There are clocks beyond the hands of our human made clocks. There, time has its own timing; unclockable, unstrikable by us. Within this inner understanding and acceptance, we fall into a patience of rhythm, within it trust and within us the inner knowing, a wisdom.
No matter how many straight and direct concrete roads we build, the paths of life are often full of twists and turns. In the walk of life and love and faith and higher purpose, there usually comes a time delay between the moment we set in heart’s wish for something and the moment we hold it in our hands, between a prayer and its answer, between a seed and a rose. This time period is called the waiting phase.
Perhaps you’ve been working tirelessly, you’ve poured all you could, all your heart, efforts and soul into a project and still it feels like it’s moving with turtle speed, or as if nothing is happening at all. Perhaps you had a psychic reading done and was told you’d meet the love of your life at a specific time, and that time came and went and long passed, and still you haven’t met them. In your entrepreneurial venture you work day and night, and still it seems like things are not moving forward as quickly or you have little to show for it externally. And you look around, scrolling through social media. Everyone seems to have their lives moving forward, except you. Are you doing anything wrong? If you know at your core that you truly are doing all what you can, following your truth, soul and heart, no – you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just the waiting phase.
This is one of the greatest initiations known in esotericism because it is awakening within you trust, self-confidence, the virtue of patience, and great perseverance and endurance. The truth is that patience is a virtue reserved only for the truly strong and brave, those that walk a life of inner truth and soul’s calling, and those that are driven by the inner rather than the outer. They know that when one dedicates themselves to a cause greater than self, things take time – for it is not a path of instant gratification or external validation, it is work that serves others, and as such, it will take time to build, and to then be absorbed by those who need it in their life. Ask any spiritual teacher, ask any innovator or creative or humanitarian, and you’ll hear them say how many long years and perseverance it took them.
We often think that we are at the center of the cosmos and wonder “what am I doing wrong, is it me?”, but no, it isn’t always about us. So many other things need to come together, behind the scenes, and so many other threads of destinies and people’s paths and choices need to cross paths and intertwine.
In the waiting phase you are seeing what you are actually truly made of. You are seeing how much trust you truly have within you, and in life itself. And even when nothing external is seemingly happening, there is a lot actually happening within you, and behind the scenes, which you don’t yet see but trust me, you will. Patience is the mark of truest love. Patience opens the soul of matter.
In our modern world it is easy to get hooked on the instant gratification drug, and begin creating clickbaits, sell yourself for likes and followers, and surely you will see fast results. But are they meaningful results? Or are you only creating sparkling decorated cakes good for photos but internally empty without much substance? Are you building kingdoms with deep strong roots or are you building sandcastles? What do you want to build, what is your why? In the old days we learned the art of apprenticeship – because everything took time, and during that time we learned the devotional way of patience, perseverance, endurance, refined our craft and expanded in knowledge.
Another aspect why things may sometimes be delayed is that when things come before their time, we may not know how to experience them fully in joy and pleasure or we may not know how to handle them. This is why spiritual students would spend years only doing simple tasks around the house of their spiritual teacher or the community, and only after the many years of dedication and seemingly ordinary work, the teacher would finally share deeper esoteric knowledge.
In tales and lore we often come across the concept of weaving fate and destiny through the forgotten art of apprenticeship. Developing life’s work out of soul calling takes time, a long time. It is an ongoing process where no little daily thing is without its meaning and purpose for the overall design. It is also about accepting failures and knowing that things take time. In the tale “The Black Bull of Norroway” the girl spends seven long years apprenticed to a blacksmith. She had to do that because it was her impatience that separated her from the prince in the first place; and so they lost each other in the enchanted forest. He looked all over for her, as did she, but the spell was done. And so she stepped off the path a little bit – for seven years – to learn patience through the work. Obviously they found each other at the end because this is what was meant to be from the start; this was their fate as the tale said. And there are many more tales like that.
The tales’ messages are clear. There is value in the learning, in the waiting, in the thinking we are not progressing. The humility in apprenticeship, in the weaving, deserves to be treasured. And sometimes the greatest progress is made precisely during these quiet seemingly ordinary moments. We often learn most in the quietness, in the tending to someone or something, rather than in books or a lot of action. There is time for everything like the cycles of the land; sometimes it is quiet, sometimes it is not. Take pleasure in each moment, for there is higher meaning behind it, one that will make sense a bit further down the line – we are not at the end page of our story yet.
The waiting phase is essentially an initiation into higher wisdom and perhaps even stepping into your soul’s purpose or meeting your soulmate or seeing your miracle happen. Because during that phase you are awakening within yourself a higher awareness and deepening into trust and wisdom.
You learn to withstand quick fixes, instant gratification, and not to settle for someone you don’t want out of loneliness. You learn what your values are, and why you do the things you do. You learn about yourself, and how much endurance you can have. You learn how to find the roots within you and where your confidence truly comes from. You learn to trust – trust in yourself, and trust in life, and learn surrender to God. You learn to trust your inner power and knowledge, that all rivers flow to sea. You learn that just because you cannot see the external results of something doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and shaping and forming in the most beautiful of ways. You learn humility also, because we are not the centers of the cosmos, and many other paths and destinies and choices have to intertwine for things to come together.
