Finding the Courage to Wait

Today I'm feeling weird and unsettled. There are a lot of "maybes" in the air, things that will or will not happen... Today I am taking my own teachings to heart. This happens to me regularly lately-- experiencing a difficult emotion and then realizing, "Hey, I actually teach a class about this! I know something about this that I need to learn more deeply."

Today, it's the courage to wait. I wrote about this in "Courage Amidst Uncertainty." This feeling of unsettledness, of no solid ground beneath our feet...this is a pretty awful feeling. There's a holding pattern; the mind returns again and again to what it cannot solve for now, turning it over and looking for another angle that will bring sureness and security.

In this time, what is needed is The Courage to Wait. (I think if I put it in capital letters, it'll make it a thing.) My thinking on this is inspired by what Rilke called "living the question." 

Waiting, which feels very passive, like doing nothing, can be reframed as “living the question”— living is very active! In living the question, there is permission to not know the answer right away, and also permission not to pursue the answer, but simply to live on and pay attention until the answer finds you.

For me, this is very comforting—the sense that all will become clear in its time. From time to time, I find myself wrestling with a situation in which I can’t make a decision because I just don’t know what to do. It feels so sweet, then, to remind myself that I don’t have to smash out an answer right that minute if nothing feels right yet. I don’t have to know what I don’t yet know.

I can simply keep living with this question running in the background, trusting that clarity will arrive in due time.
— Courage Amidst Uncertainty

So this is where I am today, embracing the courage to wait. And practicing self-compassion-- taking care, being gentle and patient with myself. May you find the courage for what is needed today.