Do You Value Time?

This past weekend I called my sister to catch up. I prepared a brief agenda in my head as I was driving home that looked something like this:
- Item #1: Me
- Item #2: How I Never Get What I Want

Unfortunately, as my only sibling she will forever draw the short straw when it comes to who has to listen to the most of my epic disengagements with reality. As I filled her in on all the atrocities of my life--having goals and not achieving them immediately, wanting something and not knowing precisely how to get it, imagining one thing and getting another--she calmly, "Mmm hmm, mmm hmm"-d in all the right places to let me know she was still there. Having now driven from one side of town to the other without taking a breath, I paused to come up for air. When I finally stopped talking she said, "Do you value time?"

The nerve.

Me: "Of course I value time! I can't talk about this with you anymore. I'm pulling into my driveway. Goodbye." Click. I thought about who else I could call and complain to that wouldn't try any of this Dalai Lama trickery on me. 

But it was too late. I'd already heard her. I mean, I heard her.

My sister's question was not are you busy? Or do you have enough to do? Or are you productive? The question was are you patient? Do you trust that things are happening as they should? Are you allowing the things that need time to develop time to develop?

No, no, no. 

The question became for me not do you value time, but rather, do you value timing?

I tucked my tail between my legs, answered myself no one more time, and called my sister back to apologize.

Do I believe I am only given what I am ready for and if I don't get something it's because some part of me is still preparing room for it? Or that I am still developing the skill set needed to obtain or maintain it? Or that I am reserving space and energy for something that is actually even better?

Sometimes. And sometimes I think that's just a load of hooey and what has really happened is some sort of clerical error in which my spiritual representative forgot to apply for the proper permit and now I can't have nice things.

So how do we find relief in the interim, the space between asking and receiving? How do we go forward in peace with where we are, confident that where we are is where we're supposed to be and that it won't be forever? 

I'm not entirely sure, but here are some of the things I've been trying to do lately as I sit in the discomfort between ask and receive, want and get, need and have:
1. Be open to the possibility of another way. My therapist reminds me to create things (ideas, outcomes, etc.) knowing that they will come in expected and unexpected ways, but always harmoniously. I like that. That feels right and safe.
2. Nurture the relationships and experiences available to me today. (I stole this one from my sister.) There is much to enjoy in front of me today. There was much for me to enjoy about yesterday. Both of these facts seem to indicate that there will be much for me to enjoy in the future. So maybe for today I will enjoy today and not worry so much about tomorrow. All signs point to, "It will be good." 
3. Distract yourself by staying busy (but stay busy with a purpose!) I'm going to give you an embarrassing example. I had a huge crush on this guy a couple of years ago. He fit into one of my meticulously crafted story lines, except that he didn't. I needed to get over it. So every time I thought about him, I had to do five push ups. There were days I did seventy bajillion pushups. Now what eventually made me stop thinking about this crush was good ol' time. BUT in the meantime, I pushed thought out by replacing it with action.
4. Help someone else. This is an extension of #2 and #3. I don't believe that we have to have 100% do-gooder intentions when we help others. I know that 99% of the time I do something for someone else, it makes me feel pretty good. I like feeling good. So if sometimes I help others because I want to feel better, so be it. There are worse things in life.

What this all really comes down to is the sometimes slow and painful process of learning how to relinquish control, of learning how to let time take its time. Do I believe the puzzle pieces of my life are coming together as they should? Most days, yes. But do I still scramble to find the neat, clean edge pieces even when I've got a pretty decent, albeit not-so-pretty, middle section over there? Also, yes.

So part of what I'm learning is to continue to work on the puzzle (it won't complete itself) but shifting my focus to other areas that are a little more complete to build out those images even more. The more those scenes start to come to life, the more the pieces I've been looking for are revealed. They begin to stand out because they are all alone. It becomes very obvious where they go, where they connect to the rest of the picture. And all of this takes time.