As long as we are present in our lives, there is nothing at all to wait for.
Being one who strives to live every moment in the present, I was recently shocked to realize how much I am in a state of waiting.
Two things disturbed me. One is how unaware I can be when I drift in and out of the moment and two is that every time I allow ‘waiting’ to be my state of mind I have lost another precious moment in my life.
The dictionary defines ‘to wait’ as:
To remain or rest in expectation:
To stay in one place until another catches
To remain or be in readiness.
To remain temporarily neglected, unattended to, or postponed
All these definitions are saying the same thing. When we wait we become stuck. We stop moving. We cannot grow or flourish or blossom whilst in a state of waiting.
The classic story about waiting is the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.
Once upon a time a king and queen had a long-wished-for child. Seven fairies were invited to be godmothers to the infant princess. Six of the fairies gave the new baby beautiful gifts. Beauty, wit, grace, dance, song, and music . But there was an eighth faerie who had lived in a tower for many years so everyone believed her to be dead.
The eighth fairy was very angry that she has been overlooked and, as her gift, enchants the infant princess so that she will prick her hand on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die. But there was still one faerie who had not yet gifted the baby princess.
Instead of dying, she said, the Princess will fall into a deep sleep for 100 years and be awakened by a kiss from a prince.
Fearing the worst the king banned any sort of spinning all throughout the kingdom. Fifteen or sixteen years passed and one day, when the king and queen were away, the Princess wandered through the palace rooms and came upon an old woman, spinning with her spindle. The princess, curious to try the unfamiliar task, asked the old woman if she can try the spinning wheel. The princess pricked her finger on the spindle and the inevitable curse was fulfilled.
The King carried his beloved princess to the finest room in the palace and placed her upon a bed of gold and silver embroidered fabric. There the King and Queen kissed their daughter goodbye and departed.
The good fairy who altered the evil prophecy was summoned and having great powers of foresight, the fairy realised that the Princess would be distressed when she woke up to find herself all alone, so she put everyone in the castle to sleep. She also summoned a forest of trees, brambles and thorns to spring up around the castle, shielding it from the outside world and preventing anyone from disturbing the Princess.
A hundred years passed and a prince from another family sees the hidden castle during a hunting expedition. His attendants tell him differing stories regarding the castle until an old man recounts his father’s words: within the castle lies a beautiful princess who is doomed to sleep for a hundred years until a king’s son comes and awakens her. The prince then braves the tall trees, brambles and thorns which part at his approach, and enters the castle. He passes the sleeping castle folk and comes across the chamber where the Princess lies asleep on the bed. Struck by the radiant beauty before him, he falls on his knees before her, kisses the princess and finally she awakens.
Who do you relate to in this story? Who do you feel is most like yourself? I know I have been Sleeping Beauty quite a bit lately.
As Eckhart Tolle says there is small scale waiting, such as waiting in line at the supermarket, or waiting for a bus to arrive or waiting for the traffic to move, and there is large scale waiting, such as waiting for a better job, or for the children to grow up, of for that trip around the world or for the tie you can move into your dream home.
The truth is that every minute we consciously or unconsciously wait for something we have stepped out of living our lives and into a state of limbo again. Some people spend their whole lives waiting and die having been asleep their entire lives.
Every time we say,
I will …. when….
If only I….
I can’t wait ….
When ( xyz happens) I’ll be happy …. we create an inner conflict that translates itself into anxiety, dissatisfaction, fear and upset. You are saying in effect that you don’t want to be where you are and that is as insane as walking in the rain and saying you wish the sun was shining right now. the effort we put into not wanting what is, literally drains away our energy enjoy being who and where we are.
You are where you are and no amount of wishing or struggle will change that in the moment.
There is nothing wrong with striving to improve our life situation. We can always strive to improve our life situation, but we cannot improve our life. Life is primary. Life is your deepest inner Being.
Life is already whole, complete, perfect.
Our life situation consists of our circumstances and your experiences. Setting goals and striving for achievements is not wrong however when we allow ourselves to mistake these experiences for the feeling of Life itself we step out of the present and reduce the quality of our live
“So next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting,” you can reply, “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was just standing here enjoying myself — in joy in my self.” “ Eckhart Toll