Often we find ourself waiting in life; waiting to finish work, for the weekend, for our holidays, for retirement, waiting to meet the right partner, the right time to have children, for the baby to stop crying, for the chores to be finished, waiting for the warmer weather, the sun to shine, the flowers to bloom, for the next cigarette, next drink, next caffeine high, next spiritual high, waiting for the end of all the discomfort, the pain, the fear, the longing, for grace to come, for the lightening to strike, for our ‘flaws’ to be fixed, to be free of all conditioning, for the epiphany of realising the truth of who we really are… waiting for the end of all the waiting.
And so we live in expectation; expectation of some future moment of happiness, of fulfilment, of revelation, thereby making this moment somehow inferior, somehow lacking, a stepping stone to somewhere else, or maybe so painful, ugly or terrifying that it is in desperate need of escaping.
We can spend a lifetime in waiting, in limbo, convinced that happiness lies under the next stone, around the next corner, over the brow of the next hill, or maybe we start to notice that the waiting never ends, that the goal posts are continually moving, that whenever we do finally get what we think we want, the moment of satisfaction is only ever fleeting, before we become caught in some new cycle of longing and take our seat once more in the waiting room of life.
In recognising the utter futility of it all, that it’s the belief that life is ‘elsewhere’ which creates the very anxiety, tension and stress we long to be rid of, we may be willing to look again at this insufficient present moment; to deeply explore whatever lies beneath the label ‘boredom’, ‘discomfort’, ‘tension’, ‘dissatisfaction’, ‘sadness’, ‘pain’, ‘fear’, before it’s packaged up and pushed away as unwanted.
And what do we find when we really feel it? Tingling, pulsing, throbbing sensations, a vibrant, energetic aliveness, the electricity of life; forces moving, aching and softening, resisting and freeing, flowing unpredictably like a current of air, from a playful breeze to a chaotic, rampaging tornado, dancing with light, floating steps then suddenly fiery, punchy and intense; colours, shapes, smells and tastes, sounds, silences, heating and cooling, an immediate, compelling and utterly captivating drama. This is the rich, living vitality that we become numb to, that is continually rejected, locked out in favour of an idea, an abstract, untouchable, unfeelable idea of how it all ‘should’ be.
And what of this insufficient ‘me’, the one that should be happier, fitter, brighter, sexier, more spiritual, more ‘awake’? Beyond all our judgments about what’s right and wrong, there’s beauty in our flaws and our frailties, grace in our kooky, dippy, awkwardness, wonder in all our tender, delicate humanness; that particular way we look, that particular way we walk and talk, all of it, including the ‘imperfections’, going into the make of our unparalleled uniqueness, a human work of art, sculpted and fired by the most talented, prolific artist unimaginable.
We don’t have to be superman or superwoman, don’t have to be anyone else or anywhere else, we can simply be who we already are, here and now. What a relief! Does a tree ever wish it were taller, had different shaped leaves or grew in a different part of the forest? How absurd!
Of course this doesn’t mean we can’t make plans, expand our knowledge, develop our talents or try to achieve things in life, if that’s where we find our joy; it’s when we believe we need to do these things in order to achieve happiness that the suffering begins. And neither do we have to start sleeping on a bed of nails, wearing a hairshirt or a spiked chain around our thigh to feel the moment more intensely! Oh how we love to make it all so difficult, so epic and heroic.
In feeling that easiness, that deep ok-ness with life as it is, the protective layers can begin to loosen. And as the costumes fall and the masks all drop, here, in our nakedness, exposed and vulnerable, feeling the raw, fragile, heart-aching beauty of our humanity, we come to know the incomprehensible miracle of our divinity, the essence of our being, the lifeblood of all experiencing.
This is what all the longing is truly for, what all the pain, fear and discomfort is continually beckoning us towards. And in that homecoming lies the end of all the waiting…
So what are you waiting for?