“Faith is a process of leaping into the abyss not on the basis of any certainty about where we shall land, but rather on the belief that we shall land.”
What happens when the going gets tough? When the pressure is on and there is no clear answer or choice? These past several months, we have all navigated a completely new world, losing physical contact with friends and family, working from home instead of the office, losing work or clients, having to wear masks, and feeling powerless and vulnerable.
When COVID first hit, I sometimes felt panic rising through my body, like fire spiraling up a stairwell, commanding my attention. Underneath, old voices whispered: “You aren’t safe." "Times will be tight--there may not be enough.”
“If only …” As things intensified, the voices got louder and sometimes drowned out my trusted knowing.
Along the way, a friend told me a story. “Imagine that you are waiting for a bus, the number 4. You are sitting at the bus stop, and along comes the number 4, and … it whizzes by without stopping. You have a choice at that moment. You can get up and chase it at top speed, with no real chance of catching it but exhausting yourself in the process (and maybe getting hit by another vehicle as you race down the street). Or, you can accept that you were not supposed to be on that bus and you can sit and wait.”
I took my friend’s story to heart and began engaging fully in the process. When I hit a snag, I waited. To trust that other key players might need more time, that the perfect time is not yet, that the Universe really does work on our behalf.
Waiting is not easy for me. I am a driver by nature, with an engine that makes things happen and is motivated by a challenge. So being in resistance is a place I know only too well. Waiting is hard.
I also learned that while you are waiting at that bus stop, you don’t stop living. No—you bask in the sun, talk to the folks on the street (even at 6 feet apart), listen to music, dance, sing, do whatever gives you pleasure. Waiting isn’t pausing life. Worrying is pausing life. Waiting is being fully present in your life.
Finally, when I let go of the reins, the Universe was free to orchestrate the how. Things began to flow. Starts and stops did not alarm me because process is not a straight line. Process is the way a flower grows—a bit this way, then a bit that way, giving the overall appearance of up, but never a straight shot.
As I let go of judgment about each event, each part of the process, and stayed connected to my own inner knowing (“the right Number 4 is on its way …”) the drama faded and I was just living life. Instead of the rising panic, it feels as if I am rooted in the earth, moving with the rhythm of my breath, flowing. No crises, no crown of martyrdom, no blaming others and events out there. When the going gets tough … Trust. Live. Allow. It’s good for the heart.