While You’re Waiting

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

How amazing it is that good questions lead us so naturally to good answers, and that beautiful questions lead to even better answers! When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we’ve opened the doors to discovery and wonder and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that matter every day.

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Starting when they were small children, many people find waiting to be an almost unbearable experience. The fact that as a culture we’ve become accustomed to fast food and high-speed internet and overnight online delivery services has made it even more challenging. When we’re facing something we can’t have right now or can’t get through instantly, real waiting is required.

Join me this week as we consider some useful alternatives to being impatient when waiting is our only option. Stay with me.

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There are so many times and so many situations when there’s nothing we can do but wait. Huddling together or going through it alone, we have to wait while a storm passes. Concerned about the possible outcomes when we’re going through something that requires medical attention, we have to wait for lab results or scheduling. Frustrated and unable to change the people around us, we have to wait for that difficult situation at work to be resolved. Feeling the stress of the week, we have to wait ‘til the weekend comes.

Because it most always takes nine months, we have no choice but to wait for the arrival of a child. And then there’s Christmas. And birthdays and anniversaries. And don’t forget the how impatient we can be when we’re waiting for the start of our vacation.

The waiting list (pun completely intentional) goes on and on.


photo: Scott Lennox


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I’ve written in the past about going through the mind-boggling process of enduring radiation on my neck twenty-one years ago. Hour by hour, day by day, week by week, I had no other option but to wait while I walked through it step-by-step. You may believe me as I tell you that time seemed to pass as slowly as the movement of a glacier. At first it seemed completely beyond my comprehension or my endurance, but as time passed and I gave in to the inevitability of having to wait for my situation to come to its inevitable end, I found myself becoming increasingly patient. That was a gift I didn’t see coming. I also found ways to keep my mind busy as a means of stopping myself from being hyper-focused on the difficulties I was facing. That one step was extremely important and extremely helpful.

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Since those incredibly challenging days, I’ve spent more than a little time thinking about what it means to wait when we have no other choice, and about what we can do while we’re waiting.

I won’t minimize how hard or how painful waiting can be when there is real gravity involved. But even then, we have options. Even then, there are healthy things we can do.

One option is to face the challenge straight on and call it what it is. Another is to lean into the possibilities we have, whatever they may be. I remember telling myself, “Right here and right now in this moment, this is really happening and there’s nothing I can do to change the fact of it.” I also remember following that statement of acceptance with the question, “So, what can I do, right here and right now?”

It was during that time that I learned to draw and paint. It was during that time that I put my first collection of recipes together and compiled my first cookbook. It was during that time that I became more serious about writing poetry as a way of expressing what I was feeling and experiencing. It was during that time that I drew closer to the people who care about me. And it was during that time that I made a practice of daily mediation and deepened my faith.

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Over the years, I’ve talked with clients I counsel about how they faced their own challenges and went through times of waiting. In the process, I’ve heard some remarkable things.

One woman who was going through a major health crisis began writing her own memoir. Another learned how to play the piano. And still another began daily periods of meditation to calm herself. An executive I counsel who was forced to wait through a drawn-out legal proceeding told me that he began calling each of his adult children every day as a way of deepening and enriching their relationships.

Another client who broke his leg and hip had to wait for months while he healed and went through a long recuperation. He told me that he and his wife began planning trips to destinations across the United States they had always wanted to visit. He knew it would be quite a while before they could take those trips, but he said that spending time every day planning them brought him a feeling of calm and a sense of expectancy.

I won’t belabor the point. I trust that you get it. Instead, let’s look at this week’s Beautiful Questions as we consider realistic and healthy options we can engage in while we’re waiting, no matter what the waiting is about.

Here are my questions.

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Question One: Can you think of times or situations when waiting challenged you, and if so, what did that feel like?

Question Two: In what ways has waiting shaped or changed you?

Question Three: Whether the waiting is long or short, what things can you do to calm yourself and become more patient, even if the change you make is only a small one?

When it becomes important enough, and we really want to, we can dig deep within ourselves and create the changes we need to make. It’s part of how we’re made. I hope this week’s questions will help you do that in some way. Write and tell me what you discover. I’ll wait patiently for your answers.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m happy we can engage this way as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world. It’s a great way of spreading peace.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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