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Mindfulness and meditation are effective strategies to still and center our thoughts and emotions but they do not seem to help much during a wait.
We feel anxious during the wait because that time is imposed on us, with us being unable to control anything. Waiting is also used by people to remind others about their power. That is why the ‘needy’ person in a relationship or even at the interview venue is kept waiting.
Fuming over waiting is only scratching the surface, and is short-sightedness towards a symptom. We need to dig deeper and look for the cause, asking oneself the reason for the wait.
We can then begin to ask ourselves who the beneficiary of the waiting game is. We can sometimes benefit ourselves from waiting, as it builds our patience, and also helps others(as in case of a traffic light).
We hate waiting as it breaks the day’s flow, putting us in limbo. This wait mode is what gets to us, as it pulls us to the present moment, which we are trying to avoid most of the time by remaining distracted in the world. This time can be used to unlock the default mode of our brain, using daydreaming and our imagination network.
We need to embrace this forced present tense of our lives, that holds us in front of ourselves. This precious time is full of infinite possibilities to make the future even better.
Waiting can be a method to build radical empathy with other people.
Time is generally viewed as an individual and scarce resource. It is actually intertwined with the time of others, and our self-made boundaries make us selfish and uprooted from the universe, in conflict with everyone around us. When we understand this phenomenon of the intertwining of time (called temporal awareness) we end up managing our own time, as we do most of the time, and diminishing the time of other people, tearing our social fabric.
Waiting for a Disneyland park ride seems vastly different from waiting for justice in the court of law, and every wait has a different colour and hue. Certain injustices that are harming us have to be dealt with by taking appropriate action, instead of enjoying the wait time, which may be a ploy of the other to keep the injustice on.
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