There’s an old saying that “Everything comes to those who wait.”
Waiting can be hard work. Waiting for the right job to come along, a buyer for the house, the right relationship, an improvement in our health, exam results, even waiting for the bus, or to be served in a shop. It can be difficult to wait, and hard to know when to wait and when to move into action.
Does waiting have any purpose? It so often seems to be dead time, doesn’t it, providing us with nothing more than frustration and impatience? And yet, if we look at nature, time seems to play an important role in moving from one state to another. An acorn may take many years to grow into an oak tree. It may lie dormant under the soil of winter before pushing its new shoots above ground in spring. These changes are slow and often imperceptible, and yet change is occurring, even if we can’t see it.
Is anything required of us in that winter of waiting for what we want? Perhaps the delay is telling us that a change is needed in us too, before what we want can emerge.
In “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks, it is proposed that all that stands between us and what we want in life is our resistance to allowing it to be. Whatever we want is out there, if only we are open to it. Anyone who has suffered ill health, or financial difficulties is likely to find this a difficult idea to take on. Why would anyone want to continue in ill health, or poverty, or indeed any other form of hardship? If it were as easy as allowing it, then surely we would all have all we want already. The Hicks agree, and are quick to point that out. Their view is that most of us are unaware of how much power we have to create our lives, and as a consequence remain stuck in a powerless victim place, believing that our lives are shaped by events and the actions of others that happen to us, and independent of us.
Our resistance to allowing what we most want in life can take different shapes. For some it may be a question of how we see reality. It may be a lack of focus on what we want, or to put it another way, a focus on what we don’t want. It may be a fear of what we might lose if we were to get our deepest desires.
For example, in these recessionary times, when many are experiencing financial stress, some may fear that being successful would set them apart from those they love, who may not be doing so well. This fear may be buried deep, but may influence our decisions in a subtle way so that the isolation of being different doesn‘t arise. Misery loves company so they say!
Another reason why we may unconsciously be resisting what we want, is that we make others responsible for our happiness and well being; “I’ll be happy when I’ve met the right person,” or “I’ll be happy when I have the right job,” or “If only my boss didn’t have it in for me.”
We can become so focused on what is wrong, that we are oblivious to what is going well and supporting us in our lives. If I have a pain in my elbow, I may be so conscious of it that I am unaware of how well the rest of my body feels, and how strong I am in other ways. The Hicks’ view is that in focussing so much on what we don’t want, we are blocking what we do want from coming to us.
Yet another aspect of this is not being clear about what it is that we DO want. Many people are surprisingly vague about their desires, even about small things. They may complain about what upsets or bothers them about their current situation, but have never actually given thought to what it is they would like instead. How will they recognise it when it is within their reach if they have no idea what they want?
Another form of resistance is to deny our own wants, or to hold negative beliefs. For example, we may secretly want to have that red sports car, but are afraid that we might be judged as materialistic or selfish, so we tell ourselves we don’t want it, and in time, we come to believe that. Or we mat believe that we don’t deserve to have an easy or comfortable life while others may have less than us. As the Hicks point out, we wouldn’t say its not fair that I’m well when others are sick, so I’ll just be sick for a while to give them a chance to be well.
If we believe that wealthy people are worldly and dishonest, we are unlikely to take action that might bring us nearer to prosperity, for fear we may turn out like them. If we have been told that it’s harder for a camel to get through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven, we may resist any opportunities that might improve our financial situation, in case we mess up our chances in the next life. Even if we do not consciously believe these things, they may have been absorbed at a deeper level during our childhood.
In Esther and Jerry Hicks book, “Ask and it is Given,” they suggest 22 ways of bringing yourself closer to getting what you want in life. These include:
Appreciating what you like: noticing what’s good in your life and in your environment and taking time to appreciate its existence, and the impact it has on you. Sitting in traffic the other day I noticed a pink helium balloon in the shape of the number five floating up into the blue sky. It was a magical sight. Look out for what pleases you, and what makes you smile. Collect pictures of what you do like, whether it is a thing, a situation or a feeling. When you see something you don’t like, turn it around, ask yourself how you’d like it to be, and focus on that instead. Over time, this will help you to clarify your desire.
Take the time to imagine how you would like things to be: Your unconscious mind can’t tell the difference between fact and imagination. If you can focus on how you would like things to turn out, how, for example, you’d like a work meeting or interview to go, how you’d like to feel in it. (I am feeling confident, competent, in harmony with my colleagues etc.) The energy you create in your imagination will flow with you into the situation and oil the wheels. Take the time to look at your relationships, your work, your home and your body, and ask yourself if you could have anything you wanted, what you would like to have. Be specific. I want to be a healthy weight. I want feel loved and valued.
Trust your feelings: They can tell you whether what is happening in your life is in alignment with what you really want. When you know what you don’t want, you can easily shift to what you DO want. Many of us were taught to deny or shame our feelings, particularly “negative” ones such as anger or rage or jealousy. Indeed many were taught that wanting or desiring things for ourselves was selfish. These feelings can be an invaluable guide to what we want, and where our lives don‘t measure up, but if we‘re covering up our deeper reactions with more socially acceptable ones, we may be losing touch with our real wishes and desires.
There are many fears about acknowledging our negative feelings (for example, our anger towards someone who has hurt us), that it will make us a bad person, or that we won’t be liked if we are selfish or feel jealousy. In my experience, the opposite is true. Feelings pass, and with their passing we are free to grow stronger and more authentically.
The 22 processes set out by the Hicks include ones that can be used in different situations according to how we are feeling. They are simple and straightforward, and there are lots of examples about how they can be used. Try them for yourself. See www.abraham-hicks.com.