Waiting. The Art of Possibility and why it is worth it
Waiting. It can be taxing and all-encompassing, and yet, it is one of the things we all have in common. We are taught from a young age that time is money and that we should make the most of our time and not waste it. Most of us have experienced the feeling of impatience when we’re waiting for something because we desperately seek the outcome of the situation. But we live in a fast-paced, “microwave” society that values productivity and efficiency.
I find it refreshing that although I despise wasting time, in all my years, and even currently, it is through my moments of waiting in which I gained the notion that simply sitting with patience and letting time pass can be a valuable use of my time. It may be true that we often see waiting as a waste of time. But if we can learn to view it in a different light, waiting can actually be productive and beneficial. I think Joyce Meyer put it perfectly when she said, “Patience is not simply about the ability to wait, but about how we behave while we’re waiting.”
What if we start looking at waiting as a valuable use of our time? What if we realized that:
- Waiting can help us appreciate our life’s good things.
- Waiting can teach us patience and how to deal with our fears and frustrations.
- Waiting can help us to connect with others.
- Waiting can be a form of self-care.
Our overall mindset concerning waiting plays a significant role in determining how we feel and what we think while doing so. It affects our perceptions and expectations of the situation and can cause worry, stress, and physical pain, as well as peace, reflection, and appreciation.
While waiting is often uncomfortable and inconvenient, it can also offer certain benefits. Learning to wait can teach us patience and allow us opportunities to reflect on our lives, think about our goals, allow us the time and space to evaluate our options with a clear head, make better decisions, and create a sense of appreciation that we may not have had otherwise.
In your waiting, I encourage you to practice mindfulness instead of dreading the wait and to stay present and focus on the “now” instead of worrying about the future. I know that’s easier said than done sometimes, and when we’re stuck in the waiting game, it can be difficult to remain optimistic and patient. But we CAN make waiting less painful if we view the situation as an opportunity to take a break, to reflect on and appreciate our current situation, and to focus on reframing our perception and expectations of the situation.
I want to share a few things I try to do that may also help make waiting a bit less taxing and painful for you:
- Distract yourself – Focus on something else, such as reading a book, playing a game, listening to music, taking a walk, or watching a movie.
- Channel your energy – Use the time to focus on something you’re passionate about, such as writing, drawing, or playing an instrument.
- Practice Mindfulness – Take deep breaths and focus on the present moment. This will help you stay calm, stay positive, and be more mindful of your surroundings.
- Stay Positive – This may be hard but remind yourself that waiting is a part of life and tell yourself often, “This, too, shall pass.”
- Be Productive – Use the time to get caught up on or prioritize tasks or organize your home or workspace. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in the time you have to wait. In addition, you will feel pride in completing a task or project that might otherwise have been put on the back burner.
- Make a plan- Make a plan to make the most out of your waiting time. Set specific goals and tasks pertaining to what you are waiting for, such as researching or reviewing related material. 7. Use the time to reflect- As noted above, waiting can offer self-reflection opportunities. Use the time to think about what is important to you and why. Is the trepidation caused by fear? What are you afraid of? Is there anything you can do to dissipate or diminish the fear? Marianne Williamson says, “Behind every fear is a miracle waiting.” Embrace that miracle, even if you don’t understand it.
- Connect with others- Connect with others going through the same thing or those facing similar waiting periods. This will help form relationships, build your network, and further your plan for when the wait is over. Volunteer. Join a local group or club with similar interests to you.
- Find joy and cultivate gratitude- To make waiting less taxing and painful, find joy in the process. No matter the situation or circumstance, there is almost always a way it could be worse. Take advantage of the waiting to find and appreciate the silver linings. Write a pros and cons list, then find some pros even in the cons.
Waiting doesn’t have to be tedious, frustrating, or all-encompassing, especially with the right mindset and plan.
Girl, even now, it’s time to shine in your waiting. Let go of your expectations of the situation as you planned and embrace the one that awaits you. Don’t waste another minute of your beautiful life dwelling on the wait, the unknown. You have only this one life and so many minutes each day. Show the world how you make the waiting process less tedious, frustrating, or all-encompassing. Utilize the time you’re given to find and share your growth. Avoid spending the waiting period stressing or complaining; instead, look for and embrace potential growth and development opportunities. Use the time to better yourself, and remember, often, waiting is not a waste of time. It is a miracle waiting to happen and, therefore, totally worth the wait.
© c. michelle bryant griffin