A Two-Fold Approach for How to Trust the Process
"Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen–that stillness becomes radiance."
Patience is a virtue we can all develop. We can gain much by learning how to wait; research has shown that patience is linked to multiple facets of wellness. Watching the water in the pot won't make it boil faster. So often do we zoom through life and apply pressure for the desired outcomes without realizing that doing this can totally derail the natural rhythm of things.
After getting laid off from my 9-to-5 job in the midst of the pandemic a little over a year ago I had to make my peace with uncertainty. I knew that job wasn't for me so part of me felt free, but I was also desperate to figure out what I should do.
A world of possibilities suddenly opened for me after getting laid off. I was thinking about applying to grad school, learning a trade, volunteering and job hunting. Getting to a place of certainty felt really far from me. In retrospect, trusting myself was what helped me to trust the process of finding my next career move.
I'm so grateful to be working from home doing something meaningful after losing that 9-to-5 job. Every shift is challenging and rewarding all at the same time. If I had been patient and trusted the process more in getting to where I am now I'm sure the hiatus would've allowed me to appreciate the fullness of life more.
It Starts Within
I frequently hear the phrase "You're exactly where you need to be" in guided meditations and social media posts on wellness. But accepting that I don't need to be in a better and brighter place can create internal conflict. In order to trust the process we have to accept what is.
Maybe there are parts of your life that you want to change or you know you have to change. If you were to take steadfast action with the end-goal in mind and without coming to terms with where you are now, then it's likely that you'll get discouraged by unmet expectations.
One of the concepts taught in dialectical behavior therapy to help those of us who are struggling with undesirable, overwhelming realities is radical acceptance. When we accept ourselves as we are we're planting the seed for who we're meant to be and setting the stage for the opportunity to trust the process. Practicing radical acceptance doesn't mean that we like where we are, it means that we loosen our grip on what's causing us bitterness and focus on what we can control–our decision for how to respond.
From Acceptance to Radiance
Once we accept where we are we've set the foundation for creating change or growth, which of course doesn't happen overnight. We can cultivate acceptance by being mindful of the stories we allow to occupy our minds. Stories around the themes of Rome wasn't built in a day and everyone was once a beginner trump the stories of overnight successes and quick fixes. Because of neuroplasticity our brain can rewire for better or for worse depending on how we feed it.
It's not realistic for us to expect that we'll trust the process of change or growth without getting impatient after taking action. Trusting the process is twofold: we have to accept our natural impatience for something better through radical acceptance and surrender to our innate ability to rewire.
When we trust the process we plant the seed, water it frequently, let the sunlight in and wait for it to fulfill its potential. We don't spend time rushing the seed to give us fruit; we surrender to the higher forces of nature. If we try to eat the fruit without trusting the process then we'll end up eating something bitter.
Radical acceptance of where we are before taking action that would require for us to trust the process and radical acceptance of our impatience after taking said action is necessary.
Besides radical acceptance, trusting the process requires that we surrender to our innate ability to rewire as evidenced by our neuroplasticity.
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