Reflection: How comfortable are you with waiting? I’d say as a society it’s not one of our strengths.
From the small things – like waiting for our coffee, waiting for software to reboot, or waiting our turn in line. To the big deals – like waiting for test results, waiting for the perfect job or partner, or waiting to figure out life’s purpose. We want the result and we want it now.
We don’t like sitting in confusion. And we stress ourselves out when we’re stuck in uncertainty – when progress seems slight.
However, we can experience less angst and stress when we find ways to become more comfortable with waiting, and when we allow whatever process needs to unfold the luxury of time to do just that.
Action: How then to wait with greater grace and ease?
- Understand that everybody waits for something at some time or another. Don’t take it as a personal affront that you’re the one in limbo at the moment.
- Put a name to your impatience and embrace it. Let it take a turn in the spotlight of your mind. Sit with it for a moment, and then set it aside (again and again if necessary). Know that impatience is just one of many possible responses to whatever situation you face.
- Remind yourself of the value of simmering – and how the seasoning of time can deepen the flavor and experience of life.
- Make the most of the meantime – that time between problem and resolution. Engage in other things that you can control.
- Experiment with activities that light up your life. Move forward on those positive fronts while the unresolved waits.
- You just might find that your experiments in adding life and juice in one area of life trigger an insight about whatever has you feeling stuck. At the very least it may make the waiting more bearable.
Quotes Of The Week: Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. – Joyce Meyer
If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine. – Morris West
Patience is the companion of wisdom. – St Augustine
Patience is also a form of action. – Auguste Rodin
Resources Of The Week: Here’s an interesting article by Fred Cohn about the experience of feeling trapped in limbo: When You Want A New Life.
Interested in some more active self reflection about what comes next? Play with the questions on this Escape From Limbo Worksheet.
Readers Write: In response to the recent ezine, Kindness Costs Us Nothing, Pause reader JB writes: I love this article, especially as my goal each day is to make a positive difference in someone’s life – no matter how big or small that may be. A simple smile or kind word goes a long way and we never know what each person is dealing with on a daily basis. I know when I receive a kind word or gesture it makes my day.