August 29: Waiting

Topic for the week: Waiting

I’ve never been a particularly patient person and although I’ve gotten better over the years, I still have to remind myself that I can’t always get what I want when I want it.  When I was drinking I had no patience – definitely a case of self-will run riot! Once I got it into my head that I HAD to have something or someone, there was just no stopping me, and I never considered how my attempts to get what I wanted affected others (I lost several friends due to trying to get their boyfriends/husbands, among other things!).

When I was newly sober I read a wonderful meditation from Hazeldon about waiting and it really stuck with me. The gist of the mediation was that I could put all my effort into making something happen, and get quite stressed in the meantime, or simply wait until the the person, the thing – whatever it was – got sorted out and came to me naturally, if it was meant to be. I’d never even considered this option! Wait for what I wanted, and accept that I may not get it because it wasn’t meant for me??!! A totally alien concept then, but as I’ve grown in AA I’ve seen that yes, I will get what I’m meant to get at the time I’m meant to get it, and that using up all my energy to force an outcome usually means I end up stepping on people’s toes, making a fool of myself, causing mayhem, and making myself very unhappy.

The mediation also included these wise words – while I’m waiting, I can do more constructive things than stress out about what I don’t have or might not get. I can work on my sobriety, help another alcoholic, take a walk and clear my head, volunteer somewhere, take a class, and so much more. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted going over and over in my head, thinking how I could make that person or situation do what I wanted NOW! But these days I’m much more willing (not always, but most of the time) to let events unfold as they will rather than trying to create an outcome. That doesn’t mean I’m just an observer – I take action when I think it’s a good idea or when I must, as when I was recently bitten by my neighbor’s dog. However, I’m okay with waiting for outcomes, and if I don’t get what I thought I should or really wanted, I can usually accept fairly quickly that it just wasn’t meant for me. I’m more at peace this way, I feel more in tune with the universe, and believe I’m acting in a more sober manner when I’m willing to wait rather than forcing things.