On The Theme Of Waiting …

WaitingWaiting is a strange thing.

Waiting for the lights to go green can take ages when you are late for an appointment. Waiting for a sapling to mature takes years. Waiting for your girlfriend to finish in the bathroom can take forever (don’t tell her I said that).

But actually, waiting is often an act of faith, a belief in a desired outcome, and reaching that desired outcome, that’s when it can usually be said that ‘it was worth the wait’.

Others, as you might expect, have described the process far more eloquently than I ever could …

Tout vient à qui sait attendre

‘Ah, all things come to those who wait,’
(I say these words to make me glad),
But something answers soft and sad,
‘They come, but often come too late.’

~ Violet Fane (1843-1905)

The Waiting

Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now
Don’t it feel like something from a dream
Yeah I’ve never known nothing quite like this
Don’t it feel like tonight might never be again
We know better than to try and pretend
Baby no one could’a ever told me ’bout this
I said yeah yeah

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Well yeah i might have chased a couple women around
All it ever got me was down
Then there were those that made me feel good
But never as good as I’m feeling right now
Baby you’re the only one that’s ever known how
To make me wanna live like I wanna live now
I said yeah yeah

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Oh don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you
Don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you
I’ll be your bleedin’ heart, I’ll be your cryin’ fool
Don’t let this go too far
Don’t let it get to you

~ Tom Petty – 1981

Interestingly, Tom Petty had this to say about the song …

“That was a song that took a long time to write. Roger McGuinn swears he told me the line – about the waiting being the hardest part – but I think I got the idea from something Janis Joplin said on television. I had the chorus very quickly, but I had a very difficult time piecing together the rest of the song. It’s about waiting for your dreams and not knowing if they will come true. I’ve always felt it was an optimistic song.”

So what ever you are waiting for, make causes, remain determined, and you will reach your goal one day.

Question Yourself

Question YourselfHaving confidence in yourself, in your faith, and in my case, my practice is often a comfortable place to be. But simply having someone else question that confidence can be a good thing at times, even though it might leave you questioning yourself.

When you find yourself being quizzed about aspects of your life, it is all too easy to become defensive, even annoyed by the questions. Who does this person think they are, putting my self confidence under the microscope?

But taking the time to think carefully about the questions, to see things from their point of view and to reflect upon what you see, is a good thing.

Of course it can make you question your own beliefs, about yourself, about the way things really are, and not just the way you see them. It can cause you to pull up short and may even make you realise that the situation is not quite the way you had imagined.

But it also gives you the opportunity to take stock and, where necessary, make changes to align your world view with the real world. Our own little universe is sometimes at odds with the way things really are, so if someone asks you awkward questions, don’t come out with all guns blazing, it may just be that they have a more realistic idea of the situation.

Life’s Ups & Downs

The Ups and Downs Of LifeMany things happen in life. There are joyous days and times of suffering. Sometimes unpleasant things occur. But that’s what makes life so interesting. The dramas we encounter that are part and parcel of being human.

If we experienced no change or drama in our lives, if nothing unexpected ever happened, we would merely be like automatons, our lives unbearably monotonous and dull.

Therefore, it is important to develop a strong self so that you can enact the drama of your life with confidence and poise in the face of whatever challenges you may encounter.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

What A Drama

The Ups and Downs Of LifeMany things happen in life. There are joyous days and times of suffering. Sometimes unpleasant things occur. But that’s what makes life so interesting. The dramas we encounter that are part and parcel of being human.

If we experienced no change or drama in our lives, if nothing unexpected ever happened, we would merely be like automatons, our lives unbearably monotonous and dull.

Therefore, it is important to develop a strong self so that you can enact the drama of your life with confidence and poise in the face of whatever challenges you may encounter.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Challenge Everything

Lotus SutraWhat happens in your life all comes down to you. Do not rely on others, or wait for them to do something. Try to develop such a strong sense of responsibility, that you can stand up to the fiercest of challenges, confidently proclaiming, “I can do it, I will succeed”

Boldly confront reality, look it squarely in the face, and with wisdom, courage and compassion, challenge everything that lies ahead of you.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

W.C.C … It’s Not Cricket You Know

Cricket_BallHave you ever had a problem or situation that has been rumbling around for a while, but you can’t drum up the enthusiasm to fix? I know you have, we all have. Maybe enthusiasm is not the right word, maybe energy, or confidence is a better one.

Perhaps you should have made a phone call, written a letter, or gone to see someone, but you know they aren’t going to be too pleased to hear from you when you do.

When I say you know, it’s probably more accurate to say you imagine, you suppose, see what I mean? We all build up little scenarios in our heads, and the more often we think about the problem, the more convinced we become, that our imagined outcome is what will actually happen. Our fundamental darkness will also do its best to confirm our worst fears.

