I don’t have time for this! How often I have thought this to myself as unexpected things happen in my life. One of our children gets sick. The toilet clogs up. One of our dogs eats a pound of chocolate that we were sure was safely stowed away. The roof suddenly springs multiple leaks. I or one of my family members has a car that won’t start, has a flat, or stalls on the interstate.
You know these situations. We all have them, and they NEVER happen when we have time for them to happen.
I have found myself reacting in two different ways to such situations, and really, there is a third. Sometimes, and early in my life, almost always, I reacted strongly, angrily, and carried on about how much I did not have time for these things to happen. I was overwhelmed by them and felt at the time like any one of these situations would do me in. Fortunately, much of this time (but not all) occurred when I was not married and had no children. (It’s better not to act this way around people you love).
Marriage and children seemed to bring many more of these situations, but, surprisingly, showed me that despite what I thought I had time for, I could choose to refocus my attention and energy to the new situation. There is real, powerful freedom in choosing in a singular moment to let go of what one had planned and to attend to the loved one, life situation, need, or crisis that has arisen. These are moments of choosing to sow one’s time and attention into a new field of possibility for beings larger than and other than only oneself.
Mostly these days, I live somewhere in between. I know that both possibilities exist: to insist on trying to control time and circumstance to serve my ego, and to let go, begin again, sow something new and follow the unexpected developments into deep connection with the Universe. There is comfort in having it my way, albeit short lived. There is real adventure in following an initially painful situation down deep into a new breakthrough point. Today brings the choices. I am learning to honor today’s choice, whatever it is, and learn from it.
What a lovely essay Bob.
As ‘time’ goes on I am finding that these moments of trial and tribulation are not interfering with life, but are in fact, a big part of life.
And so as we clean up the toilet mess, or wait by the side of the road for the pickup truck, we learn how to be in the moment we’re in.
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