Just as there is a rhythm to nature, human beings have their own timing, which requires understanding and respect. I believe the world we are living in often works in opposition to our human nature, and we could be forgiven for thinking that because things are moving so fast on the outside, we should be doing the same on the inside. There’s little doubt that big things are happening and we may even be feeling that energy moving within us. Whether we experience it as excitement or anxiety, the faster the pace in our outer world, the greater the need to find a way to slow down and connect with, our inner world.
We all need time for reflection, time to catch up with ourselves. Whether we’re learning a new skill, experiencing something for the first time, or taking on the challenges of personal growth and healing, we need to give ourselves time and be patient with our own process. Real and lasting change comes from the ‘slow and steady’ pace the tortoise took*, or as a client once remarked, ‘slowly but surely’. Some things just can’t be rushed!
My time living in the country gave me an appreciation of the cycles of nature; it taught me the meaning of ‘God’s time’ and the rewards of love, trust and faith. Not having the distinctions of an experienced gardener, I learnt to rely on something I discovered along the way; namely that if I was observant and waited patiently, the new buds would begin to form on the branches and it would be obvious where I needed to prune. It was only once the new growth emerged that I could see the full extent of what was no longer healthy or useful. This is also true of our personal growth.
When we take on new ways of thinking, feeling or doing, we become more aware of what is outmoded and where we need to change. But unless we know there is another way to do it, we’re unlikely to easily or willingly let go of the old or familiar. And our lives are always intricately connected with others are they not? Sometimes for reasons beyond our comprehension, we are being stopped or held up on our path for other people or circumstances to catch up, or for the pieces to be put in place so that our journey can proceed with certainty.
In this game of life, while progress is best made by doing it in your own time, it doesn’t mean there won’t be times when the growth happens at a rapid rate. It’s just that skipping steps or forcing ourselves makes for a much less robust being, one who perhaps inwardly doubts or questions how they got to be where they are. Giving yourself time, putting each foot down firmly with each step you take, ensures you are grounded in that new experience or awareness, and this makes it easier to recognise yourself as you move toward your desired goals.
* Aesop’s Fable – The Hare & The Tortoise
Inner Sense No. 27 | December 2011 – updated June 2019
If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things, if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the Shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.