Just accept that.
I was talking to one of my best friends who recently moved away to another city to start a new with her new hubby in another city. She was frustrated by the fact that new relationships with heartfelt depth had not yet manifested in the few months that they have been established. Beyond being frustrated she was pained. She wanted so much to build ties with people in her new community.
It’s easy when we decide that we want something to expect it manifest or be accomplished instantaneously. We all have an eager beaver part of us that wants what we want or need now. It’s even easier to be discouraged and derailed by the delayed manifestation and interpret the delay as a denial, failure and experience as a result of this.
As we talked, it dawned on me that she was feeling pain because she was comparing the relationships she had there in the few months that they had moved with what she built over the span of over forty years. It had not been created all at once. She had gradually over the years added to her life day by day building strong ties with friends and family that resulted in a a life abundant with love and joy and presence. There was no way she could create the same relationships over less than six months. More importantly, focusing on what was not happening (fast enough) kept her from being aware of what was happening. She had adapted well to the office change, to the double length commute, the hustle of bustle of their new life.
When I first started writingThe Joy of Cancer I felt like I was not advancing. Like I was never going it done. I could not fathom that I would one day be working on the final drafts of my last two chapters. What I learned along the way is that a chapter is written paragraph by paragraph, you work at one idea and then another and segment to segment, you end up with a finished chapter. Chapter to chapter – this is how you end up with a finished manuscript. Once I understood that I stopped feeling bad about the fact that I hadn’t finished anything over the one day I had spent sitting in front of Javier, my beautiful Macbook. Instead, I began celebrating each paragraph and idea that I got down on paper. And when I feel stuck or overwhelmed I remember that I just have to write this one paragraph or this one segment. And slowly but surely the train gets moving.
This new learning got me thinking about dating. I had often witnessed and experienced what felt like a trap of men deciding that they wanted to be in a relationship with a woman or me or vice versa and expecting it be so immediately. It always perturbed me. I thought of how many people out there must feel pain because they approach each new prospect with the high expectations of a “relationship” and feel disappointed or discouraged when what should be playful dating doesn’t live up to their expectations right away. How can it? You’ve spent years putting feeding that bucket with dreams and wishes and desires. It needs a little bit of time to come into full being. It wasn’t the full relationship bucket it is in the current moment than it was when you first decided that’s what you wanted.
With anything you want, if you can accept that it will come into being one paragraph at a time, one segment at a time and the best thing that you can do is keep laying the foundation by working with where you are now in relationship to where you want to be. You don’t decide you want to run a marathon and it’s done. You have to run it mile by mile and if you keep thinking about the fact that you haven’t the finish line yet you’re gonna have a hell of crappy time getting there. Isn’t running about being in the moment? There’s nowhere go to but from where you are to the next step forward. And isn’t each stride that generates that really good feeling? I love the crunch of my feet on the pavement with each step i take when I run. And writing a book isn’t just about the finished product – it’s in the actual writing that I can feel good. Each great idea, each time I’m in the flow, that feels good ! And so it is with life and relationships. Enjoying each step towards where you want go is what makes the journey worthwhile and fulfilling.
Once you get to where you want to go, there you are. And you enjoy for a little while and then you want to go somewhere else and so on and so forth. If you only feel good when you get to where you want go you’re spending a lot of time not feeling good because you spend a lot of time getting to where you want to go. May as well start learning to enjoy the going.
Think of the act of making love. No one sais they don’t enjoy the process of getting there. If anything you want the feeling to last and last …. well that’s how you can live if you started enjoying the getting there. Every journey has the potential for that kind of fulfilment. It’s a moment to moment practice.