Waiting is an art. There are two main contents required in the waiting process: a wished-for thing, and the wisdom of time. If you have time, but nothing you wish for, then it’s not waiting, it’s simply time passing. If you have something you wish for, but no time, then it’s not waiting, it’s simply wishing.
Waiting appears to be necessary because of the world we are born into. If you watch a tree, you will notice that things happen in sequence. For instance, a tree may grow, then put out shoots, then bloom, then bear blossom, then bear fruit. After that, the leaves may fall. This is a cycle, born of millions of years of development. If we want the fruit of the tree, we have to wait.
A huge number of developed systems rely on time. There is the healing process, in which things have to happen in a certain order. If you like, healing time is the thread of a bracelet, and the stages of healing are the beads which our bodies hang on it. So, if you wish to heal from an illness, then your body, a well-developed system, will need to do things in a certain sequence. You are wise if you work with this internal system of your body, and perhaps feed it what it needs to do its healing job.
When we do not wait, we get impatient. We try to jump the healing process, or any development process, without truly understanding what is necessary for healing or growing to happen. Sometimes the sequence of events surprises us: perhaps, for instance, suffering is necessary for a relationship to grow, or the breaking apart of a wound is necessary for it to re-heal properly. In counselling, it can happen that clients go ‘backwards’ before they go ‘forwards’, because certain things need taking apart before they can be put back together in a more felicitous way.
So, to work with the healing and growing process, we need, above all, patience.
How am I suffering right now? How about those around me, how are they suffering? Can I see their suffering? Can I take the time to witness how we all get impatient, and try to bypass the wisdom of time, and achieve our wishes too soon?
Perhaps I see people grabbing for money, but their impatience makes them lose it. Perhaps I see people grabbing for romantic relationships, but their impatience only takes other people further away. Perhaps I see people grabbing for food, drink, or drugs, to alleviate an immediate felt need… and perhaps I can watch the consequences, which can be ballooning weight, addiction, or other cycles of unhappiness.
How can I learn to pace myself and my body? It’s amazing, what wisdom there is inside me. My body has learned, over millions of years of development, certain ways of doing things. If I cut myself, my body knows how, and how fast, it wants to heal. In the same way, if I am suffering, then perhaps I can learn to accept some wisdom in my mind, as to how, and how fast, it wants to heal.
Meditation can help. In the main, it can help by releasing us from the desperate need to cure everything now by force. We can stop being General Manager of the Universe, and start being a General Watcher of the Universe, or even a General Helper of the Universe. In everything we do, there are always things we don’t understand. At those times, maybe we need to learn to wait.