Often we find ourself waiting in life: to finish work, for our holidays, for retirement, for the warmer weather to come, to meet the right partner, 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 fulfilment, thereby making this moment inferior and 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, 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 what lies beneath the labels ‘boredom’, ‘discomfort’, ‘sadness’ and ‘fear’, before they’re packaged up and pushed away as unwanted.
And what do we find when we really feel it?
We feel tingling, pulsing, throbbing sensations, a vibrant, energetic aliveness, the electricity of life; forces moving, resisting and opening, aching and softening, flowing unpredictably like a current of air from a playful breeze to a chaotic, rampaging tornado, dancing with light, floating steps, then suddenly punchy and intense; colours, shapes, smells and tastes, sounds, silences, heating and cooling—an immediate, compelling and utterly captivating ‘happening’.
This is the rich, living vitality that we become numb to, that is continually rejected 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 earn love and acceptance that the suffering begins. And neither do we have to start sleeping on a bed of nails, wearing a hair-shirt 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.
To know the essence of our being, the lifeblood of all experiencing, that is what all the longing is truly for, what all the pain, fear and discomfort is continually beckoning us towards. And in that delicious homecoming lies the end of all the waiting.
So what are you waiting for?