In recent years, one of the most profound moments for me was a conversation I had with my coach. In this conversation, he and I both realised that I seemed to be in this holding pattern where I was waiting for something or someone to come and save me. Or that I was waiting for a magical moment where everything would fall into place and things would just magically flow.
Imagine my surprise when he looked at me and said: ‘No one is coming to save you.’ Very much like the quote from T.D. Jakes: ‘You are the one you have been waiting for. No one else is coming.”
It took a moment for what he said to really sink in. Up until that moment, I had in fact not even realised that I was living on this ‘waiting’ track. Waiting for someone to see how hard I was hustling, that I too needed support, and that at times needed some encouragement to keep going.
Don’t get me wrong, he was not saying that there is no one that would ever support me, or help me during times of vulnerability. But, he was in fact saying that I needed to figure out what I want and get on with it, and not do it half heartedly until someone else would take over. That there was no mythical unicorn being that will come and wave a magic wand to make everything better.
This conversation was a huge turning point for me. It was at this moment that was forced to take some responsibility for my life. Up till then I unconsciously held onto some blame that I attributed to my circumstances, my family and life for loading so much onto me that at times it felt hard to breathe let alone aspire to think about what I want and how I want to live my life. I also had to face and confront the belief that putting myself and my wellbeing first felt like it was selfish and self indulgent. Knowing that it was on me to create some kind of balance at first felt like an additional burden. But, I stayed the course and challenged myself to do better. Even if it meant adding to the scale times that I show up for myself.
I accepted that who I am and my choices are informed by my politics and visions of social justice, but I also realised that the patterns of functioning was not sustainable nor beneficial for the family or the work I was pouring so much of myself in. So over time, I have gotten better at being the one I was waiting for. I am by no means perfect, but I think I have gotten better and that is also I strive to be.
Herewith some of what I learnt about being the one I am waiting for:
1:Defining what you want
Perhaps one of the things I learnt early on was to dig deep and figure out for myself what it means to have a more balanced approach to my life. In other words, having my definition of what it means to live my life to the best of my ability. This becomes the guiding light that allows me to assess my choices and decisions and to also see when there is an imbalance.
2:Do for yourself what you so easily do for others
In the sector of activism and social justice, when asked, it is easier for us to say what we are willing to give rather than what we are asking of others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being givers, but it becomes a problem when there is no balance of giving and receiving. I learnt firstly to not ask of others to give me what I need, but to give myself what I need. This required a definite shift in my inner programming and has taught me to be kind, compassionate and gentle with myself.
3:Make requests of others
The gift of being who I am waiting for, is being able to make sure I get what I need to be well and thrive. Interestingly, knowing what I need meant I was able to say it out loud and it helped those closest to me to know more how they can support, encourage and hold me.
The journey of being responsible for your experience of the self in the world is ongoing, and there are times you will do better than others. The most important thing is to celebrate when you do well, and pause for a moment when it is not going so great. Then, give yourself the chance to do it again until it becomes part of how you move through your life.
See how I can help you on your journey today.