“I’ll be happy when _____.” Fill in the blank for yourself.
Have you noticed yourself saying, “I’m okay with all this right now”? Or, “Things will get back to normal soon.”
Patience. Waiting. Tolerating. Coping.
“I can put up with ______ until things change. It will be nice when _____.”
I noticed last week that I was feeling the waiting even though I wasn’t actively thinking it. When this whole coronavirus got going there were many adjustments to make. I had to work in new ways, get groceries in new ways, connect with my friends and family in new ways, entertain myself in some new ways, exercise in new ways, feed myself in new ways, and support others in new ways. There was so much going on and changing every day. I worked with my clients, too, making all these adjustments.
After a couple of weeks, there were new routines in place and a lot of creativity happening everywhere I looked. I was still looking for small ways that I could be helpful to my community knowing that many people were really suffering. I also began really enjoying the quietness. Nowhere to go. Nothing to be done. I was sleeping more, which felt good. I was working in my yard and garden. I was getting some neglected things done at home. I heard from my clients that the parking lot at Lowe’s was packed. They were looking more relaxed. Most were reporting less anxiety and depression.
It’s like we’ve been grounded and we’re waiting to be let free again.
Here’s the rub. Maybe we zoned out watching TV, gaining the COVID 15, numbing our minds with video games or Facebook, or indulging in substances more than usual. All the minutes, hours, days we spent waiting were wasted because we weren’t there for them. We were in our heads hoping for a future something that’s different than now. And, all that time is gone. We’re giving up now for some imagined future.
What if we got into living our lives now and genuinely made it okay?
I think this is challenging for our human brains. Our brains are built to creatively imagine. They’re built to evaluate everything. Our brains are also built for dissatisfaction. They struggle against uncertainty. Brains build patterns and plans to ward off uncertainty. And, uncertainty is a Truth in this physical world as far as I can tell.
I’m not saying that it’s easy to just be present. My experience has been that it’s easier or harder or impossible depending on the day. Or, on the moment, for that matter. I also know from my experience that it feels good when I’m able to be in the moment. It helps me let go of restlessness, pressure, and boredom when I enjoy the subtle details of things. It helps me tease apart what are thoughts and what is real both when perceiving myself and perceiving others.
* So, where or when do you notice that you have been in a waiting state of mind?
* How can you let go of waiting today and just really be in your day?
* Can you notice yourself waiting and instead look around at what you see or notice how you feel or focus on what you’re doing?
Go ahead and live your life now!