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The top worst thing you can do with your life

The present moment may not always be comfortable. But it is the only door we have to the true magic and beauty life would share with us and bring forth through us in increasing abundance.

This is why waiting -- in the sense of waiting for something to change, for example, or waiting for something to get better -- is such a fundamentally destructive habit.  We end up betraying ourselves, shutting ourselves off from the fulfillment that is rightly ours.  

Gina Lake has a great post on this subject at her website, www.radicalhappiness.com.'  It's under the title "Waiting."

Says Gina: "The ego is always waiting for something - a relationship, news about something it wants, a vacation, a promotion, a meeting, a movie, or some other anticipated change. There's always something just around the corner that it is looking forward to or hoping to experience that will presumably make life better."

It's like when I first met JoAnn, and we started taking going for hikes. JoAnn would as soon be home quilting, really, as going for a long walk. A short walk is okay, but don't make it too long. For a little while, getting toward the end of a walk on some beautiful Colorado trail, I would say to her, to keep her encouraged, "Nearly home. It's just around the next corner." Of course, I didn't fool her for too long, if at all.

The habit of waiting afflicts spiritually minded people just as much as it afflicts those who are materialistic, of course. The ego doesn't care where our leanings lie - just so long as it can keep on existing. One of the ways it keeps on existing is by keeping us busy with hopes and fears relating to the future.

An extreme example of this, I suppose, is waiting hopefully for heaven to be known after we are dead. That could be a long wait. But what's the difference, really, to thinking we will be fulfilled, or happy, or at peace in a few hours time when we get to listen to a spiritual guru? Or when we find a better relationship?  Or when we take a few more steps on the path to self-improvement?

There's nothing wrong with having goals, and ambitions, and dreams, of course. We are creators. Creating is what we do.

But let us never lose sight of the sacred nature of this moment. For at the end of the day, it is all you or I will ever have. 

When we stop "waiting" for things to change, or for a long-cherished dream to be realized, it may seem at first as if we are sliding into nothingness. It may seem as if we have stumbled into a state of absolute despair and misery. That has been my experience.

But stay with it. Surrender to the moment just as it is. Surrender to the emptiness and the frustration and pain, if that is what is there. And in that surrender, touch a stillness and peace you never knew before, a magic you did not even know existed.

Our dreams do not perish in the presence of Now, in the presence of our own sublime being -- no, they glow even more brightly. In a way, we see that our dream is not in the future at all. It is happening right now.  We are fulfilled right now. Nothing more is needed to make us happy than what is already present with us right now.

As Gina puts it later in her post: "Happiness is not dependent on anything. It is our natural state. When we are quiet, still, and receptive, happiness bubbles into our awareness. It was always there, but you have to notice it, and you won't be able to if you are noticing your thoughts about the future instead."

Got any stories about "waiting" from your own life you'd like to share?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Durwin Foster June 4, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Great post, Dad! When working I will send communications to people, and then assign a “waiting for” label. This makes total sense from an organizational point of view. But psychologically, I need to be mindful of buying into the waiting status…

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sunwha choi June 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Hi,Chris! I am so pleased to find your blog and read some articles. I will visit here often and share communion with you.
keep writing!

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Christopher Foster June 5, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Great to hear from you Sunwha. Yes, please do visit here often. I look forward very much to sharing communion with you. Geographically there’s quite a bit of distance between us — but what does that matter? Is it a barrier to spirit? I don’t think so.

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Marilyn Doren June 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Hi Chris! JoAnn sent me the link, and I am really enjoying your blog! It is very comforting. Thank you. ~marilyn

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david December 26, 2013 at 8:48 am

thank u Christopher for this wonderful post , it’s seriously so great

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maria shispren March 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

thnaks a lot for this post
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sarah jonhson March 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

thanks

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sarah jonhson March 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

big thnaks
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