My kids have a book by the unparalleled Mo Willems called “Waiting Is Not Easy.” It tells the story of how Gerald the Elephant must wait for his best friend Piggie’s surprise. And let me tell you, waiting is NOT easy. It’s a simple enough premise: empathize that waiting is hard, but often times the result is well worth it.
I read this book to my kids thinking, “What a great way to teach patience!” while completely oblivious to my own impatience in just about all things. Sure, I can wait in line at the store, but make me wait more than three days for shipping?! Forget it!
So what happens when you’ve poured your heart and soul into a project, sacrificed countless hours of sleep, and possibly your sanity, into seeing this brainchild come to life, only to find yourself thwarted at the last minute? To be charging full steam ahead toward publication when someone slams on the breaks? Once I peeled myself from the metaphorical windshield, I realized how much I was rushing things. In my excitement to publish, I didn’t really think about the full impact this book may have, for better or worse.
Call it my Sagittarius side, but I have a tendency to blindly charge ahead. I leap first, then hope for the best. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes I fall flat on my face. Couple that with an ego that desperately needs the approval of everyone who has ever lived, and it’s a recipe for disaster. I can’t push forward with a controversial book and not expect to upset people. I also have to be sure that the people I’m trying to help aren’t the ones being hurt the most by my words.
My world, my work, my purpose, has been put on hold. I hate being put on hold. Cue the annoying elevator music and the repeated “Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line and one of our representatives will assist you shortly.” I twiddle my thumbs in annoyance, and wonder why it is that I am annoyed. Is it that my ego is afraid he won’t see his day in the sun? (Yes, my ego has his own persona, and yes he is male. That’s something we might delve into on a later post. Maybe.) I believe that is the case.
Who doesn’t want recognition for their hard work? It’s perfectly understandable. But when the drive for success is rooted in insecurity and a desire, no a need, to be loved and appreciated, then success will never be achieved. There will always be at least one person who doesn’t like you or your work. There needs to be a stronger force behind the work, something much greater and more resilient than my ego. My self-worth cannot depend on the success of this book. I’ve been given this pause for reflection, to get my ego in check, and to reach out and form bonds with the right people before moving forward.
While this project seems to have started in my brain, it has never truly been about me. There’s much more going on. I have been guided along this path, and I have to trust my guides now when they tell me to wait. Timing is everything, and my timing is not always the best.
I’m being put through the fire of refinement. The old dead layers that no longer serve me are being pruned away to make room for new growth. The things that have held me back and kept me from being my authentic self are being removed, however painful that might be. It’s a lesson on patience. It’s a lesson on trust. It’s learning how to dance in the flames. It’s not easy, but it is good.
In perfect love and perfect trust. So be it.