There are a million ways to be. But we hold on tightly to the way of being that is most familiar to us – the one each of us thinks is who we are.
And so when we’re in trouble – or stressed, or feeling held back by the world or by ourselves, when we’re longing, wishing, wanting, despairing – we tend to do more of what we already know to do. What we always do.
Even when it hurts us.
Even when by doing this, we keep the world the same as it has been for so long.
We choose familiarity over our own growth, because familiarity seems to save us from risk. At least we know the world when it’s this size, this shape.
At least we won’t be surprised.
And, because of this, just when our habit is to rush to do something, it’s often just the right time to wait. When we’re certain we have to be certain, the right time to be curious. When we’re most familiar with holding back, it can be the time to act. When we’re sure we have to be strong, the right time to be vulnerable. When we’re most ready to judge can be time to suspend judgement. When we’re most harsh on ourselves it’s the time, instead, to be exquisitely kind.
And, when we’re most despairing, it’s often just the right time to hope.