One of the biggest causes of frustration and negative emotion comes from worrying about time.
We worry that we don’t have enough time, that we aren’t making the best use of our time, or that the things we want won’t come at the right time for us.
But if we accept that everything will come in its own time, neither too soon nor too late, there is much relief and comfort to be found in that belief.
In terms of the stories we tell about reality, missing out or having bad timing is just another bad-feeling narrative, like not having enough money or having chronic bad health.
The pressure to make things come sooner rather than later is not helpful. If instead we trust that the things we desire are coming and that they will come in their own time when everything is most ready for them to come; and if we acknowledge that these things coming too soon would not be of advantage to us, and that we do not know all the conditions and factors in play; then this principle of everything coming at the right time for it to come is a way of trusting in the universe and a higher power to make all things turn out for our benefit.
And by extension, where we are right now and what we are experiencing right now must be okay for this present time. When people say “you are where you are meant to be”, it can seem galling if we really want to be somewhere else. But that somewhere else will only come in its own time, not too soon and not too late. So where you are is where you are meant to be, because nowhere else is ready for you to be there yet.
As the logic of this plays out in your mind it brings a feeling of peace and relief from the pressure to make things happen faster. And that awful pressure is often the main reason why the present seemed so uncomfortable in the first place!
Timing and enjoyment
Too often we worry that we won’t get what we want soon enough to enjoy it properly, or we may get it too soon to enjoy other things.
We want our desires right now, so we can maximise our enjoyment of them over time.
Some people don’t want to find a partner and settle down too quickly because they fear they will miss out on exploring life and multiple relationships and enjoying the freedom of the single life.
Other people fear they will not find a partner before they are too old to have children or that somehow it will just be too late for them, and they will be alone forever.
Social conventions play a big part in these reckonings of when something is too early or too late. We look to our peers to keep score of where we are.
But our experience of time is profoundly malleable! We can deconstruct our assumptions and beliefs about time to our advantage just as much as any other subject or desire.
For example: many of us desire to be rich, but we do not necessarily inquire what that means, scrutinise it, and examine the different ways of being rich. When we do deconstruct our desire, we might find that what we actually want is something else: a feeling of freedom, emotional comfort, the esteem of others.
Likewise, our sense of how time works can be examined and deconstructed. Do you wish you could be young again? What does being young mean to you, beyond actual number of years lived? It might mean energy, optimism, beauty, health, or it might mean having fun and enjoying life.
But there is no reason why those qualities cannot increase in the future, regardless of the years of life you have already lived.
For myself, after three kids and the sleep-deprivation that entailed, something happened to my sense of time. The past no longer feels linear. My memory is certainly not linear. Instead all the memories from my past are floating around in a big bubble. So what is the past? What is linear time when my experience is no longer so linear?
Why can’t the past feel like it took just a moment, and the future feel infinite? There are no rules for your experience of time, there are only possibilities, and the good-feeling ones are worth reflecting on.
So don’t worry about the timing. Everything will come in its own time. There is no need to hurry it or be prepared and no need for anxiety or angst that it is not yet time for it to come, or the thought that it would have been better if it had come sooner.