"I Don't Have Time For This"

distractionWhen situations deviate from the way we expect them to be or would like them to be, it’s interesting to watch how we adapt. A common first reaction, especially if we’re tired, or feel rushed or overwhelmed, is some variation of “I don’t have time for this now.” If we’re extremely hard on ourselves, as a lot of us are, we can see a departure from the way we think things should be as both a failure on our part to control our lives and as a deviation from reality itself. Feel what happens in your body when you have this reaction. It may be subtle, it may be quite dramatic. The manner in which we react to what life presents to us either expands our sense of possibility, and our ability to deal with what’s in front of us, or it contracts us emotionally, and our sense of possibility contracts accordingly. As we build awareness of just how much of our time we spend in the reality-rejecting state of “I don’t have time for this,” a truth starts to become clear. This isn’t the place from which we’re able to respond with what’s best, most creative, or most true about ourselves.

In the moment we feel ourselves reacting out of an overwhelmed state and are able to have an awareness of going to the “I don’t have time for this” place, we also have a choice. The choice is simpler than it sounds. It’s the choice between acknowledging and accepting what’s in front of us as “life” or “reality” or whatever we choose to call it, and rejecting the life we’re being presented with in favor of some idealized version of life, where we always have control, and where everything goes according to plan.

"Controlling the Situation"

We’ve all probably had periods in our lives when things went smoothly, and it may have seemed like we were the masters of our fates, and could hold any undesirable elements at bay through good planning and sheer strength of will. However long these periods may last, each one of them is ultimately interrupted by some event or change in circumstances that bring all our wonderful planning crashing down. These aren’t failures on our part; they’re reminders that our control only extends so far.

“Of course I have time for this now” is a reaction that represents acceptance and surrender to real situations and circumstances. It’s also the reaction that allows us to expand our sense of what constitutes life. This understanding is always the place that allows us to respond from our deepest inner resources and to grow and expand accordingly. Think about it for a minute: when was the last time you grew or expanded from things going exactly as you’d planned them? That may describe a pleasant situation, but let’s face it, there’s not likely to be growth or expansion involved in it. “I don’t have time for this now.” Really? If you don’t have time for the life in front of you, as it’s being presented to you, what do you have time for?