This is where we need a bit of W.C.C … Wisdom, Courage and Compassion.

We need the Wisdom to see that what we imagine is the version of events from our point of view, and may be way off. We also need to accept that any problem that is left to fester, will only get worse and never go away by itself.

We need a deal of Courage to put ourselves into a situation that may be awkward, embarrassing or painful (hopefully not physically). Picking up that phone, or ringing that door bell, when we are unsure of the reception, takes guts. But remember that the alternative may be even worse.

Now we need a huge dollop of Compassion. The fact that we have put off doing something about this issue probably means that we feel that we are in the wrong, in some way. So we need to steel ourselves for a potential tirade, whilst remaining calm and sympathetic. We need to understand the problem from the other persons point of view. That will take a dialogue of some nature, and maintaining a compassionate nature may help defuse the situation. We need to bite our tongue when we may feel like giving a little back. I don’t mean a complete capitulation, more a flexible approach to understanding their side of things.

I imagine that each and every person who reads this has an issue, be it large or small, that falls into this category. Only you know what it is, so gird your loins, take a deep breath, and get it sorted today. You’ll feel a lot better when you do, believe me, I know from experience.

Dignity And Poise

Maintaining Self DisciplineThere are challenges in life, each and every day. Some are simple and demand little or no self discipline on our part. Others are much more taxing, maybe even painful in nature, and require all our wisdom, courage and compassion in order to deal with them.

There is a saying that the earth upon which we fall is the same ground which enables us to push ourselves up again. There is another which maintains that barley grows better after it has been trampled upon.

Human relationships are sometimes painful, but there is no pain from which we cannot recover. It is up to us to decide to live a life free from self-doubt and despair in spite of our failures.

Indeed, it is during our most humbling moments that we should show greatest poise and grace. Then the dignity of our lives will truly shine through.

Marvellous Monday

TranquillityHands up all those who never thought they’d see a post of mine saying that … but today has been pretty awesome too. Ok, so I’ve just had a perfect weekend, but this is Monday after all. But it has been a really great day, simply because there is a new calm over everything.

You know the calm I mean, at least I hope you do, when slowly everything starts to come together, to fit into place and there’s a soft and easy feel about things. At work, at home, in my practice, in fact in life, I seem to have turned some magical corner and tranquillity is the result.

No that tranquillity itself is necessarily a good thing. It can make us lazy, complacent, stop setting ourselves goals or making the causes for the effects we want to see. But the tranquillity that accompanies the calmness of a balanced situation is magical indeed.

Sometimes we have to go through a rough ride to reach the place we want to be. During the ride it’s tough, tranquillity is a million miles away and sometimes appears to be receding fast. But if you stick with it, learn from the pain and make the necessary causes, you will reap the benefits of the effects when they arrive. Today has been one of those days for me.

So stick with it. If you have confidence in your goals, remain determined in your quest and have the courage to withstand the pain, you too will see the benefits. It’s marvellous.

Questioning Yourself

Questioning YourselfHaving confidence in yourself, in your faith, and in my case, my practice is often a comfortable place to be. But simply having someone else question that confidence can be a good thing at times, even though it might leave you questioning yourself.

When you find yourself being quizzed about aspects of your life, it is all too easy to become defensive, even annoyed by the questions. Who does this person think they are, putting my self confidence under the microscope?

But taking the time to think carefully about the questions, to see things from their point of view and to reflect upon what you see, is a good thing.

Of course it can make you question your own beliefs, about yourself, about the way things really are, and not just the way you see them. It can cause you to pull up short and may even make you realise that the situation is not quite the way you had imagined.

But it also gives you the opportunity to take stock and, where necessary, make changes to align your world view with the real world. Our own little universe is sometimes at odds with the way things really are, so if someone asks you awkward questions, don’t come out with all guns blazing, it may just be that they have a more realistic idea of the situation.

The Eye Of The Beholder

Not The Mona LisaA great work of art is one that truly moves and inspires you. The test is when you yourself are moved. Don’t look at art with anyone else’s eyes. Don’t listen to music with others’ ears. You should view art with your own feelings, your own heart and mind.

If you allow yourself to be swayed by the opinions of others, ‘It must be good, because everyone else is raving about it’ or ‘It must be bad, because nobody else likes it’, your feelings, your sensibilities, even your confidence, which are the basis of every artistic experience, may wither and die.

To enjoy art to the fullest, you must abandon any preconceived notions, and look at things through fresh eyes. You should then confront the work directly, with your whole being. If you find that you are deeply moved, then for you, that is a great work of art.

Precisely the same applies to your faith. What moves you is a personal thing, it should not be based on what other people feel, nor should they influence you in any way. Have the wisdom, courage and compassion to stand firm and hold onto your own beliefs.

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