magazine and self publish author. I've combined my love of personal development with my passion for the fire service and I teach fire service members across Canada about the power of body language.