I woke up this morning fresh from the memory of the conversation I had with an old friend from overseas last night. We caught up on each other’s life events, talked about our plans and briefly skirted on the idea of our own future possibilities.
When I woke this morning, I had this sense of illusory weight and drag on my being and psyche. My mind could only zero in on this singular thought that became to form – how much of our life is spent lost in waiting?
We wait for our friends. We can’t wait to be out of the traffic jam. We wait in lines. We can’t wait for our dreams to come true. We wait for the perfect person to come along. We can’t wait to have a better life. We wait for the day we achieve our goals and make them a reality.
And we keep waiting on. Thinking that the good life we’ve always wanted is coming, and soon enough we’ll be there.
But what if we stopped waiting for things to happen? What if we stopped trying to make our dreams come true? What if we stopped wishing and hoping and expecting? And what if, that good life you’ve always wanted is already here? And the only thing you got to do is stop looking ahead and just realize, just notice what you already have.
Just look at where you are right now physically in this very moment, and in your life. Instead of searching for good things to happen or striving so hard to make something good come true, just take a pause. Is it already good? Is it great? If yes, then you are already in that very “future". So why bother looking towards that future then? Unless you don’t think what you have is already great. Then maybe you’re not noticing the right things in the right details.
When you are stuck in traffic, most of us will catch ourselves thinking “I can’t wait to get there!” But think again. Aren’t you already there? Where is there? There is where in the middle of a jam-packed highway, you see clouds and trees and you can appreciate its natural beauty with your own tired eyes. There is when you feel your legs are tired from the long driving hours, but you realize it’s an opportunity to feel your legs. And there is what you do with your eyes and legs after the jam is over; awesome stuff where many of us take for granted – where we often think it sucks.
We all don’t realize this but we participate in the miracle of life, daily. We often succumb to the belief that all these things are routine, dull, predictable and mundane. If your legs are tired, pull over, rest at a stop and stretch. Stare up blankly into the sky and soak in its beauty. Realize the very eyes and legs that were tired and aching, are also the very eyes and legs that gave you this possibility to do what you just did. Then recognize that they actually don’t suck at all, they are awesome.
We like to set goals in our life. And that’s just how the most of us are brought up. We imagine what these little dreams of our future will be like and focus on them every day. We keep working on them and eventually yes, we do get closer and closer to that great future. But when you’re finally there, then what? You set your next goal? And then the next? And the next?
It just never ends. The very so-called forward-looking attitude you’ve fostered to drive you over the years doesn’t end when you get to that goal. It only ends when you have no longer any life left, and then there’s no future to look forward to.
The only way it can end is for you to stop looking towards that goal now, and look at where you are instead. We often confuse our dreams and goals with what is real. The goal may sound great: make a million dollars, buy a fancy house, complete a big project, work out and get a nice body, etc. But the truth is that all these are fantasies. And when it finally comes true, it won’t happen as how you’ve always imagined it. It will somewhat still feel like a normal life – the same life you had before achieving these goals. Life won’t be better, and never will be until you change your mindset from desiring a better life, to realizing that life is already incredible.
What would you do if you don’t have anything you want? Some of us continue to wait for the perfect person to come along. That person may or may not show up. But the tragedy isn’t in not finding that dream lover. It is that you’re waiting for happiness. Just remember that they aren’t better than what you already have, which is a ridiculously unlikely event called life.
So live your life and not be caught up in the expectations of living instead.
When you achieve this, you realize a certain kind of living form. Perhaps something like a feeling of waitless-ness. It is like the feeling of blood rushing to your head, because your heart doesn’t have anything to pump against. And it’s awesome.