“It is what it is.”
Walter Longmire, from the novels and television series, would bristle when his staff would say those words. From his view as sheriff, things are never what they appear to be when it comes to crime, and to accept things as they are is tantamount to ignoring what’s wrong.
Personally, though, I like “it is what it is” because it allows whatever it is to be. Then, it’s much easier to see what is actually there, because you’ve given up your judgments and conclusions with that statement. It may have made Walt’s life a lot easier if he would have accepted that view.
“It takes as long as it takes.”
There’s another one. This phrase short-circuits expectations of duration. We don’t say, “It takes as long as it takes” if we’re baking cookies since baking times are a known quantity, and it’s not really applicable to a wash cycle of a washing machine. We use it when we don’t know how long something is going to take.
This is an important distinction, especially when it comes to healing or self-transformation. We are trekking through uncharted territory, and to have an expectation about how long it “should” take, is a recipe for suffering. We don’t know, and we can become comfortable with that.
Many times I’ve been forced to admit that when it comes to personal transformation, I’m not the brightest lightning bolt in the storm. My assessments of what “needs to be done” to improve myself are often wildly inaccurate—and when I compare myself to someone else (nasty habit) and they are soaring with success and fulfillment, it’s hard for me to realize that I’ve just got more work to do than they do. So I tell myself because of that, my rewards may be even greater, or not.
The point is, we have all come to this incarnation with our own special depth of unconscious baggage. The amount of baggage is solely dependent on who we are, how we are being, and the experiences we’ve had. Since no one person can ever have the same experiences as the next, it is impossible to judge the journey to spiritual freedom for any one individual. Add to that, our own assessments of our personal power levels, our level of acceptance of self, and overall self-love make it indisputably futile to figure out how long it will take before we are where we desire to be.
When an unwanted condition or needed change takes more time than we erroneously predicted, we often just want it to be over. We start to question our strength, our perseverance, and willingness to do what it takes. It’s at this exact moment when we need to step back, drop the expectations, embrace the infinite wisdom of the universe, and bask in deep gratitude for what we do have, and the beauty of who we are.
It’s not like any unwanted condition or situation is going to last forever. Everything is changing constantly, and the only exception to that is existence itself. And remember, it was our choices that got us here—so, it will be our choices getting us out.
I’ve been on a journey with Source Energy Medicine which I began about a year and a half ago. I’ve been diligent with my daily practice, and have gone beyond with my assignments. What became glaringly obvious after about a year, was that my beliefs and conclusions about my self-worth were much more deeply destructive than I ever acknowledged. My willingness to allow and receive gifts and blessings has been far below the “average,” so my results have been modest at best. It’s been a classic “two steps forward, 1.999 steps back,” kind of slow.
I admit, when I started, I made a point of asking about the time frame. And because I’m sure he’s been asked that a million times, my coach just said nine months to a year, based on his experience. Well, he obviously hadn’t run into me yet!
When I voiced my frustrations about this, he said, “Persistence is golden. Many people come to this program with high expectations, only to leave before getting everything they wanted out of it. Or, in some cases, anything out of it.”
Those words shed a different light on things for me and allowed me to pull myself out of the “what’s wrong with me” short-circuit and into a non-judgment space where all change is good—with the journey being more important than the destination.
All I need to check is my willingness to persist, the purity of my intent to go higher, and embracing every change as progress.
I also came to the perspective that for an infinite, immortal being to fret about “how long” something is taking, is a bit like a whale worrying about how much water is in the ocean: we won’t need it all to get what we desire.
Fixating on time only creates the experience of more time. I’m letting all that go now so I can get some enjoyment out of my journey. After all, it takes as long as it takes, and is all the sweeter for it.
Check out the podcast version of this article here.