And yet other times, the waiting phase has absolutely nothing to do with you – it is about other things and people needing to come together, so that you get your heart’s wishes. Sometimes your life’s work or innovative ideas may be way ahead of other people’s awareness to absorb, so you need to have the humility in that and understand that just because it isn’t currently recognized doesn’t mean it never will be. There is an old esoteric saying, “earth angels have niche audiences”. Not all is meant for everyone to know.
No matter what your work is, no matter why you are currently in a waiting phase, just keep doing your work investing into it with effort, dedication, heart and soul, stay aligned to your why and your vision, and take time to relax in the knowing that as rivers flow to sea what is will always be. Don’t be too hard on yourself thinking you are doing something wrong and don’t compare yourself to others because we all have our own paths and timings in life, and they are very different from another.
One of the most important lessons in manifestation is that the outside doesn’t matter.
No matter what is going on externally, no matter how slow or non-existent or contradicting or confusing – it doesn’t matter. All that matters is for us to keep the connection to our heart, the knowing of our truth and heart’s desire, to trust in our self, in divine order and in divine timing, and to be able to reconnect to that higher faith at any given time through our heart regardless of the external people and circumstances.
You can think of this in relation to a creative project, as manifestation is essentially a creation process. Imagine something you’ve been working hard on for many years – you’ve been putting yourself out there showing your skills and gifts and talents, and yet nothing much has been happening, or at least not in the way you needed it to, as in you haven’t felt or been seen nor recognized yet. Should you give up? No.
What you need to do is that if you truly feel that this is your calling – that you truly feel it and know it in your soul, with every fiber of your being, you shouldn’t quit. You have to persevere. You have to find a way to re-energize yourself, to re-motivate yourself, to find your passion again and again and again, to re-connect to your why, your heart, to continue to visualize and dream, holding that vision with sharp focus and clarity of mind, and to trust, trust, trust in the unique unfolding of your life.
Sometimes our life is dreamt by a bigger dreamer than us. And it’s a dream that will come into fruition, a dream more beautiful than we could have ever even imagined.
The Bible is filled with stories and verses about the waiting phase. Hebrews 10:35,36 says,
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promises.”
When we start moving towards a goal, a heart’s wish, we can’t quit and we can’t start doubting it. We need to have the self trust and confidence and keep at it with a kindness and patience of rhythm, continue to invest into it our efforts, steadfastness and consistency, dedication and endurance.
Sometimes the reason for delayed answers or “waiting” is actually spiritual warfare. There are forces beyond us that get attracted to light and purity of heart and want to tempt you not to believe and trust yourself, and to quit or to take the easy path; along the path though, you will be sacrificing parts of you and your life and your future. Be mindful of that, and be mindful of your intentions. Do not forget your why and what you truly want, stay grounded in your higher values and principles. Know who you are and what you stand for, and fight for your inner truth.
Look at this beautiful wild rose from my garden. First she was a seed, then a stem, then thorns, then little buds until full blooms; and along the way she needed the right soil, temperature, nourishment of water and sun. Sometimes it was quiet and underground, other times it was almost but not quite, and then other times we could smell her fragrance and see all of her.
Look at her petals – how each one is curving around the other in the perfect way to hold all in full beauty. And it all looks like clocks within clocks, clocks of nature and nurture, clocks of the cycles of the land. No thing could have been hurried along the way.
I know it’s really hard to wait, it really sucks and can make us fall into the rabbit hole of doubts, discouragement, and feel so tempted to quit.
But what unfolds in our waiting moments is trust, and trust is one of our most important lessons in this life to learn. Often times we may purposefully not get answers because we are meant to come into trust, trust in self, trust in God, trust in life – trust that life will find its way through the right people on our path to support us when we need it. We have to let blank unwritten space for the unknown because this is where God breathes and miracles happen, this is when life can surprise us in the most beautiful ways.
Our soul’s purpose too is not a fixed destination, it is unfolding along the way, and precisely in these waiting phases are we shaping it in ways we cannot even fathom. Trust the process, trust the unique unfolding of your life, trust the timing of your life. Every little step matters as it is essential as it is part of the threads that will needed to weave the fabric which you’ll cast on our world. As hard as it is to wait and to think that nothing is happening, a lot is happening continuously behind the scenes.
There are clocks outside of our clocks. Unclockable by our human hands. There, time has its own timing, unreachable and uncontrollable by us. But when it’s time, it’s time. It doesn’t matter whether we think we are ready or not, whether things are messy or not, whether we think it’s the right weather outside or not, when it’s time, it’s time. We’ll hear the heartbeat at our door. And we’ll know – here is the one I was made for.
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Cover art: Springtime by Claude Monet, via Wikimedia Commons.