I have never been very good at waiting.
And perhaps that’s because when I was very little, I was left waiting. A lot. Hours in front of a window for my father. Who often would not show.
As an adult, I’ve been impulsive and impatient.
I don’t want to wait. I want to make things happen. I want to take charge. I want to take control. Because maybe being in control means that what I want to happen will, and if I’m in control, I get my way–so I won’t get hurt. I operate off of invisible checklists, and imaginary goals. That. Are. Always. Advancing.
There is no “finish line” in my inner world. Because I’m never quite satisfied.
Today’s reading stressed the importance of waiting and letting things happen. Not in a passive way, not as a doormat, but in a patient, calm, knowing peace that what’s meant for you will happen. The job you want. The money. The relationship. It’s all on its way.
No sense in worrying about how to speed up the process.
When I feel unhappy, I impulsively look to put a BandAid on it. I rush down paths that look more promising, more intriguing. That’s what my affairs were. That’s what my leaving my marriage was. That’s what my leaving jobs has been. That’s what nursing school was. And my Physics class. That’s what roller derby was. And eating out. And other big purchases.
They’ve all been shiny new BandAids that temporarily gave me a sense of purpose, relief, entertainment, amnesia, or confidence.
Because while happiness is an inside job, I’d rather outsource it. It’s easier. It puts the onus on another person, place, or thing, and when that temporary high inevitably fades, that person, place, or thing, becomes an easy scapegoat.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it is that as hard as it is to face the consequences of your choices, actions, and thoughts, facing them is the only way to experience true change.
When I look at the things I’ve lost, I’ve lost them largely through my own choices. And the irony is that when I was doing things I thought would give me more control over my happiness and life, I was actually giving that control away.
“This [person, place, or thing] will make me happy,” is probably the worst way I’ve ever directed my life. And I’ve lived under that ‘rule’ for decades.
These past few days have taught me that happiness–for me–is in stillness.
The things that bring me most joy right now are things involving stillness. Drinking a cup of hot tea. Reading in a chair in the front room. Not going to the gym. Keeping this journal. Reading “The Language of Letting Go” every morning before I get out of bed. Moving more slowly in thought and emotion. Pausing a lot.
I have ideas of things I want to do, places I want to travel, and jobs I’d like to hold. But right now, inaction seems the right action. And I’m ok with that.