I don’t like to wait. I suspect that most of us have trouble being patient when waiting. Maybe it was easier 100 years ago when a message could take a year to reach you across the country. And bread would take time to rise. Or waiting for rain for the crops took months after planting. A move out West took most of a year of extreme discomfort. Life was slower then. Long waits were common. Waiting was a fact of life.

Today we carry our phones with us so we don’t have to wait to hear from a loved one. Contracts are created by computer and signed with DocuSign. Dinners are microwaved. Bread and nearly everything else comes prepackaged.

Many Things Require a Wait

Waiting is a fact of life!

It still takes nine months before a baby is ready to be born. Most teens are impatient to grow up and be independent. Many careers take time…sometimes years…to prepare before one is ready to practice. Longed for dreams may take years to reach fulfillment…if ever.

When your child is going astray…making poor decisions…it may take years of patience before you see wisdom developing. If your marriage is in trouble, it often takes time to find effective help. And more time to put into practice the help you find before you see improvement.

Making Wait Time Productive

It’s tempting to live in the past or the future. Living in the past either means nastalgia or regret. You wish for the good old days or you live with self-judgment about past “mistakes.” Both mindsets limit our mobility in the present. Right now I am waiting for a loan to be funded, clients to enroll in coaching, and my future to be made more clear. I dream, repeat my affirmations, and go on my daily walk. I try to keep my faith strong. And while doing those things, I find it most helpful to live with most of my energy focussed on today. So today I am writing this blog, preparing for a brief interview this morning, keeping a doctor’s appointment, and then painting my front porch.

St. Paul’s Formula for an Anxiety Free Life

Every major religion has wise ways of maintaining peace while waiting, but since I am most familiar with the Christian tradition, I love St. Paul’s Formula found in Philippians 4:6-8. (Living Bible)

  1. Don’t worry about anything.
  2. Instead Pray about everything.
  3. Tell God your needs and,
  4. Don’t forget to thank him for his answers.
  5. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.
  6. His peace will keep your hearts (emotions) and your minds (thoughts) quiet and at rest as you trust in Him.
  7. Instead think on these things…whatever is good and true…

Others Say it Differently

Bagvaad Ghita says, “The mind acts like an enemy for those who don’t control it.” The Dali Lama says, “No one knows enough to be pessimistic.” Alcoholics Anonymous Prayer says it this way: “God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”

But all of these agree on one principle. If we want peace during times of waiting, we must take control of our thoughts. One way is to switch from worry to gratitude. Another is to switch from anxiety to productive, creative activity. A favorite of many beautiful persons is to reach out to someone in need…make a phone call, deliver cookies, volunteer for a worthy organization.

The Bottom Line

Waiting is a fact of life. We get to choose how we wait; marinate in worry and anxiety, consciously choose to trust the wisdom of the universe to guide us, stew in worry, or choose to surrender that loved one, or that circumstance to our higher power. I comfort myself, using the inner child skills I’ve written about in Your Inner Child book. Poisoning ourselves with negativitiy or nourishing ourselves with creativity or self-less acts of kindness is a choice. Moment by moment. Day by Day.

Whatever you are waiting for, you have my love and support!

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