Ugh! I don’t know about you, but I HATE to wait!
I have been working on this post for a while. So you were waiting, but didn’t know it.
When I think about waiting and what it means, I cast my mind back to when I saw the movie, “Rudy” and when he waits by the mailboxes for his letter of acceptance. Each time with a hopeful smile and spring in his step. I find that movie to be so inspiring on so many levels and hope to meet the real life Rudy someday.
But, back to me, and waiting.
First things first- let’s define the word wait-
It really depends what you are waiting for as to what definition you most identify with.
I can’t speak for you, but over the last six months I have been in one of these two states.
Or, on darker days, it means
Not to put too fine a point on it, no matter what way I define it, it SUCKS out LOUD to WAIT.
Why is it so hard? I think it really comes down to the uncertainty of it all.
Because while it also really sucks to be told no, it’s still a resolution. You can not like the outcome, but it’s still an outcome. The uncertainty of “waititude” is what makes it so hard, you can’t move, you can’t plan, and you can’t take action. I think that part is the hardest and creates the most difficult byproduct to waiting, worrying.
A quote I have heard that I like is
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom
It hits me right between the eyes, because I am a recovering worrywart, I used to worry about everything. It’s been a slow slog, and honestly, it was my Mom who helped me most with it, when she said, “I know you worry about everything so…”
I stopped her and said, “No, that isn’t true any more. I have a healthy concern but I don’t worry needlessly any more”
She has never said that about me again which is a powerful motivator for me to keep it true.
So how did I learn to stop worrying needlessly?
Well, it’s not magical, it’s engaging those logical and rational members from the “classroom of my brain” and examining the following three questions:
1. What do I want?
2. What am I doing to get it?
3. How is it working for me?
(If the answer to number 3 is “not that well” I look to see if the outcome of what I am waiting on rests with me or with others, and if it is up to me, I adjust my strategy or do what I can (in other words, control my controllables) If what I am waiting on rests upon others, I let it go, because it’s our of my control therefore nothing I do or do not do will impact the outcome.
If you are a control connoisseur like myself and so many are, these are words that engender a great deal of frustration, but I invite you to reframe that into freedom, because if it’s not up to you, you just have to wait and do your best NOT to worry.
If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.- The Dalai Lama
Easy for him to say, right?
Please do not misunderstand my words, I am not trying to diminish the awful and tiresome frustration that comes from waiting, rather trying to offer some tools to help you make it stay in the waiting category and not move to worrying needlessly over the things you have zero control over.
By the way, let me do a public service for anyone who is waiting on something and tell your well-meaning friends and family. Please stop saying insipid and unhelpful things like.
“It will all work out”
“Don’t worry about it”
“Things happen for a reason”
Just stop this, please.
The danger is when the waiting becomes synonymous with worrying. -Professor Haston
The other thing I try my best to do is remember times in my life that waiting was part of something wonderful (eventually)
Here are some examples-
If you are like so many I know that are waiting, please take heart and seek out a friend or support to lean on in this time of stress and try your best to avoid worrying, and focus your efforts on what you can do.
Think About